WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: This is the new rising cosmetic surgery – the Batman lip lift
It looks like the symbol for the caped crusader Batman - but actually this is one of the rising cosmetic surgery trends - the lip lift.
In fact, one cosmetic surgery clinic - London Bridge Plastic Surgery - have dubbed it the 'Batman Lip Lift.'
Forget pumping in fillers, it's all about hoisting the top lip upwards for a more youthful and fuller lip look.
Surgeons remove a bat-shaped piece of skin from the base of the nose in order to pull up the top lip - and the patient stays awake during the entire 45-minute surgical procedure!
London plastic surgeon Christopher Inglefield is seeing a steady rise of people going under the knife for the 'Batman Lip Lift'.
Ten times pricier than the average lip injection procedure, it'll set you back around £2,500, but a lip lift is a permanent solution, whereas fillers need topping up every three to six months.
The surgery is designed to prettify the mouth by shortening that gap between the top of the lip to the base of the nose.
So far, Mr Inglefield has performed over a hundred lip lifts and has recently seen increased demand for the procedure.
"As more people try lip fillers, many come to realise that they make a long upper lip look worse," he explains.
"So we are seeing increasing numbers of patients requesting an upper lip lift."
Mr Inglefield says the best candidates for this procedure are individuals who have a long upper lip which typically covers their upper teeth.
"It's suitable for young individuals who would like to improve their lip to nose proportions and also for older individuals whose upper lip has sagged with ageing," he adds.
Prior to surgery, patients have a thorough consultation with Mr Inglefield to discuss their concerns, goals and options.
On the day of surgery, patients are provided with a consent form to sign following meticulous marking of the planned lip lift area that has to be precisely confirmed with the patient. Antibiotics are given before a local anaesthetic is injected into the relevant region.
Mr Inglefield explains that the area will be numb after about five minutes and will stay that way for about three to four hours, giving ample time in excess of the 45-minute surgery.
The operation is carried out with the patient lying down in a strictly sterile environment with emphasis on skin cleansing, he explains.
"The marked skin to be removed is cut away and the tiny blood vessels are cauterised (to stop bleeding) before self-dissolving stitches are inserted, and very fine stitches used to close the skin," says Mr Inglefield.
Micropore tape is applied at the end. The skin stitches are removed after six days and during that time patients are asked to avoid very hot drinks to avoid bleeding to the treatment area and stick to soft food for the first week. It's fine to kiss following the procedure providing it's nothing 'strenuous' while the stitches are still in.
Patients can return to normal activity after two weeks.
As with any similar surgical procedure there is scarring, but Mr Inglefield stresses that the aim is to keep it to a minimum.
"Scars vary from patient to patient as everyone heals differently, but the majority of patients heal extremely well and the scar is largely hidden within the natural creases of the nostrils and columella (the bridge of tissue that separates the nostrils at the base of the nose.)
Those who have previously had lip fillers and felt disappointed by the result, are not barred from having the operation, Mr Inglefield re-assures.
"They will still be able to have this treatment," he says.