BEAUTY NOTES | What Is A Lip Lift?

You can’t go anywhere – work a spin, a casual Instagram scroll – without coming across a textbook example of a lip fillers. It’s been years since Kyle Jenner first admitted to plumping her lips, yet the look hasn’t dissolved from cosmetic surgeons’ request lists.

If you’re assuming that lip fillers are the first and only way to add semi-permanent volume to your lips, you’re overlooking an appealing alternative. Dr. Lara Devgan, a cosmetic based in New York City, says that a procedure called a lip lift has most of the same benefits as hyaluronic acid – based lip injections – without the need for return visits to refill every few months.

Name recognition doesn’t mean one procedure is better than then other. Lip lifts may be lesser-known, but the procedure could be just what you’re looking for. Ahead, Devhan breaks down the lift procedure in millimeter-by-millimeter detail.

What is a lip lift?

In short: It’s a permanent surgical procedure to increase the amount of pink lip you see, helping lips look youthful and full. The procedure takes less than an hour – sometimes even twenty minute – and is performed under anesthesia.

Technically speaking, lip lift require that a cosmetic surgeon remove a cup of tissue from beneath your nose. The scar is hidden right underneath the nose, in a squiggly line almost shaped like a bullhorn. The scarring isn’t anything to worry about: according to Devgan, it’s nicely hidden in the shadow underneath your nose.

Why Would You Consider A Lip Lift?

Lip lifts correct for changes to your philtrum, aka the distance between your top lip  and your nose. Ligaments supporting adult faces loosen and weaken gradually, taking the perky, youthful – looking aperture of the mount and making it thinner. “The philtrum is ideally 11 to 13 millimeters in the classically proportioned female face, and the distance elongates by one to three millimeters every decade after your twenties”, Devgan explains.

Who should get a lip lift?

Lip lift patients typically fall into two camps with slightly varied needs. “Lip lifts in younger patients are usually people who are tired of the endless treadmill of lip filler”, Devgan says. “In older patients, lip lifts are typically for those who are frustrated with the elongation of this area of the mouth that used to be a little bit more proportionate”.

Devgan says that women with long philtrum distances often choose lip fillers and don’t realize lip fillers aren’t the best solution in their case. With fillers, “there’s only a limited extent to which you can get improvement in vertical lip height and you’ll start getting almost a duckiness of the upper lip, where lips can be a little protuberant and pushing out”. Lip lifts, meanwhile, tackle the vertical challenge without over-exaggerated volume.

How Much Does The Procedure Cost?

It depends, Devgan says. ‘For surgery it’s always cuts and lines to an individual’s desired results, and so it’s a little bit different for each person”. Average prices can land anywhere between $8,000 and $12,000. For reference, two lip injection appointments a year can cost anywhere from $1.500 to $4.000 depending on how much filler you need.

What Can You Expect Afterward?

You won’t be on the sidelines for long. Stitches remain in place for a week; then the scar will heal and fade within a year. You may need to two weeks off  from your social calendar, but any scarring can be covered with  foundation within two weeks of your operation.

Like other surgical procedures, lip lifts have their dangers: bleeding, infection, and undesirable scarring are all possibilities. “But I think with careful care and techniques, those are very low likelihood”, Devgan says.


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