Archive for the ‘Lip Lift’ Category

Lip Lift status for 2014 and beyond

Lip lifts for 2014

Patients often asked me what are the differences between a skin-only lip lift and my muscle hemming technique. To put it simply, longevity, scarring and nasal distortion.

Skin Only Lip Lift

Until the late 90′s, the only lip lift I knew how to do was the skin only type. I would perform this by excising a certain amount of skin below the nasal base and sewing the lower edge of the excision to the upper edge which happens to be the skin of the nose.  The only thing now supporting this entire weight of the upper lip (which happens to move millions of times a day, eating, kissing, expressing and speaking) is the freshly closed incision at the skin level.  One can imagine that this provides little support for all the action occurring around the upper mouth area.  Consequently, the longevity of the lip lift itself is lessened, the nostrils are more likely to be pulled downwards while the resulting scar is more likely to stretch and thicken.

The results of a skin-only lip lift. Notice the widdened scars, significant nostril distortion and recurrent long upper lip.

The results of a skin-only lip lift. Notice the widened scars, significant nostril distortion and recurrent long upper lip.

Muscle Hemming Lip Lift

After many years of observing the long-term results of skin-only lip lifts, I developed the muscle hemming technique.  By employing moderate principles of plastic surgery in which nip and tucks (such as a facelift) are improved by lifting and tightening the layers below the skin including muscle I have noted a significant benefit to my lip lifts in terms of scarring, longevity and less nasal distortion.  However, the recovery period was notably increased.  The muscle hemming technique involves placing slowly dissolvable sutures into the muscle layer below the skin and intern suturing that to the periosteum (lining) of the bone deep to the nose itself.  The lip lift is thus a solid one without relying on skin closure to achieve its  superior long-term results while lessening the chance of undesirable scarring and pulling around the nostrils.

Long upper lip with corner "apostrophe lips"

Long upper lip with corner “apostrophe lips”

After muscle-hemming lip lift. Note subtle nasal pull down and persistent nasolabial folds.

After muscle-hemming lip lift. Note subtle nasal pull down and persistent nasolabial folds.

Skin Flap Lip Lift

Which brings me to today.  For the last 3 years I have been employing a skin-flap technique which provides all the benefits of the muscle hemming technique but with half the recovery.  Suturing of the muscle is minimized in this technique but none of the longevity and superior scarring is sacrificed. The period of significant distortion and swelling has been halved from 2 weeks to less than 1.  Additionally, the results are “softer” in appearance with minimal to no distortion of the nostril area.

Patient with subliminal long upper lip with minimal upper toothshow

Patient with subliminal long upper lip with minimal upper tooth show

After skin -flap lip lift by Dr. Haworth of Beverly Hills. Notice significant improvement tooth show, natural shortening of the upper lip with minimal nasal distortion. Being a lip lift expert, he developed surgery during to further his evolutionary journey into perfecting the ideal upper lip lift. This new technique also produces softer results those from the skin-only at muscle-hemming  techniques.

After skin -flap lip lift by Dr. Haworth of Beverly Hills. Notice significant increase in tooth show and natural shortening of the upper lip with minimal nasal distortion. Being a lip lift expert, he developed this surgery to further his evolutionary journey into perfecting the ideal upper lip lift. This new technique also produces softer results those from the skin-only and muscle-hemming techniques.

Performing the modern lip lift with minimal-to-no-scarring and achieving a permanent beautiful result is challenging .  It requires attention to minute detail and appreciation of how the oral region plays a central role in facial harmony.  The vast majority of patients are thrilled with the subtle yet powerful results of this operation, but it has taken over 2 decades of  unwavering dedication and imagination to get this far.

Rhinoplasty – “Samurai Nostrils”?

As one of the leading rhinoplasty specialists in the United States, Dr. Randal Haworth continues to challenge himself to be the best he can be. By constantly questioning his results and asking himself how he can do things better, he feels he is subjecting himself to the highest quality assurance and delivering the best possible outcomes in plastic surgery .

Performing rhinoplasties are one of my favorite specialty since the nose place such a central role in the total harmony of the face. Consider it like one of the leading instruments in the orchestra. Though most plastic surgeons and patients alike obsess on nasal humps, wide bones as well as drooping, boxy, pinched and ill-defined tips and, of course, the width of the nostrils, little attention is paid to the actual shape of the nostrils. In other words, a surgeon should not only assess whether the nostrils are wide at their base, but also whether they are arched, pointy, thick or sigmoid in shape.

