Am I A Good Candidate For A Bullhorn Lip Lift?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am serious about getting a bullhorn lip lift. I am a model and, although I am considered very attractive, I do not feel my mouth area looks the best. My lips are reasonably full but my upper lip is too long and I don’t show any teeth even when I smile. That is why I think a lip lift would enhance my appearance. I have attached some modeling photos for you to see what I mean. What do you think?

A: Thank you for sending your excellent photos. While you do have a very nice shape to your upper lip, I can see your concerns that it is vertically too long between the base of the nose and the upper lip vermilion. I think you would be a good candidate for the subnasal lip lift as it would decrease this vertical skin distance, give more pout to the central cupid’s bow portion of the upper lip, and has a chance of increasing some tooth exposure between the canines.

This is an office procedure done under local anesthesia. (infraorbital nerve blocks and direct infiltration into the base of the nose) The key is to have a wavy excisional pattern for the lift so the scar blends in along the base of the nose. As an out of town patient, I would use tiny dissolveable sutures for the final skin closure so no postoperative visit is necessary. There is always about a 20% to 30% relapse of the lip lift over the first six months after the procedure so it is a little ‘over-corrected’ in the beginning to compensate for that event. However, it is very important to never remove too much lip skin as there is no way to reverse that problem. You can always take more if needed so undercorrection is always better than overcorrection.

Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana