ME PLASTIC SURGERY
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There are a number of reasons men and women come to me to have a lip lift surgery. Some patients have naturally long and thin upper lips and a lip lift reshapes the lip proportions to create younger and fuller lips, and to rejuvenate the face. For others, the aging process lengthens the upper lip (the area from the top of the lip to the base of the nose becomes too long, hiding the upper teeth). A lip lift will shorten the cutaneous upper lip, reducing this area and creating balance to the lower third of the face. More upper teeth showing is a sign of youth.
A lip lift is one of the most powerful but still overlooked facial rejuvenation procedures with fast recovery and high impact. Many people focus on only fuller lips, but fuller lips are not necessarily more beautiful lips. What really matters is the upper and lower lip proportions and the right projection respecting the lip anatomy. No “duck lip look” for my patients!
A lip lift is a powerful and permanent lip rejuvenation procedure commonly done under local anesthesia to shorten the cutaneous upper lip, to reshape the upper lip and to improve facial balance.
How is the lip lift performed?
The lip lift procedure is performed under local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. It is a common procedure and there is usually only minimal discomfort associated with the process. A small incision contouring the natural crease at the base of the nose is made after careful measurements and skin markings. The excessive skin and subcutaneous tissue are removed and the upper lip muscle is sutured in a higher position to reshape the upper lip. Then the skin is sutured at the crease under the nose with no tension, shortening the upper lip. The patient is on their way home right after the procedure is completed.
Is there an alternative to lip lift surgery?
Yes. Dermal fillers can be used to reshape the lips and plump the lips, to sharpen the lip edges and improve fine wrinkles (“bar code lines” around the lips). However, when the upper lip is longer, only a small amount of fillers are recommended to avoid the “duck lip” look. In that case, a combination of a lip lift and fillers may be ideal. Filler injections are done in a few minutes in the office with topical anesthesia and little downtime. Hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane® and Juvederm® are the most commonly used fillers in our practice for lip enhancement. They are absorbable, reversible and can last for 6-12 months.
Do lip lifts leave a scar?
A fine line is seen hidden at the crease of the nose for a few weeks after a lip lift, but with good surgical technique, good post-procedure scar treatment and sun protection, at 6 months post-procedure the scars are rarely visible.
Do lip lifts look natural?
A lip lift is one of the most powerful rejuvenation tools for the perioral area and the face. It creates beautiful, fuller lips and facial balance. As with any cosmetic surgery to the face, it takes skill and care to create the most natural and well-balanced look possible for a particular face type. Every patient is measured individually and the procedure is tailored according to the facial features and desired results.
How long do lip lifts last?
Unlike other treatments, such as lip fillers, the lip lift is a permanent lip rejuvenation procedure for the upper lip and an excellent choice for longer lasting, fuller and better shaped upper lips. However, as we age, we naturally lose some upper and lower lip volume. Depending on patients’ characteristics and goals, we can maintain the surgical results or create more lip fullness with fillers.
How long is the recovery time?
It is suggested to rest for 24 hours after a lip lift surgery. Within a week, the sutures are removed. There is bruising and swelling for 5-10 days, but the results can be appreciated right after the procedure. There is also some lip stiffness for a couple of weeks and in about 4-6 weeks the lips are looking natural and well-shaped with minimal residual swelling.
How can I get started to learn more?
If you are interested in discussing a lip lift, or any other facial rejuvenation procedure, it will be my pleasure to see you in the office for an in-person consultation. We can talk about the different lip lift techniques, go over the specific areas you are looking to improve, and we will answer any questions you have.
After the procedure
The lip lift is an outpatient surgery done under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. After the procedure, there will be visible fine skin sutures in the incisions, some bruising and swelling.
A lip lift surgery is not a painful procedure, but mild discomfort and feeling of tightness in the upper lip are expected for a few days to a few weeks after surgery. We prepare the patients with preoperative and postoperative medication and supplementation, ice and anti-inflammatories. Frequently combined procedures with a lip lift are other facial rejuvenation procedures such as lip fillers, blepharoplasty or eyelid lift, fat grafting to the face, skin resurfacing with a chemical peel or microneedling.
Sutures are removed between 5-7 days after the surgery. Return to normal daily activities in 5-7 days. Expect at least 8 weeks for committing to major social events as residual swelling can remain for some patients after surgery. We are all different, so it is hard to predict who will get more or less swelling and bruising.
