Upper Lip Lift

An upper lip lift is a surgical procedure that elevates the position of the lip to create a shorter upper lip, giving it a more pleasing or more youthful position. Lip lifts also give the impression of a fuller upper lip (pink part) due to the way in which the upper lip is repositioned during the lift surgery. The procedure has become more popular as it creates a more attractive upper lip shape, thereby giving improved facial balance and proportions.

Who is a good candidate for an upper lip lift?

As we age, the pink part of our lip thins and the length of our upper lip increases. Sometimes, the distance between the nose and upper lip may have always been long. A lip lift counteracts the effect of gravity on the ageing lip position and shortens a long upper lip. The following are common reasons why you may want to consider an upper lip lift:

  • Long-distance between your nose and your upper lip
  • Thin upper lip
  • Teeth that don’t show when smiling

Patients interested in getting a lip lift should not have any active cold sores, skin infections, or other active skin disorders. Smoking can cause delayed healing and poor scars; hence this procedure is not offered in smokers.

What are the limitations of an upper lip lift?

  • A lip lift will not add fullness to the lips, so if you desire a very full appearance, you should consider other options for lip enhancement.
  • Fine lines may require some additional treatments such as dermal fillers.
  • Lip lifts lift the central part of your lip more than the outer parts of your lip.

How long does it take for an upper lip lift to heal?

Some discomfort and bruising are to be expected following lip lift surgery. It can take around 7 to 10 days for the bruising to subside. Swelling may persist for around three to five days. Cool compresses can be placed over the area for comfort and to help reduce swelling and bruising. It can take around two to three weeks before you see your final results.

The superficial stitches are removed after one week, and the deeper stitches dissolve over 3 months. A small scar will be visible beneath the nostrils along where the nostril and cheek meet. The scar will be pink initially, and it will fade to a normal colour and fine line over a period of months.


What are the complications of an upper lip lift?

In general, upper lip surgery is safe, and the results are entirely predictable, with an associated high degree of patient satisfaction. Nevertheless, no surgery is without risk. Some of the complications that can happen include swelling, bruising, slow healing, infection, bleeding, poor scarring, asymmetry, pain, numbness or sensitivity in the skin, seroma, weakness of the smile, recurrence of lip lengthening, excessive ‘dental show’, under or over lifting.

You can reduce your risk of complications by closely following Dr Mackenzie’s instructions before and after the surgery.

How much does an upper lip lift cost?

Upper lip surgery can be performed either under local or general anaesthetic. Dr Mackenzie will advise the best option for you. The local anaesthetic procedure is very well tolerated, and the cost is approximately $3,500-4,500.