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Lip service: A deep dive into the world of lip lifts and other lip augmentation procedures

a deep dive into the world of lip lifts

Undoubtedly, lip augmentation is top of mind as one of the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic procedures. While we all may be very familiar with the idea of lip injections to achieve that coveted fuller pout, there is a new, relatively unknown procedure that is quickly growing in popularity – the lip lift.

What is a lip lift, and what does it accomplish? How is it different from lip injections? Which patients should consider this procedure to rejuvenate the appearance of the lips and face?

If you're interested in learning more about lip lifts and similar lip augmentation procedures, we're here to help. We reached out to industry innovator and expert Rod Rohrich, MD, FACS, to gather his insight on this topic and the future of lip lift procedures.

The ins and outs of lip lifts

Let's start with the basics – what is a lip lift? Rohrich stated this procedure is "the true missing link in facial rejuvenation."

A lip lift is a subtle surgical elevation of the lips accomplished through various techniques. In general, a lip lift involves removing skin between the top lip's edge and the nose's bottom, shortening the distance between, also known as the "philtral distance." This shortening exposes more of the inner lip, creating a fuller appearance without the need for injections. Each lift is fully customized by the surgeon to fit the goal and unique facial structure of the patient.

There is very little risk of noticeable scarring with a lip lift because of where incisions are made with this procedure. In fact, the incisions are often hidden along the natural folds of the lower part of the nose, making them nearly invisible. There is also minimal downtime following a lip lift, making it a convenient option for busy men and women looking to return to their daily lives quickly.

Lip lifts are incredibly popular among the younger millennial and Gen Z patients, but they may be better suited for older patients. As we age, the skin around our lips and cheeks becomes more lax, leading to a "long lip." This refers to the elongated appearance of the upper lip that often happens as looser skin begins to pull the lips downward, often resulting in a thinner appearance.

"It is a great procedure in mature patients with aging long lip, and when they smile, they cannot show their upper teeth well," said Rohrich.

A lip lift procedure can be used in tandem with a facelift or other facial rejuvenation procedures to counterbalance the long lip effect and accomplish remarkable, more youthful results.

The future of lip lift procedures

In looking at the future of lip augmentation procedures, there is no doubt that lip lifts will continue to grow in popularity. And with greater popularity comes an even greater focus on innovations and advancements to better suit the needs of the patients.

One new procedure that is gaining in popularity alongside a standard lip lift is the corner lip lift. This procedure is designed to counter the natural droop that can occur in the cheeks as we age, adding a slight elevation to the corners of the mouth for a subtle smile. This, in turn, will create a more youthful resting expression. However, Rohrich advised that you "be careful as they can leave visible scars."

Tips to maximize your lip lift results

As with any plastic surgery procedure, there are key ways to ensure that you accomplish your goals. Here are some tips to help you maximize your lip lift.

Opt for an expert

It may feel like common sense, but we'll say it again - go with an expert. A board-certified plastic surgeon who is well-versed in facial plastic surgery should always be at the top of your list of considerations.

"Be safe and don't do crazy stuff with a surgeon that is not an expert in facial plastic surgery," said Rohrich, adding that you should specifically look for a "board-certified plastic surgeon who is a facelift expert and expert in facial aging."

By choosing an experienced and certified plastic surgeon, you can set yourself up for success before you even enter the operating room.

Think about your long-term results

One consideration that many of us tend to ignore is that trends will come and go throughout the years. While plump, full lips are currently in style, they may not stay that way.

"Recently, less is becoming more popular, and with good reason, as big lips are out and don't age well," said Rohrich.

Before taking the plunge on a lip lift, consider if you'll be comfortable living with these results permanently or if you are open to a revision if you change your mind later.

Pair up your procedures

As we mentioned before, lip lifts are a great option to pair with other procedures, both surgical and non-surgical. In addition to facelifts, consider non-invasive options to maximize your results.

"Skin peels or laser peels are also very popular in patients with deep wrinkles to reduce them effectively," said Rohrich. "All can be combined together as well – for example, a lip lift with lip filler and a laser – especially in an aging patient."

If you're unclear on what complementary procedures will best suit you alongside your lip lift, consult with your plastic surgeon for their expert insight.

Getting the lips of your dreams

In considering which lip augmentation procedure is right for you, a lip lift might be a great option if you are looking for something permanent. Touted as a fantastic alternative to lip fillers and implants, a lip lift will subtly rejuvenate the appearance of the lips, giving them a naturally full and more defined appearance.

With its continued growing popularity, it is exciting to consider where technological advancements and innovations will take this procedure in the coming years.

To find a qualified plastic surgeon for any cosmetic or reconstructive procedure, consult a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. All ASPS members are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, have completed an accredited plastic surgery training program, practice in accredited facilities and follow strict standards of safety and ethics. Find an ASPS member in your area.


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