The mouth is one feature of the face that draws a lot of attention as its shape and form are directly impacted by interactions. With the lips, a person speaks and relays emotions through facial animations. It is also the mouth that displays some of the first signs of aging, such as lines in and around the lips, as well as the condition of the teeth. A less commonly addressed part of the mouth can also reveal age: the position of the upper lip in relation to the nose. When the distance from the lips to nose becomes greater over time, a person’s face can appear elongated, and even distorted. The attractiveness of the nose and thickness of the lips is lessened by the space between the two landmarks.

A solution to this issue is the subnasal lip lift, which is referred to by a number of other titles including the upper lip lift. One way to determine if a patient would benefit from this procedure is to examine the lips to see if the upper teeth are visible when the mouth is relaxed. If not, this may be an indication that the upper lip is not in an ideal position on the face. In addition to this simple test, a measurement from the nose to the upper lip that ranges from 12-15 mm is considered by most facial plastic surgeons to be a distance that leads to an attractive face.  

Though the lips can be altered with cosmetic injections to decrease this span of skin, it is a temporary fix. Fillers do not address the excess skin, but rather camouflage it by increasing the size of the upper lip or both upper and lower lips. A more permanent alteration includes a minor facial plastic surgery procedure that is commonly performed in one of two different ways. With the less common technique, an incision is created just above the upper lip. A thin strip of excess skin is surgically removed, and the incision is sewn shut. More commonly, and directly pertaining to the name subnasal lip lift, an incision is created under the columella, spanning the two nostrils. A thin strip of skin is removed, and the incision is sutured closed. Though scarring may be visible for some time following each version of the lip lift, the subnasal lip lift creates more discreet results. Dr. Batniji prefers to perform the procedure employing this method.

Dr. Batniji is a board certified facial plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, California. His specialties include both surgical and non-surgical procedures aimed at improving a person’s looks, self-esteem, and the functionality of the features. Call his office at 949-650-8882 to schedule a consultation or read more about lip reshaping.