It was bound to happen that women and cosmetic surgeons would come up with a new body part to lift: the lips. After all, you can lift your forehead, eyelids, breasts, arms, butt and thighs. In fact, if you’ve experienced massive weight loss, you may opt for an all-in-one procedure some plastic surgeons market called the total body lift. Until the advent of the lip lift, sometimes referred to as lip advancement, your poor mouth had all but been left out!
Setting aside the tongue-in-cheek attitude, the lip lift is a procedure that can have a real aesthetic benefit for some people. And though the operation has not even hit the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s annual statistics chart, it is becoming more widely offered.
As it happens when a procedure is relatively new, there’s both good and bad to report. The bad news includes some inevitable confusion about lip lift surgery. The first thing to know is it’s not the same as lip augmentation (most often performed with fillers), although combination lip lift and augmentation procedures are possible.
If you think you might benefit from lip surgery, you’ll need to do some careful thinking and extra research to have the best chance of achieving the new look you want. First, it’s important to consider carefully why you’re dissatisfied with your mouth. Is the space between your nose and upper lip too long? Is your upper lip asymmetrical and/or too thin? Do the corners of your mouth turn down? Were you born with this appearance or has it worsened over time?
Next, investigate the different procedures cosmetic surgeons are performing. One, dubbed the “gull wing lift,” removes a thin strip of skin just above the upper lip. Most doctors don’t recommend this procedure as it can leave an unattractive scar, although some will consider it for older patients with fair skin.
The minor surgical procedure of choice in most cases is the “bullhorn lift.” This operation lifts the upper lip through an incision directly under the nose. Scars are nearly invisible after healing.