Post-Op Care for Lip Lift Surgery: Essential Steps for a Successful Recovery

By Dr. Christopher Cote and Dr. Nicolette Picerno on June 6, 2024 under LipLift

Post-Op Care for Lip Lift Surgery: Essential Steps for a Successful Recovery

Full, symmetrical lips are often desired by both men and women for an aesthetically pleasing appearance. Whether you were born with a thin upper lip or feel that your lips have become thinner with age, a lip lift may be an effective solution. Read on to learn more about this procedure and the essential steps to take for successful results.

What is a Lip Lift?

A lip lift is a surgical procedure performed to reduce the space between the nose and the lips. It creates more defined and youthful-looking lips without the use of fillers or implants to increase volume. A lip lift can be performed to change the appearance of the lips by adding the appearance of volume to the upper lip, reversing a down-turned lip corner, covering exposed upper teeth, or eliminating lines caused by aging.

There are various surgical techniques that can be used to achieve a lip lift. The best way to determine which technique is right for you based on your individual aesthetic goals is through a consultation with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon.

What to Expect Following a Lip Lift

If you are considering a lip lift procedure, you may have questions about what to expect during the recovery period. We have outlined the process below.

Managing Discomfort

Because the lips and the area around them are tender, there may be some mild discomfort following a lip lift. However, the majority of patients tolerate discomfort well with the use of NSAID medications and Tylenol.

Caring for the Treatment Site

Lip lift care is fairly simple. The treatment site is located at the junction of the skin of the lip and the skin of the nose. It is important to keep the wound clean with gentle soap and water twice a day. Because the wound is close to the nose, which contains mucus and bacteria, we also recommend a gentle saline rinse to keep the nose clean. Additionally, the wound should be covered with an antibiotic ointment. Our team will provide you with specific aftercare instructions following your procedure.

As with any surgical procedure, it is vital to watch out for signs of infection during the healing process. These signs include unusual bleeding from the edges of the wounds, redness, drainage, pus, or increased pain in a localized area. If you experience any of these symptoms, please reach out to our practice right away.

Scar Care

While wound care is key to beautiful results, scar care is also an important part of achieving desired outcomes. Scar care can be started once crusting and inflammation of the wound clears, which typically takes 1-14 days.

A topical scar gel may be recommended to fade scarring. At FacesFirst, we carry medical-grade scar gel such as SkinMedica. Silicone sheets may also be helpful in managing scarring. Additionally, there are many aesthetic treatments that can be performed to manage scarring, such as microneedling or laser treatments, if necessary.

During your lip lift consultation appointment, it is important to let your surgeon know if you have a history of keloids or hypertrophic scars. This allows your surgeon to take any necessary additional measures that may need to be taken.  For example, certain skin types may have a propensity to have abnormal scarring, and the treatment plan may need to be altered.

Swelling and Bruising

For about the first week, bruising and swelling are to be expected. Visible sutures will be removed after one week, after which scarring will temporarily become more visible. Due to the natural healing process, the scar will fade with time. Special makeup or tinted sunscreen can be used to camouflage scarring as it heals over the next weeks to months. At FacesFirst, we carry Oxygenetix makeup and tinted sunscreen by Alastin to help with your scar-healing journey.

Makeup, Eating, and Return to Activities

Following lip lift surgery, patients can resume their normal skincare routines as long as they avoid the wound. Because the muscles of the upper lip may be inflamed, patients may have to change what they eat for some time to minimize stress on the upper lip. Straws should be avoided, as should food or drinks that call for aggressive lip pursing or exaggerated chewing.

Activities that may irritate the surgical site further should also be avoided. This may include swimming, vigorous activity, and any activities that may involve a mask on the face, such as skiing. Patients should also avoid extreme weather exposure.

Long Term Outcomes

Regular follow-up appointments after lip lift surgery are needed to ensure proper healing. At FacesFirst, lip lift patients will return to the office after one week to have their sutures removed and after one month to ensure that healing is on track and to discuss scar management. A third follow-up visit may be required 6-12 months out to check on scar healing once more.

Overall, lip lift patients are often happy with their results when they take care of their wound and follow their surgeon’s aftercare instructions.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information regarding lip lift surgery, please contact FacesFirst Cosmetic Surgery. Dr. Cote and Dr. Picerno are proud to offer three convenient locations in Lone Tree, Castle Rock, and Denver. Our board-certified facial plastic surgeons are dedicated to providing top-notch care to patients in the Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Parker, and Castle Pines areas.