Lip lift in London
Lip lift surgery is a surgical procedure for correcting a long upper lip. Over time, the skin overlying the lips tends to lose its elasticity and undergoes descent with a subsequent change in the upper lip shape and length. Some patients are often distressed by an excessive length between the upper lip and base of the nose that can either progress over time or be present from birth. Having a long upper lip can result in a reduction in teeth visibility with the relaxation of mouth opening and upon smiling.
An upper lip lift can address the aesthetics of the upper lip area by reduction of the distance between the nose and lip, making the lips appear fuller and more youthful. Many patients have thin lips, and a lip lift procedure can also address this common feature of the ageing process. As part of the natural ageing process, drooping of the corners of the mouth may occur, and a corner lip lift can effectively correct a downturned mouth. For patients looking to slow down the signs of ageing and rejuvenate the central third of the face, lip lift surgery at Centre for Surgery could be a highly effective solution.
Optimising the aesthetics of the lips
Our lips come in many different shapes and sizes. The foundation of a beautiful lip enhancement procedure with a lip lift is to maintain the correct balance and proportion with the rest of the facial features. The lips are divided into different areas that can be addressed with non-invasive procedures like lip fillers and minimally invasive surgical procedures like a lip lift.
|Lip lift||Fast facts|
|Procedure time ⏳||60-90 minutes|
|Anaesthetic type 💉||LA|
|Length of stay 🛏||Day case|
|Up and mobile 🚶🏻♂️||Straightaway|
|Washing 🛁||3 days|
|Travel ✈️||2 weeks|
|Sleeping 😴||On back 1 week|
|Exercise 🏃🏽♀️||4 weeks|
|Full recovery 🕺🏻||6 weeks|
|Final results 😃||3 months|
Enhance lip volume with a lip lift
A lip lift is a popular surgical procedure that can be done for patients of all ages and benefits those who wish to improve their smile and the appearance of the mouth area. Through this procedure, the surgeon reduces the distance between the upper lip and the base of the nose, which gives the appearance of full lips and an overall youthful complexion. A well-performed lip lift can also eliminate the need for lip fillers as the lifting of the upper lip also creates an eversion effect and exposes more of the natural upper lip.
The other type of lip lift surgery is corner lip lift, which only targets the corners of the lips, elevating them slightly. This procedure is recommended for patients who have lip corners pointing downwards, making it look like they are frowning.
Lip Lift or Lip Fillers?
At Centre for Surgery, our top plastic surgeons are known for their beautiful natural results achieved with lip fillers for restoration of volume loss. Our surgeons only use dermal fillers made of hyaluronic acid, which occurs naturally in the human body. Premium dermal fillers last, on average, about 6-12 months, depending on the filler type, after which top-up treatments are needed to maintain the results. Our surgeons commonly use the Juvederm range of dermal fillers, which have an excellent safety profile. Whilst dermal fillers are great as a non-surgical option for the treatment of small lips, many patients desire a more long-term solution which does not entail the use of regular dermal filler treatments. A lip lift procedure can achieve a more natural enlargement of the upper lip to restore facial balance.
Lip lift surgeons
A facial plastic surgeon is trained to undertake aesthetic surgical procedures in the facial region and is best placed to perform lip lift surgery. They are dedicated sub-specialists. Compared with general plastic surgeons, facial plastic surgeons are inherently better trained to perform delicate facial procedures. The extra years of surgical training by facial specialists focused on the facial region results in an exceptionally high degree of skill. Lip lift surgery is intricate surgery, and our surgeons are highly experienced in undertaking surgery on the delicate perioral region.
Our surgeons are full members of:
Things to consider before having a lip lift
We believe that the best outcomes after lip lift happen when patients make the right choice of clinic and surgeon.
1. In deciding on the right clinic for you, always carry out extensive research and choose a well-established and reputable clinic. Centre for Surgery are specialists in cosmetic surgery and have been established for many years. Our patient coordinators and surgeons are here to answer any questions you may have to empower you with the right information.