One of the most common and unflattering nostril shape is that of the “samurai nostril”. Look at the following two photographs and you will see what I mean.

Seven samurai

Another example of these flared nostrils that may look appropriate as a menacing sign but not a flattering one for beautiful woman

Flared nostrils of the nose before a rhinoplasty

A samurai mask manifesting the flared, aggressive shaped nostrils that are unappealing in a woman

There are a few ways to correct this but probably the most reliable is to harvest a “composite” graft from the hidden portion of one’s ear. This detailed surgery involves insinuating this graft between an incision made on the inside of the nose, corresponding to the actual width of the retracted portion of the nostril. This graft is then sutured into place with the skin side facing the actual inside of the nostril to maintain the continuity of it’s lining. One can lower the nostril about 3 to 4 mm with this technique. Of course, some resorption of the graft occurs so it is best to over-correct this.

Other techniques involve strategic V-Y plasties, which are essentially internal tissue rearrangements of the inner aspect of the nostril in order to lower its rim, cartilage grafts in the actual substance of the nostril to help correct pinched tips while lowering the rim and, finally, filler. These latter techniques, though successful to some degree, are not as effective as an ear “composite” graft.

Note the following two cases in which “composite” grafts were taken from the ear and placed within the nostril to lower them. Of note, simultaneous upper lip lifts to further enhance a feminine appearance were performed.

Preoperative transgender patient with retracted nostrils

Transgender patient was retracted nostrils, long upper lip and droopy corners of the lip

Transgender patient after composite grafts to lower the nostril rims and an upper lip lift with DAO release

Dr. HAWORTH performed a modified rhinoplasty by lowering the nasal arched “samurai” rims (nostrils) as well as an upper lip lift and DAO release to lift up the droopy corners of the mouth

Patient with a long upper lip and retracted "Samurai"nostrils after a previous rhinoplasty

Patient with a long upper lip and retracted “Samurai”nostrils after a previous rhinoplasty by  another surgeon

Dr. Haworth performed an upper lip lit along with nostril rim lowering and fat transfer to the lips

Dr. Haworth performed an upper lip lift along with nostril rim lowering via a composite graft from the ear. Fat transfer was also performed into the upper and lower lips. Notice the more feminine harmony

 

 

 

The Bulbous Nasal Tip In Rhinoplasty

Dr. Haworth of Beverly Hills gained much of his advanced experience as both a primary and revision rhinoplasty specialist back in the Middle East. He performed literally hundreds of nose jobs there on patients from all walks of life. One of the most common complaints there are boxy and bulbous nasal tips.

What constitutes a bulbous nasal tip?

The bulbous nasal tip is most likely caused by thick alar cartilages (see accompanying diagram)and/or alar cartilages that are splayed out instead of shaped in a neat triangular formation.

beverly hills nosejob, beverly hills rhinoplasty
This anatomic situation can be exacerbated by a thick layer of oily, sebaceous nasal tip skin. Think of the latter as a sleeping bag as opposed to a thin silk sheet., draped over delicate structures

How does an experienced plastic surgeon correct the thick bulbous nasal tip during a nose job?

In my hands, I prefer performing a rhinoplasty utilizing an “open” approach because it affords me vital binocular vision so I can assess up to half-a-millimeter asymmetries that otherwise I would would be unable to appreciate utilizing a closed approach. The closed approach is one where the incisions are solely confined to the inner rims of the nostril, whereas an open approach utilizes the same aforementioned incisions in addition to a small hidden incision below the columella (that fleshy partition that separate the left and right nostril). The open approach allows me to see both the left and right nasal tip cartilages simultaneously so that any maneuver I would perform on the other can be immediately assessed with its opposite counterpart. Sutures are meticulously placed in a strategic fashion in order to change the shape of the cartilages from a round convex shape into more of a triangular one which, in turn, will translate to a more refined, elegant nasal tip. Think of assembling a ship in a bottle via strings, so to speak. The rhinoplasty surgeon cannot just bend cartridges, he must utilize sutures in order to shape them. This is part of the stock-in-trade of nasal tip/nasal cartilage manipulation.

beverly hills nosejob, beverly hills rhinoplasty beverly hills nosejob, beverly hills rhinoplasty
Of course, some cartilage is removed as the surgeon sees fit. The importance of not being too aggressive cannot be overemphasized since doing so could result in an unsightly “pinched tip”. Finally, it is more often than not necessary to “defat” the under surface of the thick sebaceous nasal skin that would accompany such a bulbous tip. This allows the thick “sleeping bag” to redrape more fluidly over the newly reconstructed nasal cartilages.

