Background: The subnasal lip lift is a surgical technique that elevates the “lip line” (interface between vertical maxillary incisor height and upper lip) to achieve a more youthful aesthetic. Objectives: The authors sought to offer the first ever definition, to their knowledge, of 3-dimensional (3D) changes to the upper lip due to subnasal lip lift. Methods: A lip lift procedure was performed (on cadaveric samples) in a sequential manner from 2.5- to 5.0-mm intervals (n = 13). 3D photographs were taken with the VECTRA H1 system (Canfield Scientific, Fairfield, NJ), and 3D analysis was performed including vermillion height and width, philtral height, sagittal lip projection, vermillion surface area, and incisor show. A subset of samples (n = 9) underwent a modification of the technique by undermining the upper lip subcutaneous tissue off the underlying muscular fascia. Results: Vermillion surface area (baseline range, 1.45-5.52 cm2) increased by an average of 20.5% and 43.1% with 2.5-mm and 5.0-mm lip lift, respectively. Anterior projection of the vermillion increased in all cases by an average of 2.13 and 4.07 mm at 2.5 and 5.0 mm, respectively. Philtral height decreased in all cases by an average of 3.37 and 7.23 mm at 2.5 and 5.0 mm, whereas incisal show increased on average of 1.9 and 4.09 mm, respectively. Conclusions: This study is the first to our knowledge to define the 3D morphometric changes to the upper lip following subnasal lip lift. Quantifying these changes aids the surgeon in preoperative planning and guiding patient expectations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas