Can My Upper Lip Advancement Scar Be Improved?

Q:  Dr. Eppley, I had a gullwing upper lip lift two years ago. I am very unhappy with the resulting scar. The surgeon who did the procedure said that the scar would end up invisible…it did not. The scar sits 2mm above my vermilion line and is very indented so even if I try to cover the scar with lip liner and concealer it still shows. The surgeon cut very deep and used only eight sutures on the whole of the top lip. Please give me your honest thoughts and whether it can be improved by scar revision. I have attached a picture of my upper lip so you can see how bad the scar is.

A: Thank you for sending your pictures. I think without a doubt that the scar and the upper lip shape can be improved. The indentation is so visible because the natural shape of the white roll (where the skin of the upper lip and the vermilion meet) is everted not inverted. While the eversion of the white roll is lost in every lip advancement, it should be flat and not inverted. I suspect that deeper sutures were not used in the closure so that inversion resulted. In addition, I see no definition of the cupid’s bow of the upper lip, which is one of the main benefits that a lip advancement can achieve. In looking at your before pictures, I think you had the wrong lip enhancement procedure from the beginning. You would have been better served with a subnasal or bullhorn lip lift not a vermilion or gullwing lip advancement.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana