What is a Surgical Lip Lift?

The lip lift is a cosmetic procedure that elevates the position of the upper lip through the removal of a small piece of skin, reducing the distance between the nose and the edge of the lip. The result is a fuller, contoured profile of the lip as it curls outward. Patients will typically request this type of procedure to achieve increased definition of the vermillion for a more youthful appearance.

Dr. Wiser has been performing lip lift surgery using the most advanced surgical techniques for natural looking results. The choice of lip lift varies depending on the patient's particular concerns about their appearance and Dr. Wiser will discuss the different types of lip lift procedure options available and recommend the one that best addresses those concerns.

How are Lip Lifts Performed?

The lip lift is an in office surgical procedure performed with local anesthesia. Dr. Wiser will make small incisions to remove a piece of skin from the philtrum, the area of the face that runs from beneath the nostrils to the edge of the upper lip. The lip lift procedure is designed to decrease philtrum length by extracting a piece of skin from this area.

Dr. Wiser will choose the location of the incision site based on the type of lip lift procedure that has been requested and to minimize the appearance of scarring. Each type of lip lift requires different incisions in order to achieve the desired results.

Types of Lip Lift Surgical Procedures

Dr. Wiser will recommend one of the following various methods for patients who are interested in having an upper lip lift procedure to address dissatisfaction with their appearance.


The Bullhorn Lip Lift

The Bullhorn lip lift also referred to as a subnasal lip lift is performed by making an incision under the base of the nose along the contour of the nostril on both sides, resembling the shape of a bull's horn. Placing the incisions directly under the nose can reduce the appearance of scarring. The length of the incision is determined by how much lift is necessary to achieve the desired results of the patient.

After the incisions are made, Dr. Wiser will remove a piece of skin to lift and enhance the upper lip to give it a sharper, more defined cupid's bow and enhance the appearance of the red portion of the lip while reducing philtrum length. The Bullhorn lip lift offers a younger, rejuvenated facial appearance to patients who are not satisfied with their relfection in the mirror.

Although these results are permanent, the aging process can alter the appearance of the upper lip area and additional surgery may be necessary in the future.

The Gullwing Lip Lift

The Gullwing lip lift is another type of cosmetic surgery that works to lift the upper lip in a smiliar fashion as the Bullhorn lip lift with the main differences being the location of the incision site and the shape of the incision. A Gullwing lip lift is performed by making the incision along the edge of the upper lip from one corner to the other.

After the incisions are made, the thin strip of skin is removed and the skin at the center part of the lip is pulled up to give the red portion of the lip more pronounced lift and contour. The likelihood of visible scarring is slightly more increased with the Gullwing lift but the scar can be easily concealed with makeup or facial hair grown along the upper lip.

The Gullwing lift is an ideal permanent solution for any patient who wants to reduce the appearance of a thin upper lip with a fuller, more voluminous profile while shortening philtrum length.

The Corner Lip Lift

The Corner lip lift is performed by making a small incision along the natural crease of the skin at the outer corners of the mouth to conceal any scars and ensure a natural-looking appearance. After the incisions are made, the skin is excised from the incision sites and the removed skin will cause each corner of the lips to become lifted to achieve the desired result.

This surgical procedure is ideal for patients who aren't satisfied with the appearance of their smile. Lifting the outer corners of the lips can reduce the signs of facial aging while restoring an even and balanced aesthetic to the lips. Your smile is an important part of who you are and no one should feel self-conscious about how they look when they smile.

This type of facial plastic surgery is also a permanent solution for addressing the effects of aging on your appearance and targets only this specific location around the mouth.


What to Expect During Recovery from Lip Lift Surgery

After Dr. Wiser has completed the surgery, it is normal to experience some swelling and bruising around the mouth and under the nose. The incisions will be closed with sutures and Dr. Wiser will give you detailed instructions on how to keep the incision sites clean to avoid infection and preventing any setbacks in the healing process. Many patients tend to feel a little soreness around the incision sites and Dr. Wiser will discuss pain management options to minimize discomfort.

Lip lift surgery is considered an outpatient procedure, however, Dr. Wiser will recommend that you take it easy for the first week or two after surgery and wait to resume normal activities. This includes avoiding any actions that could put undue stress or strain around the upper lip. You may need to temporarily change your eating habits until the swelling and bruising have completely subsided and the incisions are fully healed. This could take approximately two weeks in some cases, but keep in mind that every patient is different and recovery times may vary from one individual to the next.

Some patients may see their desired results sooner than later or it could take an extended length of time to notice a visible difference in the mirror. But you can rest assured knowing that once the healing process is complete, your lips will have the youthful, rejuvenated appearance that you expect.

Good Candidates for Lip Lift Surgery

Lift lip surgery can address many different concerns about your appearance. But the procedure may not be the ideal choice for every patient. During your initial consultation, Dr. Wiser will discuss your concerns and recommend options for correcting what you find dissatisfying about your lips, mouth, or philtrum.

The ideal candidate for a lip lift procedure may demonstrate one or more of the following attributes:

  • Your upper teeth are not visible without smiling.
  • Your upper lip hangs too low over the lower lip.
  • You want fuller lips without the use of lip fillers
  • You are dissatisfied with the distance between the nose and your upper lip
  • You feel that your upper lip is too long
  • The red portion of the lower lip is fuller than the upper lip.
  • You want more definition in your Cupid's bow.
  • The outer corners of the mouth appear to be turned down or frowning

Dr. Wiser will assess your facial appearance and discuss which procedure is best-suited for the shape of your face and achieving your desired results.