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The content on this page has been reviewed by NYC Lip Lift Surgeon Dr. Joseph Rousso

Lip lift procedures are a more permanent solution than fillers or implants. One of the main aims of a lip lift is to reduce the area between the upper lip and nose. This area is called the philtrum and can significantly impact on the overall appearance of the lips. When patients opt for a lip lift procedure, the goal is to achieve fullness and better definition. A secondary benefit of a lip lift is that the top front teeth show more than before, which may improve the aesthetics of the mouth.

Although the lips look fuller after a lift procedure, techniques result in more height as opposed to the volume achieved with other treatment options. There are several types of lip lift surgery, each of which will produce a different aesthetic. An experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon will make recommendations for lip lift procedures based on the facial anatomy of the individual patient.

Lip Lift Procedures

The border of the lips impacts on definition. A direct lip lift is a procedure that improves definition and results in more attractive facial symmetry. This procedure involves lifting the skin of the upper lip to make the vermillion, or pink area of the lips, more prominent. There is minimal scarring associated with a direct lip lift due to the initial removal of a small area of skin above the upper lip.

Many patients opt for a subnasal bullhorn procedure, making it a common type of lip lift. Rather than making an incision above the upper lip where scarring is more visible, the surgeon will make the incision just below the base of the nose. The incision technique resembles a bullhorn – hence the name. This lip lift solution allows the surgeon to stretch the upper lift toward the nose.

The incision in a central lip lift is performed at the lower nose. The desired outcome of a central lip lift is to reduce the space lying between the upper lip and nose. The results of this technique are close to a subnasal bullhorn. However, the plastic surgeon may suggest a central lip lift instead, depending on the shape of the patient’s face and facial features.

For patients who are all too familiar with being called grumpy, a corner lip lift is an effective solution. For a resting mouth that appears happier, the plastic surgeon will remove some skin from each corner of the lips. It is not uncommon for patients to opt for other lip lift procedures to compliment a corner lip lift.

With an Italian lip lift, there is less chance of visible scarring than with some other procedures. The technique used in an Italian lip lift involves two small incisions below both the nostrils. This is another procedure that has similar results to a subnasal bullhorn.

Suitable Lip Lift Candidates

Most patients who are old enough to opt for cosmetic surgeries can avail of a lip lift. Older patients are the most common demographic for procedures to decrease space between the lips and nose. However, younger patients may choose a lip lift due to confidence issues related to lip fullness or shape. Patients who have tried fillers and want a more permanent solution may choose a lip lift.

Before offering lip lift procedures as a treatment option, a plastic surgeon will consult with the patient. Medical history, smoking and other lifestyle habits may impact on the suitability of lip lift surgeries. The purpose of a consultation is to identify the most appropriate treatment and ensure that the patient is a viable candidate.

For better overall facial aesthetics, patients may opt to combine a lip lift with other cosmetic surgeries or treatments. A plastic surgeon will provide education on potential outcomes to help those patients make more informed decisions.


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