Swelling of the nose may take many months to even a couple of years to fully disappear. This does not mean that the patient would not enjoy the effects of a rhinoplasty before then. It is just that the skin can remain slightly swollen for prolonged periods of time. The last area for swelling to dissipate is at the nasal tip area. So even though great of a 95% of my patients love their nose at the 21st day postoperatively, some will say that they would like their nasal tip to become further defined. I may either inject some Cortizone underneath the skin to turbocharge the swelling to go away quicker or just recommend patients. Sometimes that’s the hardest thing for inpatient to digest.

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See the following example:

beverly hills nosejob, beverly hills rhinoplasty
BEFORE AFTER
beverly hills nosejob, beverly hills rhinoplasty
Bulbous nasal tip with long upper lip and facial atrophy After a rhinoplasty (tip plasty), upper lip lift and complex facial fat transfer

Another example of an isolated bulbous tip with thin skin:

beverly hills nosejob, beverly hills rhinoplasty
A classic bulbous tip with rather thin skinAfter a tip plasty utilizing suture cartilage molding as well as cartilage reduction. After a tip plasty utilizing suture cartilage molding as well as cartilage reduction, Note the smooth nasal tip contour without any distracting shadowing.
beverly hills nosejob, beverly hills rhinoplasty
Patient with a Bulbous tip
and thin skin coverage
After tip plasty/rhinoplasty

5 years after rhinoplasty, facial fat transfer and upper lip lift

The Tricky Rhinoplasty and Upper Lip Lift Combination Surgery

While many surgeons feel uncomfortable with performing an upper lip lift, let alone one simultaneously with a rhinoplasty, it can be safely done. The concern revolves around the fear of losing vital blood supply to the columella (the fleshy straight partition that exists between the nostrils), because if the blood flow is compromised to this area then necrosis or loss of the columellar skin can result. This, in turn, can lead to a possible unsightly scar. If the nose job is performed through an endonasal or closed approach ( whereby all incisions are strictly confined to within the nose itself) there should be little concern for this. However, caution must be exerted when the rhinoplasty is performed with an open technique- one that involves making a scar across the columella in order to gain better access and therefore better visualization and control of the operation. In a normal open technique the incision is placed about halfway up on the columella. Since an upper lip lift necessitates making an incision at the base of the columella (where it joins with the upper lip), the incision needed for the open rhinoplasty can also be the same one- so the incision will be used for two different purposes.

Scar placement for rhinoplasty alone and in combination with an upper lip lift

The situation becomes more complicated, however, when a persisting scar stemming from a previous open nose job is present. In this situation, the plastic surgeon must carefully plan his incisions so as not to compromise the blood supply. More often than not it is safer to keep the upper lip lift incision separate from the rhinoplasty’s in these revision cases.
The planning becomes even more critical when the nostrils need to be narrowed during the nasal aesthetic surgery ( Weir excisions). Not only does the upper lip lift need to be blended well onto the columella, but it also needs to be conformed to a freshly narrowed nasal base, with minimal undesired tension across the final scar ( which can increase the chance of it being noticeable). Intricate surgery along with an intimate knowledge of the regional anatomy and the biophysics of an upper lip lift are key ingredients to a beautiful outcome in this combination surgery. Following are two examples of before and afters of this combo surgery.

To view more upper lift results go to:http://www.drhaworth.com/procedures/upper-lower-lip-lifts/

Patient 1.Preop: 52 year old female

After Rhinoplasty with Weir excisions, Upper lip and corner Lip Lifts along with a lower V-Y plasty

Note the improved visual interplay between the nose and upper lip along with youthful tooth show and narrower oral span.

Patient 2.Preop: 35 year old. Note lack of upper tooth show and nasal tip disharmony

Postop after Rhinoplasty, upper lip lift, lower V-Y platy and lip fat transfer