Is a lip lift a better choice than an implant for aging lips?

I am 58. I had my face lift done six months ago and feel fantastic. The one thing I don't like is the flatness and length of my philtrum.

Doctor Answers 4

Lip lift versus implant

In general a lip lift aims to shorten the distance between the nostril and the red part of the lip.  This will not make the philtrum fuller but it will definitely decrease the length.  If the lips are sill need more fullness, fat grafting could be combined with this lip lift.  If the corners of the mouth are already angled downward than this could be made worse with a lip lift and may need a corner mouth lift in addition to a lip lift.


San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Lip lift candidacy

In order to answer your question, a proper physical exam is necessary. A lip lift will decrease the vertical height between your nose and lips. It does not necessarily add volume to your lips. If you desire more red lip augmentation, then fillers or implants are a better option. Often times, patients benefit from both a lip lift and lip augmentation using fillers, implants, fat, etc. In general, the lip lift is a simple and excellent surgical option that can be done under local anesthesia. The subnasal lip lift preserves the delicate anatomy at the lip border, and improves the red to white lip ratio in a predictable fashion. In experienced hands, lip lifts heal extremely well and, if performed properly, should end up as an unnoticeable line at the base of the nose. Fillers are often inappropriately used in isolation to increase the vertical height of the red lip, and may result in the now often seen ‘‘duck lip.’’ In order to determine if fillers or a lip lift (or both) are best for you, a proper physical exam is necessary by a board certified facial plastic surgeon.

Sahar Nadimi, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Lip lift or lip implants?

Thank you for asking about your lip lift.
  • I am so glad you are happy with your face lift results.
  • You probably need a lip lift, since the upper lip lengthens with age.
  • This will improve the apearance of the philturm.
  • But an exam is needed to be sure -
  • At times, women need both a lip lift and lip implants for the look they want.
  • If you need a lip lift, have it done first.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Lip Lift Or Implant - What Will Fix The Flatness Of My Lip & The Length Of The Philtrum?

The short answer to your question is that a lip lift will cure only one half of the problem.  
A lip lift done with darts over the nostril sill into the base of the nasal cavity, a technique first described by Steve Hoefflin MD of Santa Monica, California, will give the best lift and shortening of the philtrum with little to no scarring.  Dr. Hoefflin's technique also included the use of the excised lip tissue (minus the skin of course) to be made into long, thin strips and placed in the upper lip to replicate the crista, the elevations on either side of the philtrum.  These crista give elevation to the upper lip, therefore getting rid of the aged, flat lip appearance.  
As far as a lip augmentation itself is concerned, this can be done at the same time as a lip lift with philtral crista.  This also obviates wrinkle on the upper and lower lips, again giving a more youthful appearance to the peri oral region.  

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.