2. Your choice of surgeon should be based on their qualifications, experience and a record of good patient feedback. You should know who you will be seeing before your consultation. At Centre for surgery, our surgeons are specially selected after a rigorous appointment process to ensure they have the right skill set to perform cosmetic surgery.
3. When choosing to have a cosmetic surgery procedure, you should not base your decision on price alone. It is important to make sure you are having treatment in a safe and regulated environment by staff who are both fully trained and caring to look after your needs – before, during and after your procedure.
4. Avoid clinics that offer a ‘hard-sell’. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Surgeons at Centre for Surgery are experienced in the full range of techniques for lip lift surgery.
We believe patient safety and happy, satisfied patients are the bedrock of our reputation as an ethical provider of cosmetic surgery. Our doctors are known for giving straightforward, honest advice, and you can be assured that your journey with Centre for Surgery will be a positive experience on the path to renewed self-confidence.
The Centre for Surgery approach to aftercare
Our aftercare programme was recently described as ‘outstanding’ by our regulator, the Care Quality Commission.
Our postoperative support team phones all our patients the day after their rhinoplasty procedure and then every other day thereafter for the first two weeks. The proactive nature of our postoperative support gives every patient the best opportunity for a smooth postoperative recovery free of complications. In many cases, if complications were to occur, their impact is markedly lessened by early detection, prompt clinical assessment and correct treatment. When a patient expresses concern to our team over the phone, then we often call patients on the same day for assessment with one of our expert nursing team. Even if there is no significant issue, our team’s careful explanation and calm reassurance can help alleviate any worries you may have experienced.
Read testimonials from our amazing patients
Ideal candidates for lip lift surgery
Lip lift surgery is designed to reduce the length of a long upper lip in a vertical plane and also to improve the shape of the upper lip. With the surgical reduction of the skin of the upper lip, the red portion of the lip and everts to give a fuller appearance to the red part of the upper lip. The cupid’s bow of the upper lip is also refined with greater definition. An accentuated cupid’s bow is recognised to be an attractive feature of the lips.
Lip lift surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that is available for patients over 18 years of age.
There are several reasons why people will feel the need to get lip lift surgery. This includes:
- Having too much skin space between the upper lip and nose. This will help patients to obtain youthful, fuller lips. The ideal space between the lip and the base of the nose is considered to be between 1 – 1.2 cm in women and larger for men, between 1.3 –1.5 cm. As we age and bones start to retract, the bones around the nose no longer support the skin, making it saggy.
- Having dropped lip corners. Corner lip lift surgery is extremely effective and can get rid of an unpleasant frowny look.
- A lip lift can help those who have had lip filler injections and feel they have overfilled lips with repeated filler injections over the years.
- Due to ageing, or sometimes hereditary, teeth do not show when smiling as the lip covers them too much. Lip lifts can help people to achieve balance and definition in their face.
Preparation for a lip lift
Patients who smoke will be advised to stop for at least 2 weeks before the date of their nose job procedure. Smoking has detrimental effects on your circulation and is well known to slow the healing process after a lip lift. All medications, prescribed and over the counter, will be reviewed. Aspirin and aspirin-containing medicines should be stopped both before and after surgery. Aspirin and NSAIDs impair the body’s natural clotting process and may cause bleeding complications after lip lift surgery. If you require pain relief after surgery, paracetamol is advised.
Lip lift surgical techniques
As part of the consultation, you will first communicate your requirements to your facial plastic surgeon, indicating the issue that concerns you and then possible solutions will be discussed. Depending on the problem, the surgeon will recommend either an upper lip lift or a corner lip lift, and, in the case of the former, you will establish how much skin should be removed. This part of the consultation is done in front of the mirror so that you know exactly what you will look like after the procedure.
Lip lift surgery is an outpatient surgical procedure. You will be admitted and discharged on the same day, allowing you to recover in the comfort of your own home.
Lip lift surgery is considered a minimally invasive surgical procedure and, in most cases, can be performed under a local anaesthetic. You can choose to have some supplementary mild tablet oral sedation if you feel nervous on the day of your procedure. TIVA general anaesthesia is reserved for complex cases, revision surgery or lip lift combined with more invasive procedures such as a facelift.
