Over time, the upper lip gets longer, and this lengthening can be more or less visible. The white roll of the upper lip is the part between the base of the nose and the top of the red of the lips (Cupid’s bow).
Interestingly, this white roll is rather short in women with the freshest, sexiest-looking mouths. As people age, the vermilion (red lip) thins out, and the white roll, or white lip, lengthens. The upper lip gradually covers the upper front teeth. For people with short upper teeth, an experienced dental surgeon can lengthen the teeth slightly with facets to enhance the smile.
To keep a fresh but natural-looking mouth as you age, the red lip and white lip should be balanced and proportionate in size. A thick red lip with a long white lip is the typical sign of visible hyaluronic acid injections, as that combination does not occur naturally.
The upper lip lift procedure aims to refresh the lips while keeping a perfectly natural appearance. It is worth noting that shortening the white roll restores some visibility to the vermilion, which had thinned out with age. The goal will always be to enhance the mouth with a natural, balanced-looking result.
Before the procedure
As with any aesthetic surgery, two pre-op consultations are necessary. You will be given specific information leaflets published by the French Society of Plastic Surgery.
With time and aging, the upper white lip lengthens and it is useful to have a face check-up. Indeed, depending on the case, other rejuvenating procedures such as a blepharoplasty or a neck lift and facelift can be carried out at the same time.
No pre-op assessment is necessary before upper lip shortening
Shortening of the white upper lip can be considered under local anesthesia alone. However, for greater comfort, it is recommended to choose a short general anesthetic (preferred if associated with a lift), or neuroleptanalgesia, which involves mild sedation using intravenous products combined with a local anesthetic. This is always a day case procedure, with the patient returning home the same day. However, it must be carried out in a clinic and not at the office.
The lines are drawn below the nose on a patient awake and in a vertical position. The aim is to hide the scar in the natural fold between the nose and the lip. The scar extends discreetly along the junction between the nose and the cheek to be invisible.
After injection of a local anesthetic to prevent post-operative pain, the skin within the marked outline is removed. Non-absorbable sutures are used on the face as absorbable sutures can result in more inflammatory, redder, and therefore more visible scars. The sutures will be removed 8 to 10 days after the procedure. As with any procedure on the face, the sutures used are very fine, about the thickness of a hair
After the procedure
After upper lip shortening surgery, a downtime of about 8 days is necessary as significant edema (swelling) of the lip is common for a few days. During this time, the volume of the upper red lip will be greater than usual, before returning to normal within a few days. Bruising is also possible. Immediately post-op, it is recommended to apply an oil-rich cream such as Vaseline several times a day to help the scabs heal more rapidly and facilitate the removal of the sutures.
The sutures are removed 8 to 10 days after the procedure.
Make-up can be used from that point.
The result is immediately visible, but as with any surgery, it is important to know that the final result will be obtained six months after the procedure. The result may seem excessively short to start with due to edema, but as the tissues loosen up, the lip will drop slightly with time.
During this entire period, it is essential to protect the scar from the sun to ensure it remains inconspicuous.
Upper lip shortening does not cause any real pain but some discomfort such as tightness in the area is possible for several days. Impaired nose sensitivity has been reported that disappears after a few days or months.
An upper white lip lift brings out the red lip a little, which will ultimately slightly increase the amount of red lip and therefore optimise the result.
The aim of face surgery is always to restore balance and harmony of the volumes and lengths to obtain the most natural result possible.
As after any aesthetic face surgery, maintenance including botulinic toxin or hyaluronic acid injections is always possible to prolong the result for as long as possible. It is recommended to wait for 3 to 6 months after the surgery before starting aesthetic treatment with injections.