Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 21 years old and want to have a better-shaped upper lip. Which is better for reshaping the cupids bow, a v-y advancement or a lip lift? I have a short distance between nose and my upper lip.
A: There is no question that the best way to reshape or accentuate the cupid’s bow of the upper lip is an external skin excisional procedure. Whether it is a lip lift done from under the nose or a lip advancement done directly at the cupid’s bow area, the closer the tissue excision/movement is done to the cupid’s bow the more likely a significant change can be seen in it. However, both of these procecures will SHORTEN the upper lip which is a problem when one already has a short upper lip. The v-y mucosal advancement procedure is about improving the volume of the vermilion of the upper lip but it will not change the shape of the cupid’s bow area in any appreciable way. I am afraid that in someone with a short upper lip, there are no truly effective procedures for improving the shape of the cupid’s bow area.
One potential option is to do a peak triangular excision at the current peak of your cupid’s bow to give it more of a sharper outline. This will not change the vertical distance from the nose to the upper lip in any appreciable manner.
Dr. Barry Eppley