Candidate for Upper Lip Lift?

I have no upper lip. I want to increase the size of my upper lip while decreasing the distance between my nose and my upper lip. Would a Lip Lift be a good option for me?

Doctor Answers 11

Lip lift: bull's horn, gull wing, corner lift? Lots of options but all involve scar. Is it worth it?

This camera view can be distorting and so it is hard to tell but you do appear to have a long upper lip.

It is important to have a dental evaluation because maxillo-facial conditions can contribute to this appearance.

Lip lifts vary and can use the bull's horn (immediately beneath the nose) or gull wing incisions (immediately above the lipstick line). The former may require a corner lift to avoid excessive lifting of the central potions of the lip. I generally prefer the former because it tends to leave a less noticeable scar. However, you must be willing to accept a visible scar if you proceed with the surgery. This is not a popular procedure for this reason.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Lip lift: bull's horn, gull wing, corner lift? Lots of options but all involve scar. Is it worth it?

I do a lot of lip lifts, but I prefer the scar under the nose. In my experience, it is practically invisible. In contrast, the gull wing scar above the lipstick line is practically always visible.

In my office, it is very easy for patients to make up their mind because my patient coordinator has had the procedure and the patients can see her as up close as they want. I have trouble seeing the scar, and some of my patients can't see it even looking up close.

For the corner of the mouth I prefer Botox injections to the Depressor Anguli Oris muscle, and if the patient is happy with the result, we can move to dividing the muscle (DAO release).

As far as the indications for an upper lip lift, if the distance between the nose and the upper lip is more than 1.8 cm you are a great candidate. Anywhere between 1.5 and 1.8cm I like to talk to the patient about goals, pros and cons, etc, as the gain is small.

Another way to evaluate is to gently part your lips or get slightly slack jawed. If your front teeth are not showing, you are a great candidate.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Candidate for Upper Lip Lift?

Thank you for your question. The Lip Lift procedure is performed to accentuate the size and/or shape of the upper lip by removing skin from the region underneath the nose. As the distance is decreased between the nose and the lip, the red lip is 'lifted'. In appropriate individuals, shortening this distance may impart or restore a more favorable balance to lips and face. To further increase the size of the upper lip beyond what is accomplished with a Lip Lift, a volumizing treatment may be used as well.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Subnasal lip lift has many benefits for the right individual.

An upper lip lift (aka subnasal lip lift) can yield unique benefits for someone with a long distance between the bottom of the nose and the upper lip (>1.5cm) and no dental show. The procedure removes skin & raises the lip towards the nose. This not only shortens the lip, but can reveal the upper teeth, and slightly augments the upper lip size, all producing a more youthful and attractive look.

The only caution is the scar is placed in a location that is difficult if not impossible to hide during the healing process. Eventually, however, it looks quite hidden and virtually invisible- so you'll probably need about 3 months to really "get there". It is worth saying the  results of a lip lift cannot be replicated by injectables or other procedures. In 15 years of doing them, I've found it to be a wonderful procedure for the right patients. 

If if you think you are a candidate, seek out a surgeon in your area who specializes in doing them- and have an honest discussion about the pros & cons. Good luck!

Randolph Capone, MD, FACS
Baltimore Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Lip lift candidate

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.

Upper Lip Lift Candidacy

Dear alh76,

Candidates for lip augmentation include: thin lips, wrinkled lips due to aging or smoking, asymmetrical lips or those in need of lip reconstruction.

A direct lip lift surgery removes  tissue directly from above the upper lip line border. The end result is a slightly raised effect.

A Subnasal Lip Lift is arguably the most popular method of lip lift surgery.This procedure is performed by removing a bit of skin tissue from underneath the nose.When the incision is closed, the removed tissue creates a slight lift in the upper lip.

The corner lip lift can help create a more uniform lip line post procedure. The corner lip lift uses tiny incisions above the outer corners of the mouth to subtly raise and even the overall mouth contour. This can prevent lip lift patients from winding up with a slightly downturned lip line.


Ross A. Clevens, MD, FACS

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Lip lift procedures in Los Angeles

A long upper lip may benefit from non surgical and surgical treatments to improve lip contour and aesthetics. These treatments range from lip volume enhancement to lip lift surgery. 


Dr. Karamanoukian 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Candidate for Upper Lip Lift?

Probably yes, upper lip lift, if well planned and performed, would produce a nice result.  Your question was asked four years ago... Did you do it?  If so, how are the results?

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Lip lift options

I do a good number of lip lifts due to post-rhinoplasty lengthening of the upper lip.  I find the sub-nasal bull horn scar to be the best incision when skin excision is needed.  The gull wing scar is not favorable and I tend to stay away from that incision.

Jay Calvert, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Upper Lip Lift

Regarding ; "I have no upper lip. I want to increase the size of my upper lip while decreasing the distance between my nose and my upper lip

It would take more than a single photograph with the lips at rest to definitively advise you if you are a good candidate for a Lip Lift. The operation works best in women who have a long upper lip (as you do) but who on smiling show little to no "white' ( IE no incisor show). If you fall into this category, you may benefit from a lip lift with the scar placed in the shadow of the lip-nose junction. The Upper lip volume could be increased with Restylane or Juvederm.

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 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.