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Lip Lift

A lip lift is a permanent lipo augmentation, which in turn feminizes the overall look of the face. The lip lift, which is also known as a bullhorn lip lift or a subnasal lip lift, is a safe, in-office surgical procedure aimed at shortening the excessively stretched length of the upper lip and elevating it to a more appealing proportion. The procedure’s two main objective are as follows:

  • Shorten the aged upper lip
  • Evert the mucous red part of the upper lip upwards, creating a fuller, more voluptuous lip


To learn more about the transformative procedure that is the lip lift, read through the lip lift FAQs below.

Dr. Leon Forrester Tcheupdjian

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Dr. Leon Forrester Tcheupdjian

Learn more about Lip Lift

Frequently Asked Questions

Why have a lip lift?

The lip lift is a mini artistic procedure to help those who have sagging, wrinkled, thin, stretched, elongated, unattractive and lifeless upper lips to quickly become fuller, more voluptuous, attractive lips. Think of lips that invite a kiss. That’s the goal. The lip lift is primarily done either to shorten the stretched upper lip, or to increase the amount of red plump mucosa that has lost its volume and left in a frail, hanging state.

How much downtime is there after a lip lift?

This depends on what is considered downtime. There may be a few days of social downtime, meaning the patient may feel uneasy about being comfortable in social settings. That said, most people can return to work immediately and perform normal, everyday tasks.

What are the benefits of a lip lift?

  • Shortening a long upper lip
  • Provides an anti-aging appearance
  • Lifting the lip to show some of the teeth promotes a younger appearance
  • Can help the patient avoid lip fillers in the future
  • Helps to “feminize” the face

What does a lip lift cost?

The average cost is about $3500, but go all the way up to $6500 depending on the scope of the procedure. The fees include the facility fee, anesthesia, drugs, post-op care, surgeon’s fee and all follow-up visits. Lip lifts are considered elective, so there is no insurance coverage. Many patients choose to use one of our finance partners, CareCredit, Alphaeon Credit and/or PatientFi.

Who qualifies as an ideal patient for a lip lift?

There is no true ideal patient for a lip lift in the minds of our surgeons. It’s our duty to listen to our patients and let them explain to us what their goals are. If a patient explains to us what they want to accomplish, and we feel a lip lift is a good option to help reach that goal, that’s when we’ll suggest moving forward with a lip lift.

What happens during a lip lift?

The surgeon will take detailed measurements of the vertical and horizontal dimensions of the upper lip and lower border of the nostrils. This will determine the area of skin to be excised. The subtle lift of the lip will expose more of the red vermilion of the upper lip, which in turn promotes a more youthful and fuller look. The entire procedure takes about 30-45 minutes and is pain free, thanks to a local anesthetic.

What is recovery like after a lip lift?

There will be some swelling, bruising and numbness, as there is with every type of surgical procedure. These things usually subside after a few days, but can last longer in some patients. Every patient heals differently. All patients can return to normal activities pretty much immediately. Anything that puts stress on the face or head can cause excessive swelling, so we recommend not working out for at least a week. Cold compresses and Tylenol will help with discomfort. We also ask that all patients avoid tobacco and alcohol for at least a week. The scar will almost completely disappear with a few months.

How soon will you see results after a lip lift?

Usually you will start to see results by the end of the first week when the bulk of the bruising and the swelling clears.

What are the risks of a lip lift?

Minor bruising and swelling are most common, but most of the swelling and bruising should be gone within a week. Numbness and visible scarring is rare. Even more rare is temporary altered speech.

What type of anesthesia is required?

If a lip lift is the only procedure you are having done then it can easily be done under local lidocaine anesthesia. However, We may provide you with a mild oral sedative or oral pain killer. Some patients opt for ProNox (which many people know as laughing gas). But if the lip lift is being combined with additional procedures, then it may require stronger anesthesia, such as twilight or general anesthesia.

Are the results permanent? How long does a lip lift last?

The results of a surgical lip lift are long lasting. We hesitate to label anything as permanent just because all of us heal and age differently. Social habits like smoking, prolonged sun exposure and other activities may diminish the results over time.

Is the lip lift painful?

No, because the procedure is done with local lidocaine. Therefore, the patient feels nothing and remains comfortable during the procedure.

Can I drive myself home after a lip lift?

Yes, since the surgery is performed purely under local anesthesia. That said, you may be in some discomfort as the local anesthetic wears off. We always recommend having a family member or friend drive the patient home after a lip lift.

Where is the incision site for a lip lift?

The incision is placed right beneath the nose, and will be hidden in the shadows of the nose. Most of the time the incision is indistinguishable from the surrounding skin after a few months.

Will I have duck lips?

No, after the swelling subsides, your lips will appear pleasantly yet naturally and symmetrically volumized

What are the alternatives to lip lift surgery?

  • Hyaluronic acid dermal lip fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane Kisse. While these fillers augment the appearance of the lips, then will not shorten the aging upper lip and they last six months at the most.
  • A Botox injection technique to flip your upper lip will be a great option after the surgery for further beautifying your lip with a pouty, yet subtle, appearance.
  • Fat transfer is an outpatient surgery where fat is removed from a fatty pock and transferred to your lips or other areas of the face. This can be a good option for some people, but is significantly more expensive than a lip lift.
  • Silicone lip implants do exist, and we do use them sometimes. This is a great option for younger lips where anti-aging isn’t yet a concern.

What type of skin care do I need after the lip lift surgery?

Our signature lip plumper, Pout, is a favorite of our patients, both lip lift patients and everyone else we treat in our office. It’s one of our most popular products. Pout gives your lips that pouty, full look. You can purchase it in our offices or right here in our online store.

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