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 11

Lip shortening can be done

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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!

Lip Lift with a well-done subnasal incision is an excellent procedure for shortening a long upper lip

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Thank you for your question.  I absolutely agree with your statement that "Women with a long space between their nose and lips look older, severe and masculine".  A long, heavy or drapey upper lip can unattractively cover the upper teeth, at rest or even when someone smiles.  This long lip can be due to aging, due to stretching of the skin from years of dermal filler overuse, or even due to just normal genetics in a younger person.  

A lip lift surgery is an excellent solution for improving a long upper lip.  With good surgical technique, the incision is well-camouflaged in the crease where the nose meets the top of the lip, just under the nostrils.  Although it is always possible to have a visible scar, in our practice we have never had anyone complain about their scar.  In fact, the scar is usually difficult to detect at the one year visit or even after a few months. 

Best wishes and i hope that was helpful for you.

Lynn Chiu-Collins, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

There are acutally lip shorteniing procedures for this...

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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.

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

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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. With some time and maturation, the scars generally heal favorably and are not perceptible to most people.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

How to shorten the area between the mouth and nose

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Many thanks for posting your question. From what you describe, the procedure indicated would be an upper lip lift. This is performed under local anaesthetic and takes around 45-minutes. It leaves a scar hidden in the base of the nose, curling up around the edges of the sides of the nostril.

Not only does this reduce the height of the upper "white" lip, but it also everts and lifts the pink lip, improving its appearance, shape and fullness.

I hope this helps

Lip Lift shortens space between nose and top of lip

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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

Lip shortening to decrease distance between nose and lip

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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.

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

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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

Lip lift surgery

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Thank you for your question. 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 can be shortened by plastic surgery.

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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!

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.