Non-surgical Procedure to Shorten Distance from Nose to Lips

The distance between my nose and lips is too long, and from profile, my lips lie flat. Is there a non-surgical procedure to correct this. One surgeon said filler could LENGTHEN the distance from nose to lip by pulling my lip down. Can filler be used to curl my lip upward to give the illusion of a shorter distance, and would filler in my lateral cheeks help, not only this problem, but also my downturned lips and jowls?

Doctor Answers 3

Treatment of the long upper lip

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Your concerns are visible in the photo. The treatment modalities we have available to shorten the upper lip include:

1. laser resurfacing of the upper lip
2. excision of skin along the lower edge of the nose
3. excision of skin along the upper edge of where you normally wear lipstick
4. a subperiosteal midfacelift
5. removal of a wafer of bone above the upper teeth

Each of these procedures has its pros and cons. None of them can give you a guaranteed amount of upper lip shortening. 1 can leave you with permanent pigmentation changes that have to be camouflaged with makeup. The main drawbacks of 2 and 3 are visible skin scars unnatural lip shape that can be very unsightly. 4 is performed through incisions inside the mouth and can cause weakness of some of the facial muscles. 5 is only indicated in patients with long facial bones and these patients will still need a skin procedure to achieve the desired result. In my open no amount of fillers or botox will shorten the upper lip. Filler injection into the lip itself can curl the lip upward as you suggest but in your case I do not think that will camouflage the length very much. The could thing is you can have a short lived filler or even some saline that only lasts a few hours injected to see if you this gives you any improvement.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Subnasal lip lift

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You would likely not have the result you are looking for with injectible fillers. However, they should be tried on the possibility that you might like the result. You might need fillers in both lips to maintain a harmonious appearance. Based on your photo, I would highly recommend a subnasal lip lift (excision of skin at the bottom of the nose). If you like the temporary result of fillers, you might the consider permanent lip implants with the new soft silicone implants which could always be removed if unsatisfactory.

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon

Fillers and uppr lip

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The upper lip line can be filed a bit, and this may give the illusion of a shorter upper lip...but it may  not.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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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.