Q: I am a 43 year-old male who is bothered by my long upper lip. When I smile I show no teeth and this makes me look older in my opinion. In addition, I have almost no red part of my line, it is just like a thin pencil line. I have done some reading and it seems a lip lift work. My measured vertical distance between the base of my nose and the top of the red part of my lip is 23mms. I have not read anywhere or seen that a man has had this type of lip shortening. Can it be done in a male? I have attached a front photo of myself for you to see what my lip looks like.
A:Thank you for sending your facial photo. While it is not a completely closed mouth view, it does show how long your upper lip is. You are correct in assuming that the only option for shortening your upper lip is a subnasal lip lift. As a general rule, I remove about 1/3 of the natural philtral distance. Since you are at 23mms, you could remove about 6 to 7 mms without any difficulty… maybe more. Whether this will be enough to unmask your teeth in smiling is to be seen but, at the least, the upper lip will be centrally shorter. The subnasal lip lift does not shorten or reduce the sides of the lip since the width of the tissue removal is limited to between the nostril bases. The lip near the corners of the mouth will not improve from a subnasal lip lift.
Dr. Barry Eppley