Upper Lip Lift

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m interested in an upper lip lift. I have plenty of upper and bottom lip, however, my upper lip seems thin. My concern is not just aesthetic. My upper lip sags right along my teeth, which makes smiling not as automatic for me as for some people (if that makes any sense). For my teeth to show in a smile, my smile has to be genuine and pronounced and extend to the muscles on the upper half of my face. I’m actually a pretty content/happy person, but people seem to think I’m not. To complicate matters, I have a medium olive skin tone and scar easily. Is it possible for me to have this surgery without scarring?

A: Thank you for your inquiry. An upper lip lift will shorten the distance between the nose and upper lip and will have a more limited effect on showing more upper teeth. In some cases I perform a horizontal mucosal line at the smile line at the same time to create more of a tooth show effect. In my experience with patients with more significant skin pigments, I have not see the sub nasal lip scar from a lip lift to be an aesthetic problem. BUT all lip lifts create scar, there is no such outcome as no scarring. It is all about how well that scar will look.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana