Lip Lift Surgery

Just like our fingerprints—no pair of lips are the same. They are one of several key facial features that reflect our youth and sensuality. A number of factors that contribute to the “look” of our lips such as aging, genetics and lifestyle.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your lips, consider your options carefully; bigger lips are not the only solution. We may propose complementary procedures or alternate treatments that can produce optimal results.

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What is a Lip Lift?

A lip lift is a surgical procedure that elevates the position of the top lip. This results in a fuller, more youthful and appealing smile. Ideal candidates for this procedure share the following concerns:

  • Corners of the mouth turn downward, making the appearance of a permanent frown.
  • Lips are thin, flat or overhanging over the bottom lip.
  • A long upper lip (there is a large vertical distance between the base of the nose and top lip).
  • Top teeth do not show when smiling, or with the mouth slightly open.

At our Philadelphia practice, W Cosmetic Surgery® can help you achieve the beautiful lips you’ve always wanted! Double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Kevin Ende, is an expert in lip lift surgery. He co-authored a medical textbook on lip enhancement and was a clinical trial investigator for Juvéderm® in 2007.

Lip Lift or Fillers?

Many individuals who are unsatisfied with the shape and volume of their lips may immediately assume that lip fillers are the best solution. This is not always the case. So how do you know which procedure will provide a good result?

Try this simple exercise at home to see what procedure you may want to discuss with our lip lift surgeon, Dr. Ende:

Look in the mirror and let your bottom jaw relax, so that your mouth is slightly open. What do you see?

Long Upper Lip, No Upper Teeth Showing

If you do not see the row of upper teeth showing, you may be a better candidate for a lip lift surgery instead of lip filler. Why? A long upper lip indicates that the top lip is hanging below your front teeth. When adding filler to the top lip, the lips can only go in one direction: outward. This protruding of the lip results in the infamous and unattractive “duck lip.”

Thin Lip + Long Upper Lip, No Upper Teeth Showing

If you have thin lips and a long upper lip, we may recommend performing an upper lip lift as well as adding a filler such as Juvéderm or Restylane®. Why? While an upper lip lift surgery will shorten the distance between the base of the nose and the pink, fleshy part of the top lip, you may still want more volume. If fuller lips are desired, we can enhance them by adding a filler or fat grafting. Facial fillers like Restylane can be used to contour the cupid’s bow, fill in wrinkles around the lips or turn up the lip corners for an enhanced smile.

Thin to Average Lip Volume, Teeth Showing

If you see upper teeth showing when the mouth is relaxed, you may be a better candidate for lip filler, instead of a lip lift surgery. Why? If you can already see teeth when your mouth is at an open rest, then shortening the upper lip any further may produce a “gummy smile.” For these patients, we may recommend lip fillers or other options based on your goals.

This exercise does not replace an in-office consultation with your plastic surgeon. This is only meant to help educate you on the possible options. We will evaluate your unique case and provide the best solutions with you at our office.

Your lip lift procedure. What to expect.

The lip lift procedure is performed in our surgical suite and the patient is comfortably sedated. We create a bullhorn-shaped incision under the base of the nose and remove a thin sliver of skin. The amount of skin that is removed is dependent on how much lift is recommended to create an attractive lip. Dissolvable and non-dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision and are typically removed within 5–7 days. When the incision is closed, a very thin, but barely visible scar will be hidden just below the base of the nose.

Older patients with a long upper lip and short vermilion (“red lip”) are good candidates for a subnasal lip lift. For adding temporary volume to lips, we may recommend fat grafting, Juvéderm, or Restylane.

Recovering from a Lip Lift

Lip lift recovery produces little to no pain and minimal bruising. Most patients take no pain medication. Antibiotic cream is prescribed and sutures will heal in 5-7 days. There may be a temporary tooth show which resolves itself in less than a week.

Perma Facial Implant™

W Cosmetic Surgery is proud to offer the Philadelphia region the newest options for lip enhancement. In addition to lip fillers and lip lift procedures, Dr. Kevin Ende now offers the Perma Facial Implant™, a permanent lip implant that gives your lips the perfect pout. Featured on The Doctors, this lip implant is made of ultra soft silicone and can be customized to accommodate your lip’s unique shape and characteristics.

Perma Facial Implant™​ Quick Facts:

  • Natural appearance
  • Soft silicone that cannot rupture, deflate or degrade over time
  • Routine procedure performed under local anesthetic
  • Resistant to tissue “in growth”
  • Permanent, but easily replaceable or removable
  • Does not restrict lip movement or lip sensation
  • FDA approved

Lip Lift Surgery Results

A lip lift and enhancement procedures differ based on the issue and the unique treatment option selected. Some typical results of a lip lift procedure are featured in our gallery.

View Lip Lift Gallery