Best Lip Lift Procedure to Reduce Area from Nose to Lip?

My biggest expectation in getting a lip lift is to greatly reduce the area between the base of my nose and upper lip (while avoiding uneven nostril show), and I'm starting to have second thoughts about which type of lip lift procedure is best.  I'm not worried about a visible scar, I plan on taking good care of the incision and makeup covers quite a lot. So, what is the best type of lip lift procedure to achieve this?

Doctor Answers 20

Lip Lift:

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There are two general approaches to the lip lift

Most of the better (in my opinion) lip lift procedures place the scar at the just beneath the nostrils. There are various names for this but the general pattern of skin removal looks like a bull's horns.

However, caution must be used in the amount of lift, because too much will lift only the central portions of the lip (pursed appearance) without effecting the outer corners of the mouth. In a more mature (aged) individual this is frequently combined with a corner lift. In a younger individual this will cause too much scarring

The other approach is to place the scar directly above the red portion of the lip where a woman wound apply lip liner.

I discourage patients from choosing this because I feel it alters the normal border of the lip and will always require some form of makeup or permanent pigmentation (tattoo). The advantage is that you can selectively lift any portion of the lip (not just the central lip as described above) and essentially have the patient draw out the desired result. The red portion of the lip is then rolled upwards and can be somewhat apparent.

In either technique, unfavorable scarring may occur and the procedure should not be undertaken until you are willing to accept this risk,

I hope this helps.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Gull wing lip lift

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Often the lip-nose distance can be shortened with a gull wing lip lift.

This is a technically difficult procedure and exquisite care must be taken on closing the incisions.

It can be a powerful and wonderful procedure for the right patient. Or it can be a rabbit-like disaster, depending on how it is performed.

There are paradigms for knowing exactly where to put the incisions, how much (or little) to resect, and how to balance the lip overall, so a good group of before-after pictures is helpful once the patient has narrowed down their search to board certified plastic surgeons.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Lip lift if you must

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As I wrote on another question... I am not a fan of lip lifts. However if you have a very large space between your upper lip and nose it may be called for. I would do a gull wing incision under the nose. I always stay away from the lips which are much too beautiful a structure to mess up with an incision. Remember that scars are firmer than and less pliant than normal tissue. Make-up does not hide this aspect of the problem....thats why I prefer to go under the nose.

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Which lip lift is best?

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My usual preference is for the version that places the scar along the bottom of the nose because it is very well hidden there. When placed along the edge of the lip it can be a lot more obvious. Lip lifts are most often done on older patients to correct sagging, and it your case there may be other things to consider such as a condition called "vertical maxillary excess." What this means is that if the lip is shortened it may end up pulling your mouth into an always-open position because the height of the upper jaw is long. Of course I can't say for sure from the picture but a plastic surgeon should be able to give you good advice.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Lip Lift

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You are a great candidate and can expect great results. In general, when I recommend this procedure to patients they have never heard of the procedure, but afterwards they are very satisfied with the results. Looking at your photo, it appears that the distance between your nostril base and the vermilion border is over 2.5 cm. The ideal distance should be about 1.5 cm. I would place the incision under your nostrils and would try to make the distance near the 1.5 cm depending on other factors. The scar usually heals well and is not visible. I posted a photo on my gallery for you to see the scars and the results.

Lip Lifts

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I agree with other answers. Other factors to consider are the relationship of the nose to the white portion of the lip. If the nasal spine and columella are retracted the white portion of the lip may appear longer and this can be improved. In some patients, placing more emphasis on the red part of the lip, possibly with facial fillers, will help improve the white:red lip disharmony. I would tend to favor a graduated approach reserving an external incision as the end of the line therapy if other modalities do not produce a dramatic enough change.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Lip lift technique

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Thank you for your question and sharing your photo.  Lip lifts can be an extremely rewarding procedure that can increase the fullness of the upper lip, give you a little more lip show.  The amount of lift does depend on the starting length of the upper lip skin and the desired look afterwards.  The incision is hidden at the border of the upper lip skin and base of the nose and spans the width of the nose.  I perform these procedures under local anesthesia, but it can also be done with sedation or general anesthesia.  Good luck.

Best lip lift

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I chose the under the nasal sill area as a better lip lift and hidden scar area. All the posters have given you options. NEXT go see in person 3 boarded surgeons in your area.

From MIAMI Dr. B

Best lip lift scar

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Although this is not a procedure I perform frequently, the technique I use is the one that is resection right under the nose and nostrils.  It does a good job shortening the distance between the lip and nose while hiding the scar in a very favorable location.  I am not a big fan of the vermillion scar as I feel it can be too noticeable.  Good luck with your decision

Best Lip Lift Procedure

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First and foremost is a good clinical assessment of the patient's anatomy and smile with me mouth slightly open and conversational speech. You want to determine the amount of vermillion show and compare it to the lower lip. The goal is to have correct balance between the upper and lower lip as well. You also want to consider the patient's history of scarring. Generally speaking fair skin patients will have more predictable scarring. Once those things are taken into consideration the surgeon will try to assess the amount of lip lift needed. By manually lifting the lip the patient can give the surgeon a general idea of his or her goals. Once the procedure is started the anatomy is somewhat distorted because of the amount of local anesthesia infiltrated. The best procedure in my opinion is the so called Bullhorn Lift which also curves the incision around the base of the columellar portion of the nose. The scar is minimally visible afterwards and there should be no motor or sensory loss from the procedure. However, often times a corner lift procedure is needed because from the lift surgery there will be more vermillion or lip show centrally and without the corner lift laterally there will be lesser lip show.

Robert W. Sheffield, MD
Santa Barbara Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 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.