Lip Lift Washington DC/McLean/Tyson’s Corner

Introduction

A lip is a procedure that will reduce the distance between the base of the nose and the lip, increase the fullness of the upper lip, and reveal more visibility of the teeth. Lip elongation is part of the aging process and Dr. Baker sees patients who complain that their teeth are invisible and the length of the upper lip looks too long. Younger patients and models may desire full lips but when fillers are used to achieve this result, the teeth are buried under the filled lips. A lip lift in these patients will provide the desired lip fullness while preserving the youthful visibility of the teeth. Depending on each patient’s appearance and goals, variations of lip lifts can be performed to tailor the result to each patient’s desires.

Dr. Baker’s Credentials for Lip Lift

  • Professor of Plastic Surgery, Medstar Georgetown Department of Plastic Surgery
  • Director, Medstar Georgetown Center for Facial Restoration
  • Authored multiple peer-reviewed manuscripts on facial rejuvenation
  • Face Q pioneer and expert on outcomes studies in patient satisfaction in facial aesthetic surgery including lip lift (one of several practices in the United States selected to participate in this study funded by the Plastic Surgery Foundation).
  • Training in plastic surgery, maxillofacial surgery, and craniofacial surgery provide him the tools to perform a complete assessment of each patient’s perioral structure. He is trained in all modalities of addressing your problems, so he is not limited in the solutions he can provide to address your concerns.

The Best Candidate for a Lip Lift

The ideal candidate for a lip lift will have lack tooth visibility, have a dimensionally elongated upper lip distance, and lack fullness of the upper lip. In patients who already have ideal or excessive tooth visibility, a lip lift may not be recommended as it could result in too much tooth and gum tissue becoming visible. In a patient such as this, filler may fill the lips and reduce tooth show, or if filler would be too much, the upper jaw may need to be moved up to reduce the excess teeth and gum visibility. Dr. Baker performs a lip lift either in his office under local anesthesia or it can be done in a procedure unit under sedation or general anesthesia. Dr. Baker will make sure that his patients understand the fact that there will be a scar, although minimally visible.

The best candidates for lip lift procedures have:

  • A desire for more permanent results than temporary injectable fillers (which only address volume)
  • Lips that have become thin, inverted, shapeless or sagging with age
  • Had other facial rejuvenation surgeries and want their lips to be in harmony with the rest of their face
  • Had a rhinoplasty and find that their upper lip is too long
  • Naturally unbalanced lips
  • Naturally thin, inverted or flat lips that are nearly invisible, imparting an angry expression
  • The time available for healing and resolution of bruising (usually 10-21 days)

Those who already possess ideally shaped lips but desire a bit more plumpness may only need to add lip volume.

Evaluation

The factors that go into planning a lip lift include the distance of the upper lip as well as the proportion of this distance compared to the distance from the base of the nose to the chin. Additionally the fullness of the vermillion (the pink part of the upper lip) and the degree of dental tooth visibility also are important factors in determining the best procedure. Laterally, the lip may not be lifted solely by the incision under the nose and a lateral or corner lip lift may be considered.

What Is a Lip Lift?

An upper lip lift is done in one of several ways. The method Dr. Baker typically employs utilizes an incision that is made underneath the nose to lift the lip up.

Sub-nasal lip lift (bull-horn lip lift) – This procedure involves the removal of either an ellipse or a curved-edge ellipse of tissue from under the nose. The skin then is raised, and sutured to lift the lip and expose more of the upper-lip vermillion.

Corner lift procedure – Triangles of tissue are resected from above the commissures, thereby elevating the corners of the mouth. A descending wedge of tissue can also be removed to add contour to the Cupid’s bow or to reduce bulky lips.

Risks and Complications

  • Numbness
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Parasthesia
  • Lip distortion
  • Lip lengthening
  • Smile deformation
  • Speech impediment
  • Visible scarring

In particular, the technique of removing skin at or directly above the white roll has been singled out as resulting in unfavorable scarring and stiffness in the lips as well as an unsightly scar. For these reasons, Dr. Baker does not use this type of incision.

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