However, you should refrain from consuming alcohol or aspirin for 14 days before surgery. You will also need to avoid smoking for at least two weeks beforehand, as well as throughout the recovery period.
Types of lip lift
There are a number of different surgical techniques for performing a lip lift. The bull horn excision technique is the most popular method.
Direct lip lift (vermillion technique)
A direct lip lift is also known as a ‘gull-wing lip lift’. This method of lip lift involves the placement of incisions along the vermillion border of the lip. The vermillion border is the junction between the red and white lip which is also referred to as the lip roll. The surgeon removes a strip of skin above the incision, and as the incision is closed with sutures, the lip undergoes a degree of elevation in an upwards direction. Patients may be left with a small scar on the upper lip area.
Bullhorn lip lift (subnasal technique)
A bull horn lip refers to the shape of the incision made at the base of the nose. The vast majority of patients can have the Bull horn lip lift procedure with local anaesthesia – general anaesthesia is an option if you wish. After the area is injected with local anaesthesia, the surgeon will perform an incision just under the nose at the junction between the nose and lip (often referred to as the subnasal technique). The marked amount of skin and soft tissue is removed and deep sutures are placed by the surgeon to create an upward lift of the lip. The skin incision is then carefully sutured in 2 layers to optimise the appearance of the resulting scar. The sutures are permanent, so they will have to be removed approximately five days later. This method results in a well-hidden scar, and after a period of 6 months or more, it can be very difficult to make out the original site of the incision for the lip lift procedure.
Corner lip lift
A corner lip lift is effective for lifting downturned mouth corners as a result of the ageing process giving rise to a more smiley appearance. This procedure is also commonly performed under local anaesthesia. You can have this done on its own, just to correct lip corners, or together with a central bullhorn lip lift. Also called “smile surgery” involves two small incisions on both corners of the lips. Then, using two dissolvable sutures, the corners are slightly lifted. Again, the tissue removed does not include any muscles and nerves in this procedure.
Italian lip lift
An Italian lip lift is similar to a bullhorn or sub-nasal lip lift except that the incisions are made beneath both nostrils, so the resulting scar tends to be much less visible.
Revision lip lift
In a growing number of cases, our surgeons review patients who have had a lip lift performed elsewhere, and the results have not been up to the patient’s expectations. Our surgeons have many years of performing meticulous facial plastic surgery and are highly skilled in performing revision lip lift surgery with excellent results.
Our team here at Centre for Surgery, includes only highly trained, professional surgeons who are familiar with the principles and practice of lip lift surgery, so you can rest assured that the work done is very meticulous and subtle. Our surgeons are always careful to use their experience in microsurgery to carefully sculpt the lip area in line with patient expectations.
Treatment for Lip Lines
The best treatment for lip lines is a laser resurfacing procedure for appropriate lighter skin types. Laser resurfacing targeting the peri-oral region can make a dramatic change with a substantial reduction in the vertical lines, also known as ‘smokers lines’. Marked improvement in this region is facilitated by using the laser on aggressive settings to tighten the skin and smoothen out the etched lines. Centre for Surgery uses full field Erbium laser resurfacing, which results in less downtime compared with traditional CO2 lasers.
The downtime from erbium laser resurfacing is around seven days. Laser resurfacing can easily be performed in the office with topical numbing cream such as EMLA, cool air and/or numbing injections of Lidocaine.
Recovery after lip lift procedure
In general, recovery after lip lift surgery is very smooth. The downtime is about one week. Immediately after the procedure, you will be allowed to go home for recovery; no hospital admission is required. In the first couple of days, it is perfectly normal for your mouth area to remain swollen and you eat a soft diet for 1-2 days after the procedure.
After one week, the sutures are removed, and you can then apply makeup as normal to hide the incisions as healing progresses. Scar maturation takes up to 6 months, and temporary numbness is often a recognised feature during the recovery period of about 2-3 months.
Over the following weeks, the swelling will steadily go down so that after one month, the area should be healing well. The redness should go away within two weeks, but if it doesn’t, topical applications of steroid cream will accelerate scar healing.
