Lip Lift Surgery (Vermilion Border Lift and Definition) – Scottsdale, AZ*

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About Lip Lifts

Dr. Starkman, a fellowship-trained facial plastic surgeon in Scottsdale, AZ, provides multiple facial surgeries to improve the overall look and function of the face. One of his top priorities is creating results that balance the face. One example is his lip lift procedure, which transforms the look of the mouth and provides a noticeable definition to the curves and peaks of the lips. This surgery is minimally invasive, heals rather quickly, and creates a newly defined, beautiful mouth. This surgery can be performed simultaneously with other cosmetic surgeries or alone. In your private consultation, Dr. Starkman will ask questions to learn more about your health and lifestyle, examine your facial features, and discuss your cosmetic goals. All of this information will help him determine whether a lip lift surgery is right for you.

Ideal Candidates

Lip lift candidates are not primarily interested in having fuller lips. Typically, they are concerned about: 

  • Lips that are symmetrical
  • Lips that are thin and unshapely
  • Lips that are spaced too close or too far from the nose
  • Lips that do not cover your upper row of teeth
  • Lips that are always in the "frown" position

During your consultation with Dr. Starkman, it is important that you discuss your specific wants and needs concerning your lips so he can determine the appropriate procedure. Some patients mistakenly think they need a total lip lift surgery when in reality, they need the gummy smile procedure.

Surgical Technique

All lips are unique, and there is more than one approach to performing a lip lift surgery. However, the two most commonly requested techniques are:

Gull-wing lip lift
This technique focuses on the Vermilion border, also known as the Cupid's bow. The Vermilion border forms the top of the Cupid's bow (center of the top lip). During this procedure, the skin tissue is meticulously detached, and the lips are lifted to boost the appeal and definition of the lip line.

Sub-nasal lip lift
When the philtrum (space between the nose and top lip) is too long, it can upset the balance and symmetry of the face. A sub-nasal lip lift involves a tiny portion of skin from beneath the nose being removed and the skin then being sutured in a higher position. This new elevated position makes the lips appear fuller and larger while also emphasizing the Cupid's bow (Vermilion border).

What to Expect

A lip lift can be complicated but typically offers beautiful results. Depending on the technique used, the lip lift may only take several minutes to complete or could take up to two hours. In the first two weeks after your surgery, you will likely experience some pain, swelling, and bruising as your lips and face heal and adjust. You will see your significant, beautiful outcome once your bruising and swelling has abated. Aftercare for scarring is a crucial element of your healing, and we will provide you with detailed instructions for this and general home care for your recovery.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a lift lip cost?
The cost of your lip lift will vary, depending on the complexity of your specific surgery, as well as on whether you are having any other facial procedures. During your consultation, Dr. Starkman will evaluate the appropriateness of a lip lift for you based on all of your facial features. Then he will create your personalized surgery plan and be able to discuss cost estimates and payment options.

Why shouldn't I just use a dermal filler?
Injectable dermal fillers can create more fullness where it is needed in your lips. However, they are not permanent and won't address the same issues as a lip lift. A filler will only plump the lip outwardly, not lift it into a new position on your face. Plus, dermal fillers require maintenance injections to retain the results. Dr. Starkman will discuss all of your options in a detailed consultation at his office in Scottsdale, AZ.

Will I have "duck lips"?
Dr. Starkman is an experienced plastic surgeon who specializes in facial procedures. He performs lip lifts to create subtle, natural results so there is no need to fear having "duck lips." Most of the individuals you see who have pouty, huge duck lips were likely given lip implants when they actually should have been advised to have a lip lift instead.

Will I have a scar?
Lip lifts do require an incision so you will have a very small scar. Dr. Starkman places a very inconspicuous incision at the bottom of the nose (in a crease). Your sutures will be inside the inner lip where they will not be noticed or seen by anyone who does not know you've had a procedure. With proper scar aftercare, your lip lift incision mark can ultimately be nearly invisible.

Why have a lip lift if it won't plump my lips?
Lip lifts are all about the placement of the lips on the face. A lip lift is not intended to plump your upper lip. It will redefine the shape and position of the lip to address sagging or an undesirable Vermilion border shape. Many patients see Dr. Starkman to create a more distinct Cupid's bow or shorten the space between the top lip and the base of the nose (for the best aesthetic results, the space should be 12 – 15 mm in height). If you want fuller lips, you can ask Dr. Starkman about dermal fillers (injectables).

Lip Definition and balance

Although lip surgeries can be quite intricate and sensitive, they can yield stunning results. Dr. Starkman is a facial surgery specialist so there is no need to worry about "duck lips" or lips that have been obviously enhanced. Dr. Starkman performs lip lift procedures with gorgeous, natural-looking outcomes that increase the overall balance and aesthetics of your face. If you are considering a lip lift, please contact Starkman Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ to make an appointment.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.