A lip deformity can affect your overall appearance and cause you to feel embarrassed and self-conscious. Unfortunately, while cosmetics can go some way to improve the way that your lip looks, full function and the most natural appearance can only be achieved using cosmetic surgery.
Lip reconstruction surgery is a delicate procedure that should only be carried out by a skilled and experienced surgeon. This is because reconstruction that involves this area of the face can have an impact upon your ability to speak clearly and properly, as well as how you look. Lip healing and scar formation can be influenced by the activity of the facial muscles, and our cosmetic surgeon will speak to you about this and how you can minimize the risk of complications and adverse scarring.
The procedure itself is normally performed under local anesthetic, although sedation may be possible if you are anxious or nervous about the procedure. The surgery should be completed in under 90 minutes and you can expect to need to take around 10 days off of work while your lip heals and the bruising and swelling subsides.
When is lip reconstruction needed?
Lip reconstruction can be needed for a variety of reasons. Skin cancer is by far the most common cause of lip deformity and one of the leading cancers diagnosed in the United States. Studies have shown that as many as 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. If cancerous cells are detected in the lip region, surgery to remove that part of skin and soft tissue will almost certainly be required to ensure all traces of the disease are eradicated.
Other common causes of lip deformities that result in the need for reconstructive surgery include burn injuries, and impacts such as falls that result in the teeth going into/through the top or bottom lip.
It is important to note that some congenital deformities, such as cleft palate, can also necessitate reconstructive surgery of the lip. This is usually carried out when the patient is still a baby, and is a highly successful method of joining the tissues and creating the natural shape of the lip and nose.
Benefits of lip reconstruction surgery
It goes without saying that there are several important benefits to opting for lip reconstruction surgery. The first, of course, is that it can restore the appearance of your mouth so that it looks as it should. This is important for many people since it is virtually impossible to cover damage to this area. A soft, natural lip can help you look more attractive and feel more self-confident.
It surprises many people to learn quite how integral our lips are to the act of speech. We need to press them together to correctly and clearly form the sounds p, b and m. For us to make the sounds for f or v, we must bring our lower lip to the upper teeth, and to make a w sound we must move our lips closer together in a ‘pursing’ shape. Therefore, if our lips are in any way compromised, we may struggle to make these sounds succinctly. Lip reconstruction surgery can address this problem.
Kissing may not be an immediate priority for you, but for people in relationships, it is an importance part of being intimate with their partner. However, if you are self-conscious about the appearance of your lips then you may feel embarrassed about kissing or avoid it altogether. Even pecks on the cheek that you might normally give a child or relative may be off the cards. By reconstructing your lips, you can feel happier about the way your lips look and feel, enabling you to enjoy this activity with the one you love.
If you have further questions about lip reconstruction surgery, or if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your candidacy for the procedure, please contact our offices where our discreet and friendly team will be happy to help.