Surgical facial rejuvenation—whether facelifting, blepharoplasty, or lip lifting—is a big component of our practice, and it is a powerful tool to rejuvenate one’s appearance. Having fuller looking lips, and lips which align with a more harmonious facial appearance – these are the benefits of a lip lift. The surgical lip lift procedure shortens the too-long lip and allows for more show of the rep part of the lip, allowing for a more youthful and balanced facial appearance. Meticulous care in the post-surgical period is very important for a good outcome with lip lift surgery, and our facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Inessa Fishman, recommends the following for maximizing lip lift recovery:
1. Follow Our Post-Treatment Instructions Carefully
We pride ourselves on close and detailed post-treatment care, and we strongly believe that a combination of following instructions and seeing our expert team for your post-operative care greatly contributes to good outcomes. Review your pre- and post-surgery instructions with your family and caretakers several times prior to treatment, and call us if you have any questions about them!
2. Expect Numbness, Itching, and Moderate Discomfort
Numbness within the skin above the lip and below the nose is common and resolves over several months (usually 2-3) after surgery, says Dr. Fishman. Itching is a common–and normal–symptom that goes along with numbness resolution. Although it may feel weird and unusual, do not play with the area or tug at the site of incision! This will prolong your healing time and may cause widening of the lip lift scar.
3. Take It Easy Within the First Few Weeks After Your Lip lift Surgery
The post-surgical physical recovery requires lots of energy, and many patients may feel fatigued and a bit “foggy” for a day or two after their anesthetic. Your immediate post-surgery recovery is a time to limit strenuous physical exercise and avoid undertaking large house-cleaning and organization projects. There will be time for that after you’re healed!
4. Stick to a Healthy, Nutritious Diet Before and After Surgery
The body needs both energy and high-quality nutrients to heal well. Give your body the excellent fuel it needs to function its best and help it recover from surgery, recommends Dr. Fishman.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking at least 6-7 glasses of water daily helps your system function optimally, prevents constipation (which is commonly seen after the use of strong pain medications), and enables you to feel your best.
6. Give Your Mind Time to Recover
Surgical procedures, elective surgery, and anesthesia can result in post-procedure “blues” for some patients. It is common for us to see some “buyer’s remorse” in patients who have been building up their expectations prior to surgery and are now faced with swelling, bruising, and the need for patience in their recovery. To overcome this, Dr. Fishman recommends going outside for frequent walks, listening to your favorite music, reading entertaining books and magazines, and catching up with your favorite TV shows. Anything that takes your mind off your physical recovery can benefit your mental recovery as well!
7. No Smoking, Please!
Nicotine, whether in vaping, patch, gum, or smoking form, significantly impairs healing by compromising blood supply. Nicotine use can lead to loss of skin, delayed healing, and bad scars. Dr. Fishman recommends stopping ALL nicotine use at least 6 weeks before surgery and abstaining for at least 6 weeks after your lip lift procedure.
8. Keep cool
The lips are very vascular and quite prone to swelling, says Dr. Fishman; and cool compresses are highly encouraged to help minimize swelling after lip lift surgery. Stay away from ice or solidly frozen compresses on the skin, as this may lead to frostbite. Stick to cool compresses consisting of a clean washcloth wrung out in ice water, or cool gel packs gently applied to the lips and surrounding skin.
9. Stock Up on the Vaseline
Dr. Fishman recommends frequent cleaning and moisturization of the incision during early lip lift recovery. Plain Vaseline or Aquaphor are great choices for moisturizing the incision and stitches during the initial healing period, and these are helpful for moisturizing the lips also. Having a thin layer of Vaseline or a similar bland ointment on the lip lift incision helps speed healing, keeps crusting to a minimum, and helps the lip lift scar heals in the best, most narrow manner.
10. Look Forward to a Positive Outcome
The lip lift procedure, like a lot of aesthetic surgery, requires an investment of your time, and mental and physical energy. With this in mind, it is important to focus on a positive outcome even in the setting of soreness, swelling, and all the various details and stages of healing. Numbness resolves, a firm and bumpy incision softens, and the lip looks soft and natural, with time.
Ready to Partner with a Facial Plastic Surgery Expert?
While recovery from lip lift surgery is a significant undertaking, the results for the right patient are worth it! Contact us to start your facial rejuvenation journey. Here’s to putting your best face forward!