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Dr. James D. Namnoum | Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Facial Procedures

Lip Lift

Many individuals seek a lip lift to enhance their facial harmony and achieve a more youthful appearance. The lips are a focal point of the face, and their shape and proportion significantly influence overall facial aesthetics. A lip lift performed by board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. James Namnoum, can adjust the prominence and fullness of the lips, correct age-related elongation of the upper lip, or refine the balance between the lips and other facial features. This procedure offers not only cosmetic enhancement but also a boost in self-confidence for many patients.

What Is A Lip Lift?

A lip lift is a type of facial plastic surgery that shortens the space between the top of the upper lip and the base of the nose, known as the philtrum.1 The goal of this surgical procedure is to enhance the appearance of the lips by increasing their visibility and accentuating their shape. This is achieved by removing a small strip of skin from a specific location depending on the surgical technique, which lifts the upper lip to a more aesthetically pleasing position, often resulting in a fuller and more youthful appearance.

woman touching her beautiful lips

Benefits of Lip Lift Surgery

  • Enhanced Lip Aesthetics: A lip lift provides a more defined lip line and greater lip exposure, particularly enhancing the cupid’s bow
  • Youthful Appearance: Reducing the length of the philtrum can make the face appear younger and more proportionate.
  • Permanent Results: Unlike fillers, a lip lift offers a permanent solution for achieving aesthetic goals.
  • Minimal Scarring: Incisions are typically hidden under the nose, making any scarring less noticeable.
  • Quick Recovery: The recovery time is relatively short compared to other cosmetic surgeries.2

Candidates For Lip Lift

Ideal candidates for a lip lift are individuals who have a long upper lip or who feel that their upper lip is less prominent than they’d like it to be. Candidates should be in good general health, non-smokers, or willing to quit smoking, as smoking can affect the healing process. It is also important for candidates to have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the surgery.

Types of Lip Lifts

Direct or Gull-Wing Lip Lift

A Direct or Gull-Wing Lip Lift is a cosmetic procedure designed to enhance the definition and prominence of the upper lip. In this technique, Dr. Namnoum removes an M-shaped strip of skin directly above the upper lip, resembling the wings of a gull. This removal shortens the vertical space between the nose and the lip, enhancing the lip contour and cupid’s bow. The result is a more pronounced lip border, offering a fuller and more youthful appearance. This type of lip lift is particularly beneficial for patients desiring a significant reshaping of the lip area.


Subnasal Bullhorn Lip Lift

A Subnasal Bullhorn Lip Lift procedure involves making an incision along the base of the nose in a pattern that resembles a bullhorn. From this incision, a strip of skin and tissue is removed, effectively lifting the central part of the upper lip closer to the nose. This technique not only shortens the philtrum—the distance between the nose and the lip—but also accentuates the lip’s cupid’s bow, making the upper lip appear fuller and more defined. The incisions are discreetly placed at the base of the nose, minimizing visible scarring.


Central Lip Lift

A Central Lip Lift is a targeted cosmetic procedure designed to enhance the central section of the upper lip, particularly focusing on elevating and defining the cupid’s bow. During the surgery, a small, precise amount of skin is removed from just above the central part of the upper lip. This adjustment decreases the space between the nose and the lip, enhancing the prominence and curvature of the cupid’s bow. The result is a more aesthetically pleasing and youthful upper lip, with increased definition and fullness in the central area. This procedure is especially suited for individuals looking to specifically enhance the middle portion of their upper lip without altering the corners.

Modified Lip Lift

A Modified Lip Lift is an advanced version of the traditional subnasal lip lift. This procedure goes a step further by also adjusting deeper layers beneath the skin, specifically targeting the muscular structure and connective tissues that help support the lip’s shape and position.3 These deeper adjustments provide a more comprehensive lift to the upper lip, enhancing its overall appearance. This technique is versatile, making it suitable for people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, and skin types. It offers a reliable and effective way to achieve a more youthful and appealing look by elevating the position of the upper lip and improving its contour.


Corner Lip Lift

A Corner Lip Lift is a cosmetic procedure designed to address the downturned corners of the mouth, which can give a persistently sad or displeased expression. This technique involves making small incisions at the corners of the mouth, where a tiny amount of skin is removed. The skin is then subtly lifted and reattached, resulting in a more upward and cheerful appearance of the mouth corners. This lift not only improves the resting expression but also contributes to a more youthful and friendly facial demeanor, making it an effective solution for those looking to enhance their overall facial aesthetics.


