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Is There a Way to Shorten the Area Between the Nose Base and Upper Lip?

Help!  I always notice that having a short distance from the base of the nose to the upper lip is a definitive youthful look (especially in women).  Women with a long space between their nose and lips look older, sever and masculine... just out of balance and unharmonious.  Can someone please, please tell me what nose surgery procedures are available to achieve this look?  Also, how noticeable would the scars be with something like this?  Thanks!

Doctor Answers 7

Lip shortening can be done

A lip shortening procedure is performed by removing a sliver of skin below the nose, hiding the scar in the shadow at the junction of the nose and upper lip. While this removes some of the skin of the upper lip and does actually shorten it, you will want your plastic surgeon to evaluate the position and form of your upper teeth and gums- together considered your upper jaw.

What you don't want is to raise your lip so much that too much of your teeth show with smiling or at rest- this would certainly be something that you would not be happy with. The vast majority of patients with your concern are candidates for simple lip shortening, but you want to make sure you get a good, comprehensive exam with a qualified plastic surgeon!

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Lip Lift shortens space between nose and top of lip

The long space between the base of your nose and the top of your upper lip can be shortened with a Lip Lift.  The incision is well hidden at the base of the nose.  This procedure restores the upper lip to a more youthful position.  I love doing this procedure because it makes such a big difference. The procedure only takes 90 minutes and it is performed under Local Anesthesia.

Many people are not aware that the Lip Lift Procedure even exists! It is common for people to instead think they need fillers, or Lip Augmentation.   However, often times, the main problem is that the elongated space makes the top lip sag and look thinner. Once the length of the space is shortened a tiny bit,  it gives the entire face a more youthful appearance. 


Please read more about the Technical Description of a Lip Lift and watch my video below.

Ricardo L Rodriguez

Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

There are many ways to make this part shorter

You can do a lip lift which raises the lip; but this requires an incision under your nose and a scar there. The other way is to plump up the lips from inside to create a pout and raise the upper lip higher towards to the nose. Knowledge on how to do this in a beautiful way and make it look natural is important.

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

There are acutally lip shorteniing procedures for this...

There are acutally lip shorteniing procedures for this condition. An incision is made along the lower border of the nose and the upper lip and a strip of excess skin from the upper lip is removed. The scar is hidden in then atural crease below the nose.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Lip shortening to decrease distance between nose and lip

Lip shortening is a common procedure to decrease the distance between the nose and upper lip.  An incision is made at the base of the nose in the creases.  A small amount of skin is removed to give you a youthful look.   This gives your lip a nicer look, also.  This procedure can be done as an outpatient and many times in an office setting.  It is a very safe procedure.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Lip lift reduces upper lip length from nose and restores youthful look.

Lengthening of the upper lip occurs with age, and is corrected by excising skin just under the nose. Although this leaves a "scar" on the face, it usually heals quite well, and also helps the upper lip "turn out"  when done in a manner to do so.

Debra Irizarry, MD
Crestone Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Upper lip can be shortened by plastic surgery.

The incision and resultant permanent scar for this procedure is at the base of the nose as it joins the lip. The entire lip can be raised with this operation, and the scar generally fades quite nicely in the majority of individuals. This is not a common operation for many surgeons, and I have been pleasantly surprised at the degree of improvement and overall satisfaction of the patients for whom I have performed this procedure. It can be done under local anesthesia, and is not expensive, but it is not reversible. Patient education and selection is critical, in my humble opinion!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 169 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.