General preoperative recommendations for a lip lift:
What to avoid before the lip lift procedure:
- DO NOT take any aspirin for 7-10 days before your scheduled procedure. Do not take NSAIDS (Aleve, Motrin, Ibuprofen) for 5 days before surgery. You may take Tylenol (Acetaminophen) if needed for aches or pains. Please contact the office at if you have any questions about any medications that you are taking or if you are prescribed aspirin by your cardiologist or Primary Care Provider (PCP).
- Discontinue Vitamin E 10 days before surgery.
- Avoid the following herbal supplements for 10 days before surgery: Echinacea, Ephedra / Phentermine (used for weight loss), Feverfew, Fish Oils, Garlic, Ginkgo Biloba, Goldenseal, Kava-Kava, Licorice, Saw Palmetto, St. John’s Wort and Valerian.
- Stop Smoking. The harmful effects of smoking can cause tissue death, infection, and open wounds. It also makes you age faster!
- Alcohol can promote swelling of the surgical area and it is best to avoid alcohol intake for at least one week before surgery.
What to take before the lip lift:
- Dr Miotto will prescribe some supplements and medications to help speed up recovery and any discomfort after surgery.
General postoperative recommendations after lip lift:
- If the procedure is done under general anesthesia or sedation, you MUST have a responsible adult to transport you home and stay with you for a full twenty-four hours after your surgery. You will be unable to drive if you are taking narcotics.
- Icing the operated area is recommended to reduce swelling.
- It is recommended to elevate the head with two to three pillows after all facial procedures.
- Do not take sun on your face until visible bruising and swelling are present.
- Scar treatment is recommended by Dr Miotto after postoperative follow-up evaluation.
- You can shower twenty-four hours after surgery. You may clean the incisions as instructed by Dr Miotto or her nurses after the procedure.
- Do not submerge yourself into a tub/pool until all wounds have healed (usually in 3 weeks).
- Do not scrub the surgical sites, however you can allow soapy water to run over them.
- Avoid lotions on the surgical sites for 2 weeks, but you can moisturize any other areas as desired.
Returning to Work:
- Recovery time will vary; however, most patients return to work within a few days to 1 week after the procedure.
- Immediately following surgery, it is best to eat bland, easily-digested food and avoid excess sugar and salt. Healthy proteins (eggs, lean meat, beans, nuts), rice, fruits and cooked vegetables (broccoli, peppers, sweet potatoes) will provide your body with nutrients essential for healing.
- Eat a few bites of food before taking pain medications as these can cause nausea.
- A diet low in sodium will help minimize swelling and water retention.
- Drink plenty of water! Drinking low sugar sports drinks and protein shakes are recommended.
- Keep in mind that our goal in aesthetic surgery is improvement and not perfection. You will be followed closely after surgery to assure that you heal well and have the best possible results.
- It can take months for the very final results of your surgery be apparent. After 12 weeks, you can expect your results to be mostly permanent. Expect subtle changes in swelling and healing (including the appearance of scarring) to continue to improve for up to twelve months.
- It is important for you to keep open communication with your physician and return for your follow up visits. We will take pre and post pictures along the way and look at the final results together.
GABRIELE C. MIOTTO MD, MEd., is a Brazillian-American plastic surgeon specialized in aesthetic surgery and minimally invasive procedures, specially of the face, eyes, nose, breast and liposuction.
Call 404-850-5851 for your consultation.
How a Lip Lift in Atlanta Makes the Mouth Appear More Youthful and Rejuvenates the Face
Upper lip surgery helps rejuvenate the patient’s face by reshaping the upper lip and decreasing the distance between the base of the nose and the upper lip. These proportional changes allow more of the patient’s upper teeth to show when he or she smiles and while speaking.
The visibility of the upper teeth while smiling and speaking is one of the characteristics associated with a youthful-looking mouth. Therefore, once the lip lift patient’s healing process is complete, his or her mouth appears more youthful, which helps rejuvenate the lower portion of the face.
Despite the ability of upper lip surgery to provide patients with exceptional results and quick recovery times, when it comes to facial rejuvenation procedures people tend to overlook the benefits of the lip lift.
Who Should Consider a Lip Lift in Atlanta?
Atlanta plastic surgeons Dr. Gabriele Miotto and Dr. Felmont Eaves perform upper lip surgery to reduce the cutaneous area of the upper lip and create balance in the lower third of the patient’s face. Therefore, individuals who have a relatively thin upper lip as well as those who feel as if the distance between their upper lip and their nose is too long may want to consider upper lip surgery.
In addition, individuals who have previously tried to plump their lips with fillers, but the filler caused their lips to appear long and heavy may want to consider having upper lip surgery to aesthetically improve their lips.
