Dr. Hootan Daneshmand
Maybe your lips are one of your biggest sources of insecurity because they’re thin or downturned. If that’s the case, there are countless procedures that can give you the lips of your dreams, ranging from surgical to non-surgical, and affordable to pricey. On this page, we discuss all things lip lift: types, results, price, healing, and more. If you think a lip lift is the right procedure for you, call Instituto de Cirugía Plástica Silhouette today at 949-359-8397 for a free consultation.
What is a Lip Lift?
A lip lift is a surgical procedure that shortens the space between the nose and the top of the lip, called the “philtrum.” As a result, this procedure makes the top lip look fuller, and also shows more of your top teeth when your lips are resting.
What’s the Difference Between a Lip Lift and Lip Fillers?
Lip lifts are different from fillers because while lifts add more height, fillers add more volume to the lips. Lip lifts are permanent because it’s a surgical procedure, meanwhile, fillers are temporary. Fillers are a cheaper route to fuller lips, with results lasting between six months to a year. When receiving fillers, you can expect a quick and painless hyaluronic acid compound injected into your lips.
What’s the Difference Between a Lip Lift and Lip Augmentations?
Lip augmentations by comparison are more permanent and expensive than fillers. Similar to a lift, an augmentation is a surgical procedure that injects a patient’s grafted fat (from the belly button area) directly into the lips. As a result, lips augmented with fat will stay plump for five years or more.
What’s the Difference Between a Lip Lift and a Lip Flip?
Similar to fillers, a lip flip is another non-surgical way to enhance your lips. A lip flip is also a lot cheaper than a lift or an augmentation. A lip flip involves Botox injections into your upper lip to relax the muscles and then “flip” the lip upwards. As a result, this makes your top lip look fuller without actually increasing its volume.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Lip Flip?
People who typically pick a lip flip over a lip lift:
- Want fuller lips without fillers
- Have upper lips that “disappear” when they smile
- Want a less “gummy” smile, which is when your smile shows more of your gums than you would like
But the effects of a lip flip only last between eight to 12 weeks, which is why many people opt for lifts or fillers.
How Much Do Lip Flips Cost?
A lip flip is an elective, cosmetic procedure, so it’s not covered by insurance. However, it’s one of the most affordable lip procedures on the market. Because lip flips involve very little Botox, it presently costs between $80 and $500.
Side Effects of Lip Flips
Lip flips are a very safe and quick procedure because it involves such a small amount of Botox. However, too much Botox injections could cause:
- Difficulty to close lips
- The inability to spit or whistle
- Trouble forming words
- Drooping on one side of the mouth, similar to the appearance of a stroke
- Trouble keeping fluids in your mouth after drinking
The rarest side effect of any procedure involving Botox is Botulism. See your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Trouble swallowing
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty breathing
- Blurred vision
Different Types of Lip Lifts
There are many different types of lip lifts to choose from because they will look different for everyone.
Direct Lip Lift
This is sometimes called a gullwing lip lift and it creates a more defined lip border. To do this, a thin strip of skin is removed just above the upper lip and the skin is pulled upwards. As a result, the pink part of the lips (the vermillion) looks more pronounced. The downside of the direct lip lift is that it generally leaves behind a scar on the upper lip area.
This is one of the most common lifts available. An Orange County plastic surgeon will hide an incision along the base of the nose that’s shaped like a bullhorn. As a result, the center, right, and left of the lip are pulled up towards the nose.
Central Lip Lift
Similar to the subnasal bullhorn lift, your surgeon will shorten the philtrum with a hidden incision at the base of the nose.
Corner Lip Lift
This is sometimes called a “grin lift” because it gives the face a natural smile even when resting. The grin lift is a common option for those who have downturned lips. It’s done by making two small incisions at both corners of the mouth and then removing a small amount of skin. This type of lift will generally leave small scars on each side of the mouth which can be covered up with makeup.
Italian Lip Lift
This is very similar to a bullhorn lip lift because it requires two incisions below each nostril. The Italian lift may create more pronounced philtrum columns, which are the vertical raised lines that frame the dip in the upper lip.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Lip Lift?
A lip lift is a good option for people with thin, downturned lips, or people who have a large space between their nose and their mouth. Another good candidate is someone who had a previous bad experience with fillers and has heavy, long lips as a result. Generally, lifts are a great option for people looking to add height to their lips instead of volume.
What to Expect During a Lip Lift Procedure
Firstly, your surgeon will use local anesthesia. Then, they will make an incision at the base of the nose (depending on the type of lift you requested) and pull the upper lip towards the nose. Lastly, your surgeon will remove excess tissue and place sutures. The entire procedure is painless and lasts for one to two hours.
Potential Complications of a Lip Lift
Just like every surgical procedure, lip lifts come with their own set of complications including:
- Abnormal scarring
- Fluid accumulation (seroma)
- Poor wound healing or separation
- Blood loss during or after surgery
- Nerve damage
- Loss of sensation around the nose and mouth
- Allergic reactions to anesthesia
How Long Does it Take for a Lip Lift to Heal?
The healing process can last six to 12 weeks, with sutures removed about one week after your lip lift. Patients with lighter skin and thinner lips tend to heal quicker than patients with darker skin and thicker lips. During the healing process, avoid strenuous exercise, smoking, and sleeping on your face. It’s also important to follow your surgeon’s aftercare instructions and to keep your lips moisturized.
How Long Does Swelling Last After a Lip Lift?
Lip lift patients should expect swelling for approximately 72 hours. To treat swelling and soreness, patients can use ice and over-the-counter pain medication. Full results will begin to show approximately two to three months after the procedure.
How Long will Lip Lift Results Last?
Lip lifts are permanent, however, your face will continue to naturally change as you age. This means your lips may lose height and the surrounding skin may elongate through time. The lips and surrounding skin will change like this even if a person hasn’t had a lip lift in their lifetime.
How Much is a Lip Lift?
Because lip lifts are elective, cosmetic procedures, they aren’t covered by insurance. Pricing depends on your surgeon and where you live, but lip lifts can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000. Your procedure may also be more expensive if you’re getting a corner lip lift along with fillers.
Contact Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute Today
At Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Daneshmand wants to make you look and feel like your most beautiful self. Maybe that involves a lip lift, or another procedure like a brow lift, a rhinoplasty, a BBL, or even a skin removal surgery. We do it all, and we want to help. Call 949-359-8397 for more information on our procedures or to schedule an appointment.
Our practice is based on honesty, integrity, and a dedication to excellence in plastic surgery.
Have a question for us?