Dr Anne Collins Cosmetic Surgeon

Upper Lip Lift

Upper Lip Lift
An upper lip, sub-nasal or bullhorn lip lift is a rejuvenating procedure designed to shorten the distance between the nose and lip  

Elongation of the distance between the nose and lip can be age-related, though this is not always the case. Our lips do, however, deflate with time. This combination results in a tendency for the upper lip to hang over the upper teeth creating and an aged, tired appearance.

An upper lip, sub-nasal or bullhorn lip lift is a rejuvenating procedure designed to shorten the distance between the nose and lip, increase lip show so it appears more volumised and improve upper tooth show when the lips are slightly parted.

Ideal candidates for this surgery have a distance of more than 1.5cm between the nose and lip, a thin upper lip, no upper teeth show with mouth opening or smiling and are non-smokers with no history of adverse scarring. 

upper lip lift


The procedure can be performed under local anaesthetic. A small amount of skin is excised to reduce the distance between the nose and lip. The term bullhorn refers to the shape of the incision used: two connected horizontal lines which extend upwards under the base of the nose. The wound is closed in layers. The skin sutures are removed after 5 to 7 days. The deeper ones dissolve within 3 months. 

Post-operatively it is important to keep the wound clean and dry for 48 hours. A cold compress can help reduce the bruising and swelling. For 2 weeks after the surgery, you will need to take a number of precautions including eating a soft diet, rinsing your mouth out after each meal, avoid opening your mouth too wide and brushing your teeth with a smaller, softer tooth brush than normal.

Bruising and swelling is common and can take up to 2 weeks to subside. You are more likely to experience discomfort rather than sharp pain following your surgery. Dr Collins will ensure you have adequate pain relief to deal with this. You can typically resume normal activity in 24 hours but you need to avoid strenuous activity for 2 weeks.

The surgery can give the impression of a more volumised upper lip but it does not add fullness. If your priority is additional fullness, you may want to consider other options for lip enhancement. The procedure tends to elevate the central portion more than the lateral portions of your upper lip. Finally, an upper lip lift will not address upper lip lines. These can be treated with dermal fillers. 

Each procedure is individually customised, considering your specific needs and aesthetic goals. As a result, the cost can vary from patient to patient. For more information on pricing or to begin your journey with Dr Collins please contact us.

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