Like any surgical procedure, lip lift has potential risks and complications that, though rare, could occur, and you should be aware of them. These include:
- Uneven healing of the lips
- Swelling around the nose and lips
- In rare circumstances, if the patient has a history, keloid scars can occur.
Your surgeon may make you aware of how the risk of side effects may increase if you choose to go abroad for surgery.
Risks and potential complications of lip lift
Complications can potentially occur with any surgical procedure, a lip lift is no different. At the consultation, your surgeon will always take time to fully discuss the risks and complications associated with lip lift surgery. All risks need to be outlined regardless of how rare they are. By choosing Centre for Surgery for your procedure, you can be confident in having highly experienced and expert surgeons to perform your procedure.
Potential complications associated with lip lift
- Anaesthetic risks
- Visible surgical scarring
- Sensory changes
- Excessive scarring
- Nerve injury
Lip lift cost
There are a number of factors which will determine the overall cost of the lip lift procedure, and the final quotation will be given after your face-to-face consultation with your specialist facial plastic surgeon.
- Upper lip lift alone or combined with corner lip lift
- Other facial procedures combined, such as facelift
- Local anaesthetic or general anaesthetic
- Primary or revision lip lift
Why not call 0207 993 4849 and speak to one of our expert patient coordinators who may be able to give you a rough costing prior to your lip lift procedure?
Always remember that price should never be the determining factor when it comes to choosing your provider. We feel that safety and quality of service should be your number one priority and instil in you the confidence that our team will look after you before, during and after your procedure to the best of their ability.
Spread the cost of your treatment
Centre for Surgery is fully approved to offer finance via our specialist finance partner, Chrysalis Finance. You no longer need to use your savings to pay for your treatment – you can apply to spread the cost of your procedure with Chrysalis Finance using their simple 1,2,3 application to pay for your procedure. Don’t wait until you have enough money for your treatment. Apply today and (subject to status) pay for your procedure easily in monthly instalments, using one of their payment options. Chrysalis Finance is the only ethical provider who focuses solely on the provision of specialist financing for medical procedures.
Am I a good candidate for a lip lift?You will be suitable for a lip lift if you have too much skin between the lip and the base of the nose.
A corner lip lift may be suitable for those who have droopy ends of the lip.
You must be 18 years or older to have a lip lift.
Can I have lip fillers instead of lip lift surgery?Although lip fillers also slightly lift the lips, the results aren’t the same as after a lip lift. They are meant to fill the lips, not raise them, and definitely not remove unwanted skin tissues. In fact, if you have a lot of skin between the nose and lip and have lip fillers, you risk getting the unwanted “duck face” effect.
Are the effects of an upper lip lift permanent?Yes, they are. This is a procedure that has permanent results.
Is the lip lift procedure painful?During the procedure, you will not feel anything because local anaesthesia will be injected. However, once the effects wear off, you may experience some discomfort which will quickly settle. If the soreness becomes too bothersome, you can take over-the-counter pain medication.
Will I get any scarring after lip lift?The scars will only be visible for a couple of weeks after surgery and then they will fade away because our surgeons only use the highest quality dissolvable sutures.
What is the ideal amount of skin to be removed during lip lift surgery?Every patient has different features and we do not use a template when deciding how much tissue will be removed. This is established together, based on your preferences. In general, the surgeon will remove between 5mm and 7mm of skin, depending on the skin laxity and how plump you want your upper lip to be.
What will the recovery period be like after a surgical lip lift?The recovery period will last around one week.
You will experience some redness and swelling, which will steadily go down.
For the first few days, you should eat a soft diet to facilitate healing.
What are the risks of lip lift surgery?Lip lift surgery has a number of potential risks and complications. Fortunately, these are rare when an experienced facial plastic surgeon carries out the procedure. Typical risks include infection, bleeding, prominent scars, nerve injury and allergic reaction to the local anaesthetic.
When can I go back to work after lip lift surgery?You may need to take up to four days off work.
