Today, many lip lift patients are 20-somethings and 30-somethings (like me) trying to get the pillowy lips (yes, an aesthetic often seen in our various feeds) we wish we had been born with. And many, like me, have been getting filler for several years and are just over the upkeep, the variable results, and potential complications.
But there’s another factor that has put this decades-old procedure in the spotlight: Surgeons have gained a greater understanding of the facial aging process, especially around the mouth and lower part of the face, says Oren Tepper, MD, director of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery at Montefiore Einstein Advanced Care in the Bronx.
Historically, plastic surgeons have put much of their focus on lifting brows and tightening jawlines to create a more youthful look, but there’s new appreciation for what Dr. Tepper calls the “centrofacial region,” the triangular area that includes the eyes, nose, mouth, and chin. “Rejuvenation of the centrofacial region has become an important part of the overall treatment of facial aging,” Dr. Tepper says, “and lip lifts are a powerful tool.”
There are four basic types of lip lifts, Dr. Taglienti explains, whatever a patient’s motivation may be. Choosing the appropriate lip lift depends on a patient’s individual goals, as well as where a patient is comfortable with potential scarring.
Upper lip lift
Similar to the bullhorn lip lift, this procedure involves removing a small amount of skin from under the nose to elevate the upper lip and expose more of the red portion. For the upper lip lift, though, the removed tissue is cut straight across the upper lip and tapered at the edge of the nostrils.
Eckstoß lip lift
This type of lip lift involves removing a small amount of skin at the mouth’s corners to turn the mouth upward for a more youthful appearance.
Gull wing lip lift
In this procedure, a wedge-shaped section of skin just above the upper lip is cut away to both lift and create a more defined Cupid’s bow.
Bullhorn lip lift
This is the type of lip lift I had, in which a crescent-shaped section of skin is removed from right beneath the nose to elevate the upper lip and expose more of the red portion. The removed tissue flares at certain points along the nostrils, creating a more natural look.