A lip lift is a cosmetic procedure that shortens the space between the top of the lip and the nose. This surgical procedure aims to ensure that more of the pink lip tissue is visible.

A lip lift is a cosmetic procedure that a plastic surgeon performs. There are several different types of lip lift that a person can choose that provide different results.

This article discusses what a lip lift is, the different types of lip lifts, their costs, and potential complications.

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Research shows that people often find those with fuller lips more attractive. Many people wish to alter the appearance of their lips to achieve a certain look.

There are various cosmetic treatments available for people to alter the appearance of their lips.

A lip lift is a surgical procedure that shortens the space between the nose and the top lip. The name for this part of the face is the philtrum.

This procedure aims to eliminate thinness in the upper lip. It is a permanent treatment that a plastic surgeon carries out.

During the procedure, a surgeon makes an incision around the base of the nose or above the lip. They then remove a small amount of skin and lift the lip upward toward the nose, securing it in place.

This procedure causes the lip to have a larger height and creates a more visible pout.

Lip augmentation is another procedure that is an alternative to a lip lift. It involves a plastic surgeon injecting the lips with a filler. This substance three-dimensionally restores the natural contours of the lips.

Lip augmentation procedures have grown substantially in popularity in recent years.

According to the 2017 American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics report, surgical lip augmentation has increased by 5% since 2016 and 60% since 2000.

There are various types of lip lifts that use different techniques. Below are some of the most common types of lip lift.

Direct lip lift

To perform this procedure, a plastic surgeon makes an incision on the edge of the upper lip. They then remove a section of skin roughly in the shape of a seagull in flight. This is why plastic surgeons sometimes refer to the procedure as a “gullwing lip lift”.

The surgeon then pulls the lip upward and secures it in place.

To undergo this procedure, a person must have enough excess skin in the area so that the lift can be effective.

It is worth noting that scar tissue at the incision location can sometimes be difficult to hide without cosmetics.

Subnasal bullhorn

This lip lift requires a plastic surgeon to remove excess skin beneath the nostrils. The surgeon removes the skin roughly in the shape of a bull’s horns, which is where the procedure gets its name.

The surgeon makes a small incision beneath the nose and lifts the skin upward, anchoring the tissue in place. This pulls the lip upward and can cause the colorful portion of the lip to roll outward to create a more pout-like shape.

Corner lip lift

If the corner edges of a person’s lips curve downward, they may be suitable for a corner lip lift.

For this procedure, the surgeon removes small triangular portions of skin above each outward corner of the person’s mouth. They then lift the lip upward and anchor it in place.

This procedure causes the lip to lift upward at the corners, which can make them appear more youthful and less downturned.

Italian lip lift

This procedure is similar to a bullhorn lip lift.

However, as opposed to one long incision, the surgeon will make two small incisions below the nostrils. These incisions appear as two small crescent shapes.

The surgeon then pulls the skin upward and anchors it in place.

This procedure is more subtle and may be suitable for people who want fewer visible scars.

A lip lift is an option for people who wish to make their lips appear thicker and fuller.

A lip lift may be a viable option for older people who wish to reduce the space between their upper lip and nose. This space can increase with age, which can cause a person’s lips to appear thinner.

If a person has had lip fillers but is not satisfied with the look they have achieved, they may consider a lip lift. It is also a suitable alternative to people who feel that lip fillers may cause their lips to look unnatural.

Lip lifts also make a good permanent alternative to lip fillers, which are temporary and require regular upkeep.

If a person does not have a suitable amount of space between their nose and upper lip, they may not be suitable for a lip lift.

A person should consult a plastic surgeon to determine if they are a good candidate for the procedure. As with all surgical procedures, individuals should stop smoking any tobacco products, if necessary, and be in good health.

A lip lift is a surgical procedure. There are several factors people should consider before undergoing the procedure.

A person may want to ask the surgeon some questions to find out the following information:

  • What is the recovery process and time?
  • What should I do after leaving the hospital?
  • How can I avoid an infection after surgery?

Before surgery, a person may also wish to consider:

  • Stopping smoking: A person may wish to stop smoking in the weeks before their surgery. Smoking can affect the local anesthetic and impair wound healing.
  • Refraining from alcohol: A person may also wish to avoid alcohol for 48 hours before their procedure.
  • Avoiding blood thinning medications: A surgeon may also advise a person to avoid ingesting aspirin or medications that act as blood thinners for up to 14 days before the procedure.

Before the lip lift begins, the surgeon may draw their incision line on the person’s face. They will then receive a dose of local anesthetic via an injection to their philtrum.

During the procedure

The surgeon will make an incision and remove a small piece of skin from the person’s philtrum during the procedure. The incision location depends on which specific type of lip lift the person has.

They will then lift the lip upward and secure it in place.

Once the procedure is complete, a person should treat their mouth with care to allow it to heal properly.

A cosmetic surgeon may then advise:

  • resting for 24 hours after the procedure
  • avoiding exercise for 7–14 days while the lip area heals
  • eating soft foods that do not require lots of chewing for a few days after surgery
  • avoiding hot liquids and salty foods for a few days after surgery
  • refraining from sleeping on the face and instead sleeping on their back with their head elevated
  • avoiding strenuous activities and lifting heavy items
  • taking care not to open the mouth too wide to keep the sutures intact
  • brushing teeth carefully and maybe using a child’s toothbrush
  • rinsing the mouth after each meal and cleaning the incisions with diluted hydrogen peroxide
  • moisturizing the lips using Vaseline, Carmex, or other lip balms, for up to 3 weeks after the procedure

A lip lift is a surgical procedure. All cosmetic surgery has some possible complications.

Complications of cosmetic surgery include:

  • hematoma and bruising
  • nerve damage
  • scarring
  • blood loss
  • infections
  • complications with anesthesia

Lip lifts that are not correcting congenital disabilities or reconstructive surgery after an injury are elective cosmetic procedures. Insurance companies do not cover these procedures.

The cost of a lip lift can vary depending on a number of factors, including:

  • the type of lift
  • skill level of the surgeon
  • location of the surgery
  • any additional augmentation techniques included

According to Aesthetic Edit, lip lifts cost somewhere between $2,000–5,000.

It is important that a person chooses a surgeon that is qualified and accredited by a professional board, such as the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

People may wish to use an online tool to locate a qualified plastic surgeon near them.

A lip lift is a cosmetic procedure that changes the appearance of a person’s lips.

A plastic surgeon removes a small piece of skin between the top of the top lip and the nose before pulling the lip upward and anchoring the skin in place.

This can eliminate thinness in the upper lip and cause the lip to have a larger height and a more visible pout.

This is a safe procedure, though some possible complications include scarring, infections, nerve damage, and blood loss.

A lip lift will cost somewhere between $2,000—5,000.