Restoring An Aging Lip Sometimes Calls For More Than Your Average Filler

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The lips are a central feature of the face and without a doubt one of the most common area treated with non-surgical cosmetic procedures. A well-proportioned upper and lower lip plays a big role in the balance of the human face profile along with the nose and chin. Similarly, overfilled lips will make the face look disproportionate.

Over the past decade, the emphasis has been mostly on volumizing the lips. The problem we are seeing now is one where lips are getting overfilled. For this reason, many people are afraid of lip filler injections. Haute Beauty expert Dr. Jose Rodríguez-Feliz strongly believes that volumizing the lips will continue to be a treatment of choice for many, but is not the only way of improving this anatomic area.

Did you know that the two most important aesthetic features of the lips are lip height and lip projection? It is important to understand these two concepts as one aims to restore the aging lip with either volume or surgical shortening of the upper lip.

Although some variations may exist based on individual patient anatomy and to some degree patient's ideal look, the ideal lip consists of the following: 1) an upper lip: lower lip vertical height ratio of 1:1.6 when seen from a frontal view, and 2) a slightly increased projection (1mm) on the upper lip when seen from the side.

Many times, these proportions can be achieved with lip fillers most commonly hyaluronic acid. The most important thing to understand is that a long upper lip with a decreased lip height on frontal view and decreased projection will most likely not respond well to lip fillers. This is a result of not addressing the main issue: the lip is long! Many times, this gives the patient a similar appearance. The best way of correcting an elongated upper lip is by doing a Lip Lift procedure.

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Lip Lift Procedure Details

What is It: A lip lift is a surgical procedure that shortens the cutaneous upper lip which increases the vertical height and to some degree the projection of the lip. The procedure is done under local anesthesia as a stand-alone procedure or in many cases can be performed as part of a full-face surgical rejuvenation. The incision is hidden at the base of the nose. The procedure takes approximately 30- 45 minutes.

Ideal Candidate: Someone with a cutaneous lip distance longer than 1.3-1.5mm from the base of the nose to the begging of the vermilion (the red lip).

Recovery & Results: The recovery time is usually five to seven days. In those patients needing more volume after restoring the length of the lip, it is recommended to wait at least two months for the healing to be complete before adding more volume and weight to the actual lip. This way we ensure the best healing without any tension on the incision.

In summary, the lips are an important feature of the face and can have a significant impact on someone’s profile for good or for bad. Though you may believe that adding volume is the only treatment option, it is not. A surgical lip lift offers changes not possible with filers, which is why both treatment options are beneficial and should be considered as part of a comprehensive plan to restore an aging lip!

For more information, visit Dr. Jose Rodríguez-Feliz's social media: