Subnasal Lip Lift

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have questions about a recent subnasal lip procedure that I just had four days ago. Here are some pictures of me, I took them today. Sorry for this miserable face but I didn’t go out since the day of the operation and I can’t stop crying all day. 

I don’t look normal in pictures and I don’t know why. But I swear in real it is not normal. It doesn’t fit my face and I look horrible. I just look like a bunny now and I can’t handle it. The shape of my mouth is like a triangle, I didn’t asked to change the shape of my mouth. 

I saw my surgeon but he said he can’t correct it because it is beautiful and I just need time to accept it. I just wanted a small change because I was tired of my small mouth but didn’t want to have fillers anymore because it turns in a duck mouth. But even the duck mouth was 100 times better. Now I just lost my identity with this surgery… I changed so much, I can’t recognize me, I am so so so desperate.

I just want to go back to my normal face please, please please please I am begging you to help me.

A: Thank you for sending your pictures. I have performed many subnasal lip lifts and yours looks perfectly normal at this early time after surgery. There is nothing wrong with the way it was done and it does not look overdone or that too much skin was removed. A subnasal lip lift will always look a little high right afterwards and the swelling can distort the nose along with it. It is important that any patient that has this procedure know BEFORE surgery that there is no reversing it. You can not go back. Skin has been removed and it can not be replaced. The scarring from placing a skin graft under the nose would look terrible and be far worse than what you have now.

It is also important to know that a subnasal lip lift will relax or relapse over the first few months after surgery. The amount of relapse can be as much as 25% to 33%. Thus waiting out the recovery period and allowing the lip and nose to settle is a prudent strategy. It is also the only thing you can do.

It is important that you understand that healing and tissue relaxation will make changes that will be different than what you are seeing now. You should not judge the final result from this type of procedure until you are three months out from surgery.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana