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What is a Lip Lift?

A lip lift is needed when a patient’s upper lip begins to droop, and the upper teeth are not visible and there is less smiling. This facial procedure will elevate the position of the patient’s upper lip and provide a more youthful look by allowing the upper teeth to be revealed again. 

Lip Lift Treatment & Technique

When it comes to an overly droopy upper lip, our board-certified plastic surgeon corrects this simple aesthetic problem by removing a small piece of excess skin and/or tissue underneath the nose. The practice has developed their own modified technique of lip lifting. Recovery for a lip lift procedure is about two to four days and patients notice a refreshed, younger looking appearance.

Women have colored their lips for centuries, shaping their mouths with lip stains, lipstick and liners. A lip lift is the way to enhance the shape of the mouth, creating a symmetrical bee-stung lip without any fillers or injections. A lip lift offers a lasting solution for thin or drooping lips, adding volume and highlighting the natural bow of the lip.

The procedure is relatively simple, recovery is rapid, and the impact is impressive. But if you’re considering any cosmetic surgery—especially on your face—you need an experienced, top-ranked plastic surgeon. Don’t make a mistake that could scar you for life.

Call us at Ranch & Coast Plastic Surgery to arrange an appointment at this private and upscale surgical center in Del Mar California. With over 20 years in practice, the founder of Ranch and Coast, Dr. Chasan, inspires confidence, putting his patients at ease. Dr. Chasan is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S) which means not only is he board-certified, but also his professional skills and ethical conduct meets the highest standards.

Undergoing the Surgery

Every procedures is performed at the state-of-art surgical center in Del Mar, California, right between San Diego and La Jolla. The staff include multiple RNs and four board-certified anesthesiologists. A lip lift is typically performed under local anesthesia and takes about an hour to complete. Though patients may be able to drive themselves home, we always recommend that they invite a friend or family member to take them to and from the appointment.

Close up of model pouting her lips while having her hand on her neck

The Lip Lift Procedure

The space between the upper lip and nose is called the philtrum. The ideal length of the philtrum is roughly a half-inch (11-13 millimeters) for women and a couple millimeters longer for men. At that length, when your lips are relaxed, the tips of your teeth should be visible. As with most other “ideal” attributes, these measurements are not necessarily the norm. If your philtrum is extended or your upper lip is naturally thin, a lip lift will lastingly enhance the shape of your mouth with a bee-stung look to your lip.

To visualize the transformative impact of a lip lift, put your finger at the edge of the lip below the natural bow and press it up. Now smile. See how the lip is plumper, higher, tighter? Now imagine what the Ranch & Coast his team can do. If you’re interested in a lip lift, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our office.

The Bullhorn Procedure

Once the affected area is completely numb, a small section of skin is removed from beneath the nose. The medical term for this is a sub-nasal incision. But it’s more commonly known as a bullhorn lip lift, because the shape of the removed skin looks like the horns of a bull. The skin beneath the removed section is pulled up to cover the exposed area and is stitched closed. This shortens the length of the philtrum and lifts the top of the upper lip, called the vermilion border. This exposes more of the underlip, plumps the lip’s appearance, and gives more definition to the Cupid’s bow.

The Corner Lift

Some patients with a naturally downturned shape to their mouth will address it by adding a corner lift. A small triangular section of skin is incised at each end of the mouth (similar to a lip lift) and when the incision is closed, the lip is lifted up. For many people, as the skin ages, the lips turn down, creating the impression of frowning. A corner lift refreshes the appearance and lifts up the smile.

Our Lip Lift Team—Meet Dr. Richard Balikian

In addition to Dr. Chasan, Ranch & Coast is proud to present Dr. Richard Balikian as a lip lift surgeon. Dr. Balikian first earned his medical degree from Boston University Medical School. Following this, he completed a prestigious internship in General Surgery, along with a residency in Head & Neck and Facial Plastic Surgery—two specialized areas that give him an advantage in performing facial rejuvenation procedures. Dr. Balikian went on to partake in a year of exclusive facial surgery training, having been hand-selected by one of the world’s most prominent cosmetic facial surgeons. 

Dr. Balikian has also held the appointment of Clinical Instructor of Facial Plastic Surgery, helping young surgeons learn the nuances of facial plastic surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. Currently, at Ranch & Coast Plastic Surgery, Dr. Balikian helps his patients get the most out of their lip lift, along with the full gamut of facial plastic surgery procedures.

Post-Op Recovery

Patients should see some swelling and redness during the first few days after the procedure. There may be some discomfort when eating—plan on softer foods until you feel more comfortable. Our medical staff will provide instructions regarding how to keep the area clean, which substances and activities should be avoided, and how to minimize discomfort. The pain is managed with over-the-counter pain medication and ice to help with the swelling. There should be no problem returning to work within a week.

Close up of model touching her face

Who is the Best Candidate for a Lip Lift?

When it comes to a lip lift, it is best undergone by women (and men) who want to make a high-impact change in their facial features without using fillers or injections. If your lips are thin, this procedure can significantly change the look of your face. Some of the best candidates for a lip lift start with lip fillers—a safe and temporary treatment that our doctors also performs at our office.

Through the use of fillers, these patients find they like the look of a fuller lip and are prepared to commit to a long-term solution. The lip lift procedure can be completed in conjunction with a facelift—a well-known specialty at Ranch & Coast. For mature women looking to rejuvenate their appearance, this is a comprehensive procedure that adds a youthful element and brightens the overall appearance. 

The procedure can also improve the proportions of the mouth—for example, a long upper lip that is not symmetrical with the facial features. Lip lifts are also very popular with women in their 20s and 30s who want a more distinctive shape to their mouth. Because the lift lip – sometimes called a shortened lip—pulls the lip upward, it creates a more voluptuous mouth and a well-defined Cupid’s bow.

Lip Lift Before & After

Follow-Up Appointment

Our office will schedule a follow-up appointment within a day or so of the procedure to check your closure and answer any questions you might have. There will be no visible scar, but sometimes patients themselves feel conscious of the incision point. That will change over time, as the focus shifts from the newness of the procedure to all the compliments being received.

Remember, the initial swelling will distort the shape of the mouth, but as you heal, your lip will reveal its voluptuous new shape. You’ll feel younger, more confident, and love your new kissable look.

Our doctors are leading plastic surgeons in the San Diego area, but they often see patients from all across the country. Please feel free to use our online consultation form and enjoy the lovely accommodations we recommend on our website.

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