Lip lift procedure elevates the upper lip, which in turn creates a shorter distance between the nose and the [vermilion] border of the upper lip. Recently, leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley has performed the surgery, which was posted on Snapchat.
The patient shown in the video did not like the expansive distance between her nose and upper lip, which prior to surgery was around 2 cm. For females, the ideal length is usually 1.1-1.3 cm, while for men it is slightly longer, about 1.3-1.5 cm.
Dr. Smiley says there are two ways to perform the upper lip lift: the first one involves placing incisions inside the mouth in order to “roll up” the upper lip, while the second technique entails the use of external incisions at the base of the nose to shorten the space between it and the lips.
Since the patient required extensive reduction the intra-oral (inside the mouth) technique would not suffice.
During surgery, Dr. Smiley created incisions at the base of the nose to remove a small strip of skin and tissue (measuring 0.4 cm). In the process, the upper lip has been elevated and so now the teeth are slightly visible in frontal view.
Elevating the upper lip has also increased the pink part or volume of the lips.
After removing the excess skin and tissue, Dr. Smiley closed the wound in a way that the scar would settle precisely at the skin folds of the base of the nose to hide it from view.
Meanwhile, the surgery was performed under local anesthesia, which could pave way for shorter downtime.
After recovery from upper lip lift, patients may opt for lip filler (fat injection or dermal fillers) to further improve their volume and shape. It should be noted that lip augmentation, especially with over-zealous injection, tend to provide unnatural results (duck lip appearance) if there is too much space between the nose and the upper lip.
Dr. Smiley has explained the general rule of thumb to ensure natural results from lip fillers:
- There should be a 1.0-1.6 ratio in terms of volume distribution and height between the upper lip and lower lip (phi or golden proportions).
- The outermost corners of the mouth should have very little volume. Over-injection to this area results in unnatural lip contour.
- The volume of the lips gradually increases as it goes towards the center.
- To avoid the appearance duck lips, the philtrum (two columns right above the upper lip) is occasionally filled in.