Subnasal Lip Lift

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m a recent recipient of a skin only lip lift, from another doctor. Unfortunately the top lip I was left with a triangular in shape and overly close to my nose (about 7-8mm). I was told that the doctor removed about 8-9mm of skin. I’m mortified. It looks very unnatural and I am so unhappy now. I’m only 27 and terrified to think that I might have to live the rest of my life looking like this! I saw a post on real self from a girl in a similar situation, to which you commented that it would be possible to reverse the lip lift by performing a Y-V? Would this be something that can potentially help me?  I’m assuming this could lower the Cupid’s bow 4-5mm so that it looks more natural? No other surgeons that I’ve reached out to are willing to help. Please let me know if you can help me.

A: A subnasal lip lift that removes over 50% of the vertical distance between the lip and nose will likely end up with an overdone result…which appears as a triangular shape to the upper lip with an inverted smile line. You did not say how long along this lip procedure was done but I assume it was fairly recent. It is important to know that all subnasal lip lifts do relax in the first three to six months after the procedure. That relapse (due to lip stretching) can be as much as 25%, so some improvement will naturally occur.

A V-Y lip advancement is an internal mucosal procedure designed to lengthen the upper lip smile line (drop down the vermilion) That can be effective is some overdone lip lift cases. The outward vertical sin distance can only be increased by skin grafting which would create an unnatural patch of skin so this is not advised.

I would need to see a picture of your upper lip yo provide a more qualified answer as to what and is not possible your current situation.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana