If full, prominent, yet natural-looking lips are something you’ve always wanted, then a lip lift with experienced plastic surgeon Dr. Philip Schoenfeld in Washington, D.C. at RENU Artful Medicine may be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Dr. Schoenfeld’s effective lip enhancement method employs both surgical techniques and dermal fillers, hiding all incisions for natural-looking rejuvenation.
Different Types of Lip Lifts
Lip lift procedures are not “one-size-fits-all.” Lip augmentation techniques vary, and the procedure is highly customizable. In general, Dr. Schoenfeld prefers to combine surgical lip lifting of the upper lip with natural-looking dermal fillers for the best results.
While a traditional lip treatment involves nearly equal amounts of filler injected into each lip, doctors and patients alike have noted that this often results in a disproportionate, ‘rubber-ducky’ appearance to the upper lip.
When it comes to surgical options, an upper lip lift is the most popular method of lip enhancement, due to the ease of concealing the resulting incisions.
An upper lip lift, also known as the subnasal lip lift or subnasal upper lip lift, shortens a long upper lip in one of two ways: by removing excess skin and tissue along the vermillion lateral border (red line) that marks where your lip meets the rest of your skin or a subnasal incision that takes excess skin from the base of the nose and elevates the lip higher when closing the incision. Dr. Schoenfeld uses this technique often and prefers the “bullhorn” incision made under the nose.
A corner lip lift, also known as a lateral lip lift or outer lip lift, is a lift to increase the amount of lip area at the corners of the upper lip, and therefore give the appearance of a fuller, enlarged upper lip. This is achieved by skillfully removing enough skin above the vermillion lateral border of the lip near the corners of the mouth. Resulting incisions are hidden in the red part of the lip near the lateral border.
A gull-wing lip lift hides its incisions in the border where the pigmented part of the lip meets the rest of the facial skin. There is no scar hidden under the nose. Excess skin is then cut away and the lip is pushed forward to cover the area where the skin was removed, giving the appearance of an enlarged lip. The gull-wing lip lift is the only lip treatment that may be performed on the bottom lip, and fine but concealable lines along the lip line are left behind.
Lip Lift Candidacy and Consultation in Washington, D.C.
Not all patients interested in lip augmentation are good candidates for this treatment. Some may only need filler, others may only need the surgery. Dr. Schoenfeld will assess your candidacy and suggest appropriate treatment options during a lip lift consultation at RENU in Washington, D.C.
The anatomy of your lips is inspected first. Dr. Schoenfeld will check to see if your upper teeth show when your mouth is relaxed. The upper lip should always look distinct in comparison to the lower lip.
Another deciding factor is the length of the philtrum, the central indentation between the upper lip and the base of the nose. The distance between the bottom of the nose and upper lip is taken into account, as shortening the distance between the two will occur during an upper lip lift.
In women, the ideal lip-to-nose length is 1.1 to 1.3 cm (11-13 mm); in men, the ideal length measures 1.5 to 1.7 cm. (15-17 mm). For men, facial hair is incredibly helpful in helping to hide incisions and resulting scarring.
When discussing the treatment, the doctor’s questions will include why you want the treatment and your expectations for before and after the procedure, questions about your lifestyle, medical history and current medications (including any vitamins and supplements you take), your alcohol consumption and any tobacco use, past surgeries, and other options and alternatives for lip rejuvenation.
The doctor and his team may also:
- Examine and measure your lips and face
- Discuss risks and potential complications
- Take photographs for your medical and cosmetic record
While the actual procedure won’t usually take longer than an hour, rest during recovery is essential. Arrangements should be made to take time off from work or studies and patients should find someone to help with childcare and/or pet care during recovery, plus transportation to and from the surgery center.
Dr. Schoenfeld’s combination surgery ensures fuller lips that are both long-lasting and look very natural.
The procedure begins with local anesthesia to numb the lips, the area beneath the nose, and the skin surrounding the mouth. General anesthesia is typically not necessary. The team will mark sites for the incisions with non-toxic ink while waiting for the anesthesia to completely settle into the treatment area.
An upper lip lift, sometimes called a bullhorn upper lip lift, is usually preferred at RENU for this treatment. The name for this surgery comes from the ‘bullhorn’ shape of excess skin and tissue that is removed, a shape that normally follows the curve of the vermillion border of the lip.
The incision is made at the base of the nose to lift the lip, rather than along the vermillion border like some upper lip lifts. A subnasal incision scar is easier to hide than one along the lateral border.
The bullhorn incision elevates the level of the upper lip and is also used to lift the sides of the lip if the corners of the mouth are turned down. Then, the skin is carefully aligned and sutured shut to ensure the stitches are hidden as much as possible.
Dr. Schoenfeld then uses fillers to enhance the results of the augmentation procedure.
About Fillers For Lip Augmentation
For non-surgical lip revitalization, different types of fillers have been used for years to help patients achieve a fuller yet proportionate pout. For those who undergo surgical lip augmentation for more permanent results, there’s often the question of which filler works best to enhance the results.
Dr. Schoenfeld and his team favor hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers for a natural look and feel. HA fillers also moisturize the lips and make them softer overall. HA is the base for popular fillers like Restylane and Juvederm.
There is also the option of soft silicone implants, a smaller scaled version of the material used for breast implants. They can be inserted then removed if a patient finds them uncomfortable. However, these are rarely recommended.
Recovery and Post-Treatment Care
Sutures are used to keep skin and lip tissue in place during the healing process. Mild swelling, soreness, and temporary bruising are side effects that go away on their own over a few days. Swelling can be reduced with a cold compress over the upper lip, and pain is managed with prescription or over-the-counter pain medications.
Many people wait until their sutures are removed before returning to work or regular routine, after approximately 5-7 days of rest. Swelling and raised tissue along incised areas can persist for several weeks, though visible side effects usually become unnoticeable within the week-long recovery period. The lip scar can take anywhere from a month to a year to fade and blend into the skin.
FAQs about Lip Lift
Beauty is subjective, but the desired proportions of the lips are somewhat standard. The ideal aesthetic is that the upper lip isn’t too long. When smiling or laughing, enough of the upper teeth should show. The lips will ideally look soft and plump with a delicate “Cupid’s Bow” shape. Dr. Schoenfeld helps his patients achieve this look through lip enhancement procedures.
For years, lip injections have been a popular solution for anyone wanting a plumper pout. However, the media has also uncovered stories of lip enhancements gone wrong. From the occasional small and repairable lip scar to abnormally ‘bee-stung’, swollen looking lips, a fear of botched surgery keeps many patients from even stepping into the clinic for a consultation.
When performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, however, lip enhancement is generally very safe and can look very natural. It’s important to find a surgeon you can trust who will customize the procedure to suit your needs. While there are risks involved, they are minimal when working with an experienced surgeon.
During recovery, patients should rest and take it easy. You should take care to avoid moving your mouth unnecessarily or talking too often to prevent pulling on the stitches as they heal. You will also need to make adjustments to your facial skincare routine and avoid strenuous activities. Dr. Schoenfeld will recommend that you eat very soft foods for the week-long recovery period. It is important to follow all of the instructions your surgeon provides.
About Dr. Schoenfeld and RENU Artful Medicine
Dr. Philip Schoenfeld has been improving lives with cosmetic surgery since 1998. He is a double board-certified surgeon of The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and is known as a leading expert on facial aesthetics and rejuvenation. His ample experience and stellar patient reviews prove his dedication to natural-looking results.
Dr. Schoenfeld knows how appearances can help to change lives and the positive impact that skilled cosmetic procedures can have for patients who have experienced physical trauma and conditions like skin cancer. He gives back to the community through various charities and programs such as Program Access, which provides medical care to patients in need.
He also supports victims of domestic abuse, participating in the Face To Face program, where experienced cosmetic surgeons contribute their skills and time to repair any disfiguring damage to the faces of patients escaping domestic violence.
If you need long-lasting and natural-looking lip augmentation results in the Washington, D.C. area, contact RENU to schedule a consultation with Dr. Philip Schoenfeld today by calling (301) 652-7368.