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Am I a Candidate for a Lip Lift?

Am I a Candidate for a Lip Lift? 

A lip lift is a popular cosmetic procedure designed to enhance the appearance of the lips by reducing the height of the upper lip. This surgery creates a more youthful and balanced look, often revealing more of the upper teeth and creating a fuller, more defined lip contour. If you’re considering this procedure, it’s essential to determine if you are a good candidate for a lip lift. 

Ideal Candidates for a Lip Lift 

To achieve the best results, candidates for a lip lift should meet certain criteria. Here are some key factors that make someone a good candidate: 

1. You Have a Long Upper Lip  

If you have an elongated philtrum, a lip lift can significantly improve the balance and proportion of your face. Some may be born with a long upper lip and others may find that the upper lip lengthens as they get older.

Loss of collagen and elastin in the skin as one ages causes the skin to thin. Gravity makes the lip longer over time and will eventually cover the upper teeth with talking and smiling. A short and plump upper lip is a sign of youthfulness. If the lip is very thin, a lip lift alone will not take the place of adding volume. For best results, some may need to augment the volume of the lip with either lip filler or dermal augmentation.  

2. You are in Overall Good Overall Health  

Candidates for a lip lift should be in good general health and free from conditions that could impair healing. They should not be smoking or vaping for at least 4 weeks prior to and after the procedure and have any medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypothyroidism, well-controlled. This will help with overall healing and minimize scarring after a lip lift. 

3. You Have Realistic Expectations 

Understanding the potential results and having realistic expectations about the outcome is crucial. Every surgeon has a different style and technique. Dr. Saxon prefers natural results after a lip lift, so anyone who wants overly exaggerated contours, an upper lip that is too short, or trendy lip shapes are better to find another surgeon who can deliver the results they are looking for.  


Poor Candidates for a Lip Lift 

While many individuals can benefit from a lip lift, certain factors may make someone a poor candidate for this procedure: 

1. You Have a Severe Overbite or Weak Chin 

An overbite or weak chin can already put a lot of strain on lip closure. You can see if this may be an issue if you have a lot of contraction or dimpling in your chin. Getting a lip lift in this situation can put you at risk for not being able to close your mouth after a lip lift. It is best to treat these issues first before having a lip lift.

An overbite can be corrected with either braces or orthognathic surgery. There are several options for correcting a weak chin including a sliding genioplasty, a chin implant, or chin fillers. This will help support the lower lip without putting undue strain on the mouth during normal closure.  

2. You Have Long Veneers  

Some people with a long upper lip opt to get veneers placed to have more tooth show. In this scenario, the cosmetic dentist will often make the veneers long in order to have more visibility of the teeth. If the teeth are long, and a lip lift is wanted later, the veneers will likely need to be reduced in height prior to a lip lift for a natural result. Failing to do this can lead to overly visible teeth even with a normal lip height. 

3. You Have a Long Midface Height 

Individuals with a long midface (the area from the lower eyelids to the upper lip) may not achieve the desired balance with a lip lift alone. Those with a long midface height often have a long upper lip as well, but if the lip is shortened it can lead to a gummy smile or the inability to close the mouth. Lip lifts in this situation must be very conservative to avoid complications. 

4. You Have a Predisposition to Poor Scarring  

If you have a history of poor scarring or keloid formation, you may not be an ideal candidate, as the procedure involves making incisions that need to heal well for optimal results. Those with thicker and darker skin generally have a higher risk of thick scars. Steroids can be used at the time of the procedure to minimize this risk, but it is to be expected that procedures like microneedling and micropigmentation will be needed after a lip lift for those predisposed to poor scarring. 

5. You Have a Preexisting Short Upper Lip 

Those with a naturally short upper lip may not benefit from further shortening, as it could lead to an unnatural appearance. Further shortening of the upper lip if it is already short can also lead to not being able to close the mouth after surgery. 

6. You Have Had Previous Permanent Filler Placement 

If you have had permanent fillers in your lips, the presence of these fillers can complicate the surgery and affect the final results. Permanent fillers cause scarring and can be a nidus of infection after surgery. Even if the fillers are not directly in the area where the lip lift is performed, the swelling from surgery can cause swelling of the fillers that may or may not go away. Permanent fillers like silicone can never be completely removed since they can be integrated into muscle and other soft tissues of the face.  


Consultation and Evaluation 

The best way to determine if you are a candidate for a lip lift is through a consultation with Dr. Saxon. During your consultation, the she will evaluate your facial anatomy, discuss your goals, and review your medical history to ensure that a lip lift is the right procedure for you. 


Contact Us today to schedule your consultation at Saxon MD! 


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