Overdone Subnasal Lip Lift

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a subnasal  lip lift two months ago only to reduce the distance between the nose and the lip. I didn’t want a lot of skin taken off and I didn’t want larger size or Cupid bow lips. I’m left with a triangle shape upper lip and my mouth doesn’t close all the way. My two front teeth show when I talk and I have really huge smile now like a horse. The scar is raised and terrible looking. A lot of skin was taken off and sutured to the muscle. Can anything be done to help. I am so embarrassed. Can more skin be put in to lengthen the area? Can anything be done?

A: An overdone subnasal lip lift is a difficult problem to improve. Time will help the lip to lengthen by about 10% to 20% over the next six months due to tissue and scar relaxation and it can also help to stretch (pull down) on the upper lip on a regular basis to create some stretch as well. If the muscle has been sutured down it may help to release it. But skin grafting is not an aesthetic option since it will create a patchy look under the nose which would just be trading off one aesthetic problem for another.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana