Indirect Lip Lift (ILL)

Definition - What does Indirect Lip Lift (ILL) mean?

Indirect lip lift (ILL) surgery is used to shorten the distance from the base of the nose to the upper lip by removing a small amount of tissue below the nose. This will lift a sagging lip to expose the front teeth during an open-mouthed smile. In some patients, a sagging upper lip results in “excessive incisor show” when smiling.

TheConsultation explains Indirect Lip Lift (ILL)

Indirect lip lift surgery is not conducted on the lip itself. Instead, the surgeon removes tissue from below the nose. The shape of the incision varies according to the preferred technique, but the “bullhorn” shape, in which the incision follows the shape of the nostrils and septum, is a common example of an indirect lip lift technique. The surgeon removes some tissue, lifts the lower portion of the incision to meet the upper portion and sutures it into place, lifting the lip.

A variation of the indirect lip lift, known as the intranasal lip lift, uses a variation of the bullhorn-shaped incision in which the surgeon uses flaps inside the nose to lift the upper lip. A further variation, known as the Italian lip lift, uses two separate incisions beneath each nostril. This is also known as the “double duck” lift. The thread lip lift, in which a square area from the peaks of the cupid’s bow to the nostril area is lifted with stitches, is less popular because results are temporary.

Although indirect lip lift surgery can be used on older patients, it is best suited to those who have a clearly marked vermillion border or transition between the color of the lips and that of regular skin. With age, the vermillion border becomes less clear, and better results can be obtained with a direct lip lift. Indirect lip lift techniques are most often used on patients under the age of 50 who want to shorten the distance between nose and upper lip.

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