What is a Bullhorn Lip Lift?

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One of the many things we notice as we age is that our lips aren’t as plump as they used to be. Lucky for us, there are many ways that we can get our youthful pout back through cosmetic procedures. Many patients opt for fillers like Juvéderm, Restylane, Sculptra or Radiesse because “adding volume gives us that more youthful look,” says Las Vegas plastic surgeon Mary Herte, MD. However, some patients opt for more invasive procedures and among those procedures is the “bullhorn lip lift.”

“A bullhorn lip lift is a standard lip lift,” says New York plastic surgeon Tracy M. Pfeifer, MD. “The incision goes just beneath the nose. Some skin is resected and it lifts up the lip.”

After the procedure is done, more teeth will show when your lips are at rest. It’s this feature that generally gives you a more youthful appearance. “It can make the appearance more youthful as when we age the upper lip gets longer in relation to the teeth, which are getting worn down,” says Dr. Pfeifer. 

But this procedure isn’t just limited to older patients. A bullhorn lip lift can also be used on younger people to achieve better balance between the lips and the teeth.

While this sounds like a great procedure, Dr. Pfeifer says to use caution when considering it. That’s because there will be a permanent scar. Also, it may turn out that what the patient actually needs is dental work to restore the balance and not this type of lip lift. What’s more, patients may actually need craniofacial surgery to get the desired look. Talk with a board-certified plastic surgeon to see if it might be right for you. 

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