What To Expect
The consultation for lip lift surgery
We always recommend a face to face consultation with one our expert plastic surgeons as a first step in your journey towards rejuvenated eyelids. When you meet with one of our surgeons, your surgeon will take time to listen carefully to what you hope to achieve and give you an expert opinion on what can and cannot be achieved after performing a thorough physical examination. Your surgeon may use computerised digital imaging to map the structure of the upper lip region in detail to give you an idea of what your eyelids could look like after your procedure.
Your surgeon will also take a number of measurements as part of a detailed facial analysis. Finally high resolution photographs are taken in a number of views. Your surgeon will also discuss with you the potential risks and complications of lip lift surgery and what to expect in the postoperative phase during your healing and recovery. It is important to know what medicines you taking as some medicines can interfere with blood clotting and may need to be stopped. Any history of medical conditions or previous surgery will also be recorded and all the compiled information is used to make a decision on your medical fitness for the lip lift procedure. After a recommended two week "cool off" period and provided you are appropriate for the procedure, you can then make an informed decision on whether you would like to proceed with the lip lift procedure. If you are unsure on any aspect of the lip lift surgery procedure and what it entails then we would invite you to return for as many follow-up consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure that lip lift surgery is right for you. The consultation lasts about 45 minutes on average. It may take longer if your procedure is going to be more complex. We would actively recommend coming in for a follow-up consultation to ensure all your questions are answered.
Before your procedure
Once you have decided to move forward with lip lift surgery. Our preoperative assessment team will be in touch to assess medical fitness prior to coming in on the day of surgery. There are a number of instructions to follow before your procedure including stopping any aspirin containing medicines as these can increase bleeding and ideally stopping smoking. Smokers have a higher risk of slower wound healing as well as more chance of wound complications. On the day of your procedure, you must follow the preoperative fasting guidance which includes no food for 6 hours prior. Only clear fluids (water) is allowed up to 2 hours before your procedure. If you have lip lift surgery under local anaesthetic only, there is no need to fast beforehand.
On the day of your procedure
When you arrive for your lip lift procedure, you should aim to arrive on time to allow the admission process to proceed smoothly. One of our nurses will formally admit you and will check a number of items including making sure you have your postoperative medications. You will have your vital signs measured including blood pressure and heart rate. The anaesthetist will then meet you to perform a preoperative airway assessment. Finally your surgeon will consent you for the planned procedure followed by a detailed preoperative marking of the areas to be treated. Lip lift surgery takes about 1-2 hours to perform and if you choose GA, our anaesthetists use TIVA general anaesthesia to keep you comfortable throughout the procedure. Depending on the type of lip lift , the surgeon makes small incisions within the natural folds beneath the nose and will then carefully dissect the skin tissue followed by repositioning of the skin. The skin will then be carefully closed using fine sutures resulting in the upper lip being lifted. After the procedure is complete, you will spend time in our recovery suite where you will be prepared for nurse-led discharge once you have met all the discharge criteria. It is important to have a responsible adult such as a friend or family member to accompany you home and to look after you for the first 24 hours.
After your procedure
Once you are safely at home, you can be assured in having access to our specialist postoperative team round the clock. You will be given a contact number to contact your surgeon in the first 24 hours after surgery if there is any concern. Lip lift is associated with very little in the way of postoperative discomfort although a bruised and swollen appearance is common for the first week after surgery. Bruising should start to subside after 7-10 days. You should avoid intense sunlight after the procedure to reduce the risk of pigmentary changes.
Our postoperative team will look to call everyday for the first 2 weeks after your procedure. This is so we can monitor your levels of comfort and can alert your surgeon if there is any concern. Our proactive approach allows the detection of any potential issues early which results in more effective treatment. You are advised to rest for at least a few days after your lip lift procedure which will also help with pain control. Heavy exercise should be avoided for at least the first 4 weeks. Our postoperative clinical team will assess you face to face at your 1 week postoperative appointment to ensure healing is progressing normally and the wounds site are healthy. Your sutures will be removed if your surgeon used non-absorbable sutures. You will be booked for your surgeon follow-up appointment for 6 weeks after your procedure.