What Causes an Individual to Have a Long, Thin Upper Lip?
Some people naturally have an upper lip that is long and thin whereas, others develop these lip characteristics as they age.
If aging is the cause of an individual’s elongated, thin lip, the area between the nose and the upper lip gradually lengthens. Eventually, the teeth on the upper arch remain hidden behind the lip when the individual speaks or smiles. However, with a lip lift in Atlanta, Dr. Miotto and Dr. Eaves can make the hidden upper teeth more visible.
Lip Proportion and Projection vs Plumper Lips
Although many individuals place a great deal of emphasis on attaining plumper lips, the reality is that fuller lips do not always translate into more beautiful lips. In fact, the most important lip characteristics are the proportion and projection of the lips. As such, whenever performing a lip procedure, it is vital that the plastic surgeon takes the patient’s lip anatomy into consideration, otherwise, the result could resemble the beak of a duck.
As experienced plastic surgeons, Dr. Eaves and Dr. Miotto always take the anatomy of their patients’ lips into consideration, therefore, patients need not worry about experiencing the dreaded duck lips.
Lip Lifts Offer Patients Long-Lasting Results
While fillers can add volume to the lips, the results are short-lived. The results achieved with upper lip surgery are permanent. That said, there is no way to stop the aging process, which means that as time passes patients may find that the natural aging process continues to change their upper lip. If this happens, patients can return to ME Plastic Surgery for another lip lift.
An Atlanta Lip Lift Can Be a Singular Procedure or Combined with Other Procedures
Upper lip surgery is a simple procedure that Dr. Felmont Eaves and Dr. Gabriele Miotto perform regularly. ME Plastic Surgery patients can choose to have a lip lift alone or during the same surgical session as other facial rejuvenation procedures (e.g., microneedling, chemical peels, etc.) and with other surgical procedures (e.g., a facelift, a rhinoplasty, eye surgery, etc.).
A Consultation for Upper Lip Surgery
During the patient’s initial consultation Dr. Felmont Eaves or Dr. Gabriele Miotto wants to know about any ongoing conditions (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.). In addition, patients must be prepared to discuss previous surgeries and current medications with the plastic surgeon as well as whether the patient has any allergies to latex or any kind of medication.
Patients must be candid during this appointment. For a patient to attain the results he or she desires, the individual must make these desires known.
The surgeon will examine the patient’s upper lip and base of his or her nose. If Dr. Miotto or Dr. Eaves thinks the patient may benefit from upper lip surgery and the patient is interested in moving forward the surgeon takes photos from several angles to use while making the patient’s surgical plan. Dr. Eaves and Dr. Miotto encourage patients to be open and never hesitate to inquire about their procedure or other procedures they are interested in.
A Lip Lift in Atlanta is an Outpatient Procedure
Upper lip surgery is an outpatient procedure, therefore, once their lip lift is complete, patients return home. If local anesthesia is the only form of anesthesia the patient receives during upper lip surgery, he or she will not require a driver or a caregiver.
Patients Receiving General or Twilight Anesthesia
If the patient is having upper lip surgery at the same time as other facial rejuvenation procedures that do require twilight (IV or conscious sedation) or general anesthesia, the patient will need a driver as well as a 24-hour caregiver.
A Lip Lift Procedure in Atlanta
Upper lip surgery takes approximately an hour.
When Dr. Miotto or Dr. Eaves performs a lip lift as a single procedure, patients only need to receive local anesthesia, which is just like the anesthesia dentists use.
Dr. Miotto and Dr. Eaves provide their patients with local anesthesia to ensure that they experience very little discomfort during their lip lift procedure.
Administering Local Anesthesia
The surgeon uses an injection to administer the patient’s local anesthesia.
Once the local anesthetic takes effect, which can take up to 30 minutes, the plastic surgeon begins the upper lip surgery.
The surgeon takes measurements and then makes markings on certain areas of the patient’s face to use as a guide.
Next, the plastic surgeon creates a small incision in the crease at the base of the patient’s nose.
The surgeon carefully removes the excess skin and dermal tissue before suturing the patient’s upper lip muscle to a higher position and then reshaping the upper lip.
The surgeon uses tiny sutures to close the incision within the crease of the patient’s nose. This shortens the upper lip.
Dr. Eaves and Dr. Miotto take great care to make sure the sutures they place are tension free.
The surgeon will apply antibiotic ointment over the stitches.
Several days after surgery the patient returns to ME Plastic Surgery. During this appointment, the surgeon removes the patient’s sutures.