Male Lip Lift

A Male Lip Lift is a cosmetic procedure tailored specifically for men who wish to enhance the appearance of their lips while maintaining masculine features. This procedure adjusts the height and contour of the upper lip to create a more defined and proportionate look without feminizing the face. The surgery involves subtle lifting and reshaping to address concerns such as a long upper lip or a less pronounced cupid’s bow, common in male facial structures. The goal is to achieve a natural, rejuvenated appearance that enhances the overall facial aesthetics while respecting the unique characteristics of male anatomy.

Preparing For A Lip Lift

Preparation for a lip lift includes a consultation with Dr. Namnoum to discuss your goals and expectations. Patients should avoid medications that can increase bleeding, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, for a couple of weeks before surgery. Smoking cessation for at least eight weeks is crucial to ensure proper healing.

beatiful woman touching her lips

The Lip Lift Procedure

Lip lift surgery is an outpatient procedure that is typically performed under local anesthesia and takes about 1-2 hours. Dr. Namnoum will make a small incision beneath the nose, above the upper lip, or at the corners of the mouth, depending on the technique used. Excess skin is removed, and the lip is lifted to its new position. The incision is then closed with sutures that minimize scarring.

Lip Lift Recovery

Recovery from a lip lift generally involves mild discomfort and swelling for the first few days. Sutures are usually removed within a week. Most patients can return to work and other normal activities within a week, although strenuous activities should be avoided for a few weeks. Dr. Namnoum provides detailed postoperative instructions to ensure smooth healing.

FAQs About Lip Lift

How long do the results of a lip lift last?

The results of a lip lift are permanent, although the natural aging process may affect the longevity of the results.

Is a lip lift painful?

Patients typically experience minimal pain during and after the procedure, which can be managed with prescribed or over-the-counter pain relievers.

Can a lip lift be reversed?

A lip lift is considered permanent, but adjustments can sometimes be made if necessary. However, it is crucial to have realistic expectations and discuss these thoroughly with Dr. Namnoum before undergoing surgery.

How noticeable will the scar be?

Lip lift procedures do result in a scar4, however, Dr. Namnoum strives to ensure it is well-hidden under the nose or along the vermilion border and fades significantly over time with proper care.

Does lip filler offer the same results as the lip lift procedure?

Lip filler and the lip lift procedure offer different results when it comes to lip augmentation. Lip fillers, typically dermal fillers, are injectable treatments that add volume to the lips, making them an ideal choice for individuals with naturally thin lips looking to enhance both the upper and lower lip for a fuller appearance. Fillers can help balance the lips and subtly enhance the contour, but they primarily focus on volume rather than structural adjustments.

On the other hand, an upper lip lift is a surgical procedure that modifies the distance between the upper lip and the nose, enhancing the visibility of the upper teeth and redefining the lip’s shape. This procedure is especially beneficial for those who may not be good candidates for fillers due to a long upper lip or lack of definition around the cupid’s bow. While fillers are temporary and need to be periodically refreshed, a lip lift provides a permanent alteration to the lip’s position and shape.

Can I combine any other procedures with lip lift surgery?

Yes, during your lip lift consultation, a personalized treatment plan can be crafted to include additional procedures for more comprehensive facial rejuvenation. Combining a lip lift with a facelift and neck lift can enhance the lower face and neck, while blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) can further refine facial features. Laser skin resurfacing can improve skin texture and address fine lines, complementing the youthful appearance achieved through lip enhancement. Additionally, Botox injections can be used to smooth out wrinkles around the eyes and forehead, ensuring a cohesive and refreshed overall look. This integrated approach allows for significant aesthetic improvements through a harmonized treatment strategy.

1 Cleveland Clinic. Lip Lift. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/procedures/lip-lift. Accessed May 6, 2024.

2 ASPS. Lip service: A deep dive into the world of lip lifts and other lip augmentation procedures. Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/articles/lip-service-a-deep-dive-into-the-world-of-lip-lifts-and-other-lip-augmentation-procedures. Accessed May 6, 2024.

3 Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. The Modified Upper Lip Lift: Advanced Approach with Deep-Plane Release and Secure Suspension: 823-Patient Series. Available: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31280853/. Accessed May 6, 2024.

4 Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Different Techniques and Quantitative Measurements in Upper lip lift: A Systematic Review. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9976673/. Accessed May 6, 2024.

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Schedule A Lip Lift Consultation

For those considering a lip lift, Dr. James Namnoum is committed to achieving beautiful, natural-looking results that complement your overall facial features while ensuring a comfortable and supportive experience throughout the process. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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