Can A Lip Lift Be Done Without Getting A Bigger Lip Vermilion?

Q: Dr. Eppley, Is there any upper lip lift procedure that you perform that successfully shortens the upper lip but does not increase the red lip (vermilion) (i.e. no roll out, no extra visible red upper lip)? I’m a male and the last thing I want is a fuller, more feminine red upper lip, although I could greatly benefit from the upper lip shortening procedure. Maybe upper lip lift at the same time with upper lip reduction? Is that possible?

A: All of the lip lifting procedures do create that exact effect, more exposed vermilion although it is not a one:one ratio in a subnasal lip lift.  The amount of skin removed under the nose does not create an equal amount of vermilion exposure below, usually less than half. But the effect is there nonetheless. In theory doing an internal lip reduction at the same time would negate the increased vermilion ecposure. But it may do at the price of increased incisor tooth show which may not be a good trade-off. The other option to consider is a staged approach to the subnasal lip lift only removing about 4mm in two stages. This would give the upper lip time settle (vermilion relapse) while not causing too great of an immediate increased vermilion effect.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana