BY: Vartan Mardirossian MD FACS
Women – and especially young women – have had a fascination with their lips for decades. Thick, full, pouty lips are considered beautiful and sexy, and because many women want to be beautiful and sexy themselves, they seek surgical procedures, implants, and injections. However, while stars like Pamela Anderson (in the 90's) and Kylie Jenner (more recently) were proud of their lip fillers and injections, these days, it’s all about lip lift surgery.
Kylie Jenner & the Start of Something Big
If you spend any time at all on social media, then you’ve probably heard of, seen, and perhaps even tried the Kylie Jenner lip challenge. This involved using a glass or other household item to create a vacuum and resulted in thick, full, pouty (and unfortunately, sometimes bruised or worse) lips. Kylie Jenner revolutionized the inflated lip look and later admitted to using fillers to get her gorgeous pout, and she even created the Lip Kits signature line of products designed to make that pout beautiful.
It was pretty shocking when Kylie came forward about having her lip fillers dissolved despite her extraordinary results, and while she hasn’t yet had another procedure, she admits to having used products like Juvederm and Restylane in the past. There’s little doubt that Kylie is still just as beautiful as ever, and while her lips are still one of her best features, people want to know if surgery is on the horizon.
What You Need to Know about the Lip Lift
Unlike filler procedures which are considered minimally invasive, a lip lift is an actual surgery – but it isn’t up there with open heart surgery or even gallbladder removal. It’s actually quite a simple procedure that requires removing a small piece of skin just under the nose to help “pull” the top lip upward and create a pouted, fuller appearance. The lip rolls upward and outward with less skin between the lip and the nose. Lip lifts can cause scarring, and experts warn that many actresses and models have ruined their careers with this very procedure. It’s been around since the 1920's but comes in and out of vogue every decade or so.
Today, though, new procedures and technologies make lip lifts much less of a risk than they were back then. Scarring is minimal when the procedure is done by a capable and experienced surgeon on a patient who is a good candidate for that surgery. It’s important to keep in mind that lip lifts are only actually considered ideal for about 20% of the patients who want fuller lips due to inherent risks that surgeons cannot control on their own.
With all of this information in mind, the lip lift is a great procedure for certain patients, but for most, fillers remain the best option. Now that Kylie has dissolved her fillers, will she ask her surgeon for such a procedure, and if she does, will she be a candidate? Only time will tell, but there’s little doubt that men and women alike will continue to turn to fillers for lips, cheeks, and other facial areas to help them feel young and confident.
Note: Vartan is my doctor, business associate, and friend.