What to Expect During Recovery
Directly after a lip lift the patient’s upper lip becomes inflamed and feels sore. The amount of inflammation an individual experiences varies from one person to the next. However, the inflammation usually worsens during the first few days following the lip lift.
The healing period following a lip lift is usually two to three weeks.
During the initial twenty-four hours after upper lip surgery, patients should rest.
For several days, patients must limit their activity.
Patients can shower twenty-four hours after their upper lip surgery. Patients must not scrub their surgical sites, instead they should gently clean their incisions using the technique they learned from Dr. Gabriele Miotto, Dr. Felmont Eaves or the recovery nurses.
During the first week, patients need to keep their incision clean and regularly apply antibacterial ointment. This ointment reduces the patient’s risk of developing an infection.
Following upper lip surgery, patients have very fine skin sutures closing their incisions. Patients return to ME Plastic Surgery at some point during the following week. At this appointment the patient’s plastic surgeon removes the sutures.
Most of Dr. Miotto and Dr. Eaves’ patients return to work within a week of their upper lip surgery.
The inflammation and bruising can last up to 10 days.
For about 14 days, patients must not exert themselves, and they need to avoid exercising.
Patients should avoid applying lotion to their surgical sites for no less than two weeks. Nonetheless, if desired, patients can apply moisturizer to other areas of the body.
Lip stiffness following a lip lift is common, this symptom usually lasts for about two weeks.
Patients will feel a tight sensation in their upper lip. This sensation can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
Until the surgical wounds heal, patients cannot submerge themselves in a pool, a tub or any other body of water: For most patients, the healing process is complete in about three weeks’ time.
Addressing Pain and Inflammation
ME Plastic Surgery’s patients receive supplements and medication before, and after their lip lift. In addition, after their upper lip surgery patients receive anti-inflammatory medications and ice. Patients are encouraged to perform cryotherapy (i.e., cold therapy) treatments at home because it helps reduce inflammation.
The cryotherapy treatment:
- Patients should gently place an ice pack or, preferably, a frozen gel pack, that is wrapped in a cloth on the area that is inflamed. Gel packs can be purchased at the local pharmacy.
- This ice pack can remain in place for up to 20 minutes.
- This procedure can be repeated several times a day.
Directly after their upper lip surgery patients will see preliminary results. Their final results become evident approximately two to three months after their lip lift in Atlanta.
The tiny scar is hidden well and becomes even less visible as time passes.
Following a Lip Lift in Atlanta Patients Enjoy a Natural-Looking Final Result
After four to six weeks have passed, most of the inflammation has subsided and the patient’s lips will be nicely shaped, and look completely natural.
Experience, Skill and Dedication Are the Keys to a Beautiful, Natural-Looking Lip Lift Result
As long as the plastic surgeon takes the patient’s facial measurements and particular face type into consideration while performing upper lip surgeries, the surgeon can create the patient a natural-looking, well-balanced result.
After their lip lift, Dr. Gabriele Miotto and Dr. Felmont Eaves’ patients enjoy facial balance as well as fuller, more beautiful lips.
Facial rejuvenation procedures that are frequently performed at the same time as a lip lift include:
- Lip fillers.
- Eyelid surgery (upper and lower).
- Chemical peels for skin resurfacing.
- Facial fat grafting.
After about a week, patients can return to their normal activities. However, to ensure most of the residual swelling has diminished, patients need to wait at least eight weeks before they commit to any major social events.
Since every patient is unique, determining which patients will experience more swelling and excessive bruising is impossible.
Important Preoperative Information from Dr. Miotto and Dr. Eaves
There are several products that patients must avoid before their upper lip surgery:
For a week to 10 days before upper lip surgery taking aspirin or any product that contains aspirin (e.g.,Alka Seltzer®, Bufferin® and Bayer®) must be avoided.
For at least five days before upper lip surgery patients should avoid taking NSAIDs. NSAID medications include Motrin®, Ibuprofen and Aleve®. If a patient needs to take a pain reliever during this five-day time span, he or she can use non-aspirin (aka Tylenol® or Acetaminophen).
Patients with questions about medications they are taking should call the office at (404) 850-5851.
Ten days before upper lip surgery patients must stop taking vitamin E. In addition, patients must discontinue taking herbal supplements.
Do Not Drink Alcoholic Beverages
Since alcohol can increase the incidence of inflammation, patients need to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages for at least a week before and a week after their upper lip surgery.
