Will My Upper Lip Return To Normal After An Alar Cinch Suture?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had an alar cinch suture placed because I had a premaxillary implant put in and then removed 12 months ago (implant was in for less than a month) that resulted in subtle widening and flare of the nostrils. It was used to bring the nostrils and base closer back to pre op nose. The surgeon suggested that using an absorbable suture would be okay as scar tissue would form around new position and narrow the nostrils/flare. Right now I can’t really see any difference and am hoping that its swelling and once it calms down it has some effect. It has only been a week. One side is less stiff and almost has full movement with lip, so hopefully the healing is speedy in regard to lip function and being able to laugh.

A: That would make sense to use it as a preventative manuever to prevent further flaring from the dissection for removal of the premaxillary implant and hopefully bring the nostril width back to normal. This would make the most sense if it was done at the time of implant removal. Done secondarily I would be much less optimistic but time will tell. It may ultimately be successful (although you should see some positive change now) but what you are experiencing now would be anticipated from its placement. Final judgment of its effectiveness must await 6 to 12 weeks after surgery for all swelling to resolve and lip function to return to normal

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana