Beauty

Meet the Lip Lift, the Permanent Alternative to Lip Filler

There’s the corner lip lift, which elevates the corners of the lips rather than the center for a more defined, lifted look. “We remove a triangular piece of skin on the corner portion of the lip to give an upturn of it,” says Dr. Kwak. “Someone who has some side elongation or hooding of the lip may be a better candidate for this type of technique.” This procedure can also complement  the subnasal lip lift. 

There’s also the non-surgical, in-office lip flip that uses neuromodulators like Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin to create the illusion of a fuller top lip. “The neuromodulators temporarily paralyze the muscles of the upper lip, causing it to flip outwards,” cosmetic dermatologist DiAnne Davis explains. She points out that this can be combined with fillers to achieve more dramatic results. 

How are lip lifts performed?

Typically done under local anesthesia in less than an hour, the operation shortens the space between the bottom of the nose and the top of the lips by carving out a bullhorn-shaped strip of skin just below the nostrils. “The procedure raises the vermilion border [the edges of the lips], causing lips to look more enhanced, and defines the Cupid’s bow, so its curves are prominent and crisp,” says Jennifer L. Walden, a plastic surgeon in Austin.

Doctors are essentially removing a wedge of skin when they perform a lip lift — the larger the wedge, the greater the lift — but results are still customizable during surgery. “We can manipulate the shape of the excision to make subtle changes in the Cupid’s bow,” like giving its peaks a more obvious boost or minimizing asymmetries,” says New York City plastic surgeon David Shafer.

Known as a subnasal lip lift, plastic surgeon Edward S. Kwak points out that the placement of this skin removal is hidden quite thoughtfully. “The placement of this is along a natural contour of the lower portion of the nose,” he says. “So it’s a contour right along the bottom portion of the nose and nostrils and it’s a pretty well-disguised or inconspicuous incision.”

What is recovery like?

Just like any surgery, downtime is to be expected. Most patients don’t typically need prescription pain medication — just some ice and Tylenol. According to Sheila Nazarian MD, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. you can expect a slight pulling sensation for three days and two weeks of swellings. After about one week, the stitches come out, and redness can be veiled with concealer