Do Not Use Products That Contain Nicotine
At least four weeks before and four weeks after a lip lift, patients must stop using products that contain nicotine. These products include e-cigarettes, traditional cigarettes, nicotine patches, chewing tobacco, nicotine gum, etc.
The Dangers of Using Nicotine Containing Products Before and After Surgery
Following the no nicotine recommendation is extremely important because nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it causes the blood vessels to contract. Since this contraction makes the blood vessels smaller, it takes longer for the blood to reach the wound, which slows healing.
Slower healing increases the patient’s risk of developing an infection, experiencing open wounds and necrosis (i.e., tissue death).
Will Upper Lip Surgery Leave Visible Scars?
If the plastic surgeon who performs the patient’s upper lip surgery has a good surgical technique, there will just be a fine line hidden within his or her nose crease. As long as the patient protects this incision from UV rays and uses an effective scar treatment, the visibility of the scar diminishes substantially within six months’ time.
Recovery Recommendations from Dr. Miotto and Dr. Eaves
Following any facial procedure Dr. Miotto and Dr. Eaves recommend that patients use several pillows to keep their head elevated.
Use Recommended Scar Treatment
After the patient has his or her postoperative evaluation, Dr. Miotto will recommend a scar treatment to help the patient’s scar diminish faster.
Do Not Expose Surgical Incisions to UV Light
Patients must avoid exposing their surgical incisions to the sun until all the inflammation has dissipated and bruising is no longer present.
Diet: Foods That Are Easy to Digest
Directly following a lip lift, the plastic surgeons at ME Plastic Surgery in Atlanta, recommend that patients consume a diet full of easily digestible foods.
Avoid Foods That Are High in Sugar and Salt
Patients should avoid consuming foods that are high in sugar. Furthermore, since salt causes water retention patients should avoid eating foods that are high in salt. Disregarding this recommendation could lead to the patient experiencing more inflammation, which could result in additional pain.
Consume Healthy Proteins
Patients need to eat healthy proteins, such as canned tuna, lean meats, natural peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt and eggs as well as softer fruits, rice, and cooked vegetables. Eating these foods will provide the body with the nutrients it needs as it heals.
How to Prevent Pain Medicine Induced Nausea
Before taking medication, patients should eat some food. Otherwise, they may experience nausea, which is a side effect of many pain medications.
Reasons to Stay Hydrated
Flush Out the System and Reduce Inflammation
Staying well-hydrated following any surgical procedure, including upper lip surgery, is essential because water helps flush out the system and reduces inflammation.
Prevent the Constipation that Pain Medications Can Cause
Many pain medications cause constipation, which can lead to abdominal bloating and an overall feeling of being unwell. Drinking a lot of water and low-sugar sports drinks can help prevent this side effect.
Dr. Miotto and Dr. Eaves believe that keeping the lines of communication open with their patients is an important aspect of the patient / surgeon relationship. Therefore, after a patient has upper lip surgery, he or she is encouraged to keep the follow-up appointments because Dr. Gabriele Miotto and Dr. Felmont Eaves like to closely monitor their patients as they heal. This close monitoring ensures that each patient achieves the best results possible.
Final Upper Lip Surgery Results
The objective of any aesthetic surgery or cosmetic procedure is not necessarily to achieve perfection, but to enhance the patient’s natural features. By keeping this in mind, patients can have realistic expectations in relation to their final results.
From Start to Finish — Comparing the Patient’s Photos
At ME Plastic Surgery, Dr. Felmont Eaves and Dr. Gabriele Miotto enjoy documenting their patients’ aesthetic changes with photographs. Once a patient’s healing is complete, the doctors and patients view these photos together.
Potential Risks and Complications of Upper Lip Surgery
All surgical procedures have risks.
Risks associated with upper lip surgery include:
- An allergic reaction to medications used during the lip lift procedure.
- Poor wound healing.
- Blood loss.
- Nerve damage.
How Much Does Upper Lip Surgery in Atlanta Cost?
Every patient is unique, which is why Dr. Eaves and Dr. Miotto create each patient a customized treatment plan. To determine how much upper lip surgery will cost a particular individual, he or she must be evaluated during an initial consultation.
For years, Dr. Felmont Eaves and Dr. Gabriele Miotto have been helping people enhance their facial features with surgical and nonsurgical procedures.
If you are in or nearby Atlanta, or planning to visit, and you would like to learn more about the lip lift procedure, please call (404) 850-5851 to make an appointment. ME Plastic Surgery’s address is 3200 Downwood Circle Northwest, Ste 640 in Atlanta.
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