To gain the best possible results from aesthetic surgery requires careful patient selection. Not all procedures are suitable for all patients, therefore it is impossible to offer anything other than very general advice before seeing a patient. It is certainly better to have no procedure than an inappropriate one. To undergo aesthetic surgery is a major decision requiring appropriate discussion and thought.
Cosmetic Procedures
Upper Lip Shortening

Over a period of time, particularly in women, the upper lip tends to get longer and the proportion between vermillion (pink area of the lip) and the white skin covered area changes in that the vermilion becomes relatively smaller.  In most relatively young individuals when the mouth is at rest and the lips slightly parted, 2-3mm of the upper central four teeth will be visible.  This is known as incisor show.  With lengthening of the lip this becomes obliterated. 

Upper lip shortening is a relatively simple procedure, which removes a small amount (generally 3 or 4 mm) of the upper lip beneath the nose.  This has the effect of shortening the white, skin covered area of the lip in proportion to the pink vermillion area of the lip so moving towards a more youthful proportion, rolls out the junction of the red and white part of the lip (white roll) to give a gentle “pout” associated with youth and restores incisor show.  The scar is hidden beneath the nose and is generally very well concealed.

When carried out in isolation, this procedure can be quite comfortably accomplished under local anaesthesia.  More commonly however, it is combined with other procedures such as, facelift, necklift, etc.  There is generally a single “running” suture, which is covered with antiseptic ointment and has no dressing.  There is little or no pain.  The suture is removed at 5-7 days after the operation.  Potential risks and complications are few.  The quality of a scar can never be guaranteed but in the face generally, scars tend to be fine, pale and flat when mature – this does take some months to achieve but because the scar is underneath the nose it is not obvious even when new. The risk of infection in the face generally is approximately 1:1,000. 

In summary, upper lip shortening is an effective, relatively simple procedure, to restore a more youthful appearance to the upper lip with a well concealed scar. It avoids the excessive “trout pout” appearance seen sometimes when fillers are used in this area.
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