The lips are one of the most important centres for communication. Any subtle changes in the contours of our lips have the power to tell if we are pleased, amused or unhappy. On top of being a powerful silent communicator, our lips also create a framework for our teeth. Full lips, and well-balanced tooth show emphasise the youthful appearance and a warm-hearted character of a person.
What is the goal of lip surgery?
Whether inherited or as a consequence of aging and gravity, an elongated upper lip with little red lip show appears less feminine and makes a face look aged. Lip surgery restores volumes and proportions in order to draw attention to the area of your mouth. This means a shortening of the distance between the nose and the upper lip which results in an increase in tooth show and the restoration of volume to thin lips. There are various procedures that are summarised under the term lip surgery.
The shape and dynamics of each pair of lips are unique. As a versatile lip surgeon Mr. Bran offers a broad spectrum of surgical techniques he can chose from, in order to offer a tailored treatment plan to his patients. These procedures include:
- Subnasal or bullhorn lip lift
- Italian lip lift
- Corner of the mouth lift
- Mucosal V to Y advancement
- SMAS insertion
- Fascia insertion
- Fat transfer
In selected cases, a combination of surgery with injectable fillers may be advised in order to achieve superior volume replenishment. This will be considered and discussed during your consultation.
What are the benefits of lip surgery?
Lip surgery is an effective procedure that can significantly improve the overall balance of a face. It leads to a more feminine lip shape with long lasting results. Patients are able to see the difference immediately after surgery. Many patients report a lack of need for repeated lip filler injections following the procedure.
Mr. Bran is an expert in lip surgery and non-surgical treatments for the lips. He has performed extensive research about the perception of beauty with specific focus on the lips. Always seeing the bigger picture, he established surgical and non-surgical techniques that improve the appearance of the lips but equally extend their effect to the surrounding areas of the face.
The Brow-Tip-Line, is a well-established aesthetic ideal which defines a harmonious line between two separate areas of the face: the eyebrows and the nose. It refers to an ideal aesthetic relationship between the eyebrows, the contours of a nose and the nasal tip (see illustration below).
Mr. Bran believes that a similar aesthetic relationship exists between the aesthetic subunits of the nasal tip and the lips, which he refers to as the TLC (Tip Lip Complex). The attention of the viewer is drawn from the nasal tip, across well-contoured philtral columns toward the lips (see illustration below).
There are frequent reports of dissatisfaction following injectable fillers by patients with an elongated upper lip. Due to the anatomy, any attempt to increase the red lip volume of an elongated upper lip can result in an unbalanced and unflattering look. The upper lip appears even heavier and covers more teeth than before. Lip surgery procedures restore and balance lip proportions permanently. Following restoring this balance, better success is achieved with future lip injections if additional volume is requested.
Before your procedure
Everybody’s anatomy is unique and requires a detail-oriented approach. During your consultation we will review your medical history and assess your area of concern. In order to assess your candidacy for a lip surgery Mr. Bran will examine the characteristics of your lips and their dynamics as you speak and smile. Apart from a physical examination in order to analyse your personal anatomy and your facial proportions, we put great emphasis on understanding your feelings about about your lips and what degree of improvement you feel most comfortable with. Appreciating your personal aesthetics and managing your expectations is key to any surgical planning by Mr. Bran. Based on the clinical findings and your desires he will then be able to elaborate realistic goals. Mr. Bran will be able to show you the expected improvement of your lips during your consultation.
You will also have a discussion about how the procedure is performed, possible risks of surgery, what to expect during your recovery period as well as answer any other questions you may have.
During your consultation we will take photographs for your medical record. Depending on your age and health we might require additional tests.
You may consider yourself a good candidate when you have:
- realistic expectations
- elongated distance between your nose and the red portion of the upper lip
- thin red portion of the upper lip
- a history of filler injections with your lips appearing heavy and not refined
- reduced or no tooth show due to an elongated upper lip
- asymmetric lips at rest
- thin red portion of the lower lip
- unrealistic expectations
- an active skin disorder in the area to be treated
- current infection or active cold sores
Most of the methods described above can be offered as a day case procedure, performed under local anaesthetic in our practice. If you are having a general anaesthetic for another facial procedure, lip surgery may then be combined.
Usually most of the lip surgery procedures take approximately 40 to 60 minutes to perform.
Minimal discomfort is expected. This includes swelling and minimal bruising. Any swelling or bruising should resolve after approximately 10 days.
Preparing for your lip surgery
Preoperative assessment is critical in order to select appropriate patients for lip surgery. Apart from a physical examination you will have a discussion about your current and past medical history, and any medication you are currently taking or have recently taken. You will be asked about allergies, particularly drug allergies. If required, an anaesthetist will see you before your surgery. Depending on your medication, you may be asked to stop or change certain drugs for a duration of time.
You should refrain from taking Aspirin, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen in the week before your surgery.
In order to optimise your healing, we strongly advise all our patients to stop smoking at a minimum of 2 weeks prior to your surgery and refrain from cigarettes or any other nicotine containing products for 2 weeks after their procedure. Smoking significantly impairs your post-operative recovery and doubles the risk of complications such as delayed wound healing, poor scars or altered results.
RISKS LIP SURGERY
In accordance with the Montgomery judgement, the following risks and side-effects are associated with lip surgery:
|PAIN||Moderate discomfort is expected; suitable pain medication will be provided.|
|BRUISING||Occasionally, may last for 2-3 weeks. Avoid Aspirin / Ibuprofen.|
|SWELLING||Swelling will occur. It can take 6-12 months to fully resolve.|
|BLEEDING||Major bleeding is rare. Haematoma (blood collection – risk is less than 0.1%) may require re-operation or drainage.|
|INFECTION||Occasionally, mild infection. Rarely serious infection. If required, appropriate antibiotics will be prescribed.|
|Some diminished sensation is expected around the scar and to the upper lip. It can take 2-4 weeks to return to normal.|
|SCARRING||With any incision there is a risk of delayed healing and poor scarring, which can lead to hypertrophic scarring or keloid formation.|
|This is a clot that forms in the deep veins of the lower limbs causing pain, inflammation, and swelling. This will require immediate medical attention.|
|This is a clot which has travelled to the lungs causing chest pain and shortness of breath. This will require immediate medical attention.|
We advise our patients to plan enough time for their recovery. In the first week you should expect some swelling around your lips. Patients can go back to normal activities after 7-10 days. We advise our patients to avoid strenuous exercise or avoid bending over. We also advise sleeping in an elevated position in order to encourage the reduction of swelling.
You will be able to enjoy full soft youthful aesthetically luscious lips. Tooth show will be improved, which gives our faces a more welcoming characteristic.
Due to the initial swelling, your lips will look puffy and the movement as well as sensation will be reduced. As the swelling settles, your lips will regain the original movement. It usually takes between 3-4 weeks to see full results.
Depending on the technique chosen, there will be incisions places under your nose or above your red lip portion of your lip. These scars will be visible for the first few months after surgery. Scars take up to 12 months to fully mature, and as the scar continues to mature it becomes less noticeable. Mr. Bran wrote his PhD on scars and continuously improved his surgical techniques in order to create the least noticeable scars.
What can complement lip surgery?
Other beneficial procedures that can complement lip surgery include eyelid surgery, face lift, neck lift or buccal fat reduction. In selected cases patients who undergo lip surgery may also benefit from injections of dermal filler.
In order to find out more you should book a consultation with Mr. Bran. As an expert in lip surgery, he will be able to answer all of your questions and explain the details of your tailored procedure.