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Everything You Need to Know About a Lip Lift

What is a lip lift, is it surgical or non-surgical, and is it the same as a lip flip?

Tagged: Facial Treatments

Date: 20th June 2023

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 20th December 2023

Lip lift surgery is an effective treatment for those who feel that their upper lip lacks height, definition or volume.

 

An upper lip lift is a surgical procedure that elevates the top lip, shortening the gap between the nose and the lip itself. A surgical lip lift is a permanent solution to a thin upper lip, caused by ageing or genetics, and an elongated philtrum, the vertical groove running between the nose and the upper lip. Lip lift surgery can also help to address the problem of a drooping upper lip, which is caused by the natural ageing process. These results can be further enhanced by other surgical procedures that we offer to reduce the signs of ageing on the face.

 

There are several different types of surgical lip lift, and the surgeon will discuss these with you, choosing the best option according to your facial anatomy and what you hope to achieve from your lip lift surgery.

What are the different types of lip lift?

The different types of lip lifts that we offer at the Cadogan Clinic are a direct lip lift, subnasal bullhorn (also known as a Cupid’s bow lip lift), central lip lift, corner lip lift and Italian lip lift.

For the subnasal bullhorn and central lip lift, this involves making an incision at the bottom of the nose before lifting the lip upwards. The Italian lip lift also employs a similar technique, but in this case two incisions are made, one under each nostril. A direct lip lift involves removing a thin strip of skin from just above the upper lip before pulling it upwards. This makes the upper lip look more pronounced and this method is a great choice if you are seeking a more defined upper lip.

 

If you are having lip lift surgery to tackle the problem of drooping lip corners, then the surgeon will opt for a corner lip lift, which involves removing a small amount of skin at the mouth corners. This particular lip lift surgery can be combined with other procedures if you also want to achieve fuller-looking lips. Lip lift surgery takes around one hour to complete, although this may take longer if you have more than one procedure carried out at the same time.

The benefits and results of a surgical lip lift

One major benefit of lip lift surgery is that it comes with a short downtime and you can expect to return to your usual day-to-day activities in around seven days of your surgery. You should rest  for 24 hours after your surgical lip lift and avoid strenuous exercise and smoking in the following weeks. You should take extra care around the lip area and avoid sleeping on your face and opening your mouth too wide. Using a toothbrush with a smaller head will help with this. It is crucially important that you follow all the aftercare instructions issued by your surgeon in order for a smooth recovery and to achieve the best possible results of your lip lift surgery.

 

Some of the surgical lip lift techniques do come with a small risk of scarring attached, although we aim to minimise the appearance of scars by hiding the incisions in the body’s natural folds wherever possible. Direct lip lift surgery, which involves removing a small strip of skin from above the upper lip, may result in a small scar. And generally speaking, any surgery that involves more incisions is at a higher risk of scarring. This includes the Italian lip lift and corner lip lift surgery.

The risks of a surgical lip lift

A surgical lip lift is a low risk surgery, but risks such as scarring must still be taken into consideration and your surgeon will discuss these with you at your initial consultation. Immediately after your surgery, you may experience localised swelling, bruising or tenderness, but this should go away in the days following your procedure. However there is a small risk of nerve damage occurring during lip lift surgery, which may mean that you will experience reduced sensitivity in the area of the upper lip after the procedure.

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Non-surgical options - the lip flip

Now we have addressed what is a lip lift, it is worth comparing lip lift surgery to other non-surgical alternatives that we also offer here at the Cadogan Clinic.

 

Lip lift surgery is a permanent solution to thin lips and does not come with the maintenance attached to semi-permanent dermal fillers, which only provide a temporary boost in volume and will require repeat treatments in order to maintain the result. The surgical lip lift results look more natural and avoids lips looking artificial or ‘over-stuffed’ as they may appear after fillers, particularly if these fillers are carried out by a clinic or practice that does not have the same high standards as Cadogan Clinic. It is also worth noting that although dermal fillers add volume to lips, it does not add definition, unlike a surgical lip lift.

 

Injectable treatments

Dermal fillers are great if you are only seeking a temporary fix and these fillers can be dissolved if you are unhappy with the result. Alternatively, if you are unsure about having lift lip surgery and don’t want to have fillers, then you may want to consider a lip flip instead.

This particular procedure involves introducing anti-ageing injectables around the upper lip, relaxing the muscles and causing the upper lip to turn, or ‘flip’, upwards and outwards, giving the illusion of a fuller upper lip. The volume of the lip does not change, but instead this treatment just rearranges what is already there to create the illusion of increased volume. If you want more volume, then dermal fillers can be used alongside a lip flip for an enhanced result. However, just like fillers, a lip flip is only temporary, so a surgical lip lift remains the only permanent solution to thin lips that lack volume and definition.

 

Book a consultation for a lip lift or flip with one of the Cadogan Clinic’s expert medical team who will be able to go through the available options with you and help you to choose the best to help you reach your goals.


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