Lip Lift 101: Everything You Need to Know About the Popular Procedure

Lip Lift 101: Everything You Need to Know About the Popular Procedure featured image
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To make lips look fuller without undergoing routine filler injections, many patients are now opting for a more permanent lip enhancement solution. The trending Lip Lift surgery can turn the Cupid’s Bow upwards and increase volume of the pink upper lip.

Delray Beach, FL facial plastic surgeon Miguel Mascaro, MD performs countless Lip Lifts a year and is a go-to surgeon for this popular surgery.“ With a lip lift, we are permanently shortening the distance between the upper lip and the nose, this causes more of the pink part of the upper lip to show which makes lips look more youthful and voluminous,” he says.

Are Lip Lifts new?

While the techniques of the surgery have been refined over time, Dr. Mascaro says shortening the distance between the lips and the nose for aesthetic purposes is not new at all. “The first time that anything on Lip Lifts was published was in 1986, but it’s been over 30 years that this has been around. And by the time it was published, they were describing techniques that surgeons had been using for more than a decade. In the early 90s is when we started to see some of those changes with new fillers coming out, so the paradigm shifted. Now, we’ve gotten results to a place where there are imperceptible scars and more sophisticated techniques. We’ve also learned more about who the best person is for the procedure,” he explains.

Why do our lips change shape over time?

If you’ve noticed changes in your lips as you’ve gotten older, it’s not all in your head. “What’s happening is the conveyor belt of time is moving and as you get older you start losing some collagen and elastin, so your lips start to move farther away from your nose. When you add filler to the lips, they start to droop down even more,” notes Dr. Mascaro.

To pinpoint aging changes in the lips, Dr. Mascaro recommends looking back at pictures of yourself when you were younger. “You’ll see when you were smiling, or laughing, all you see is teeth,” he says. “What we associate with youthfulness is not actually the pout, but the increased tooth display which is a sign of youthfulness.”

Who is a good candidate for a Lip Lift?

To find out whether you’re a good candidate for a Lip Lift, it may be better to ask first who is NOT a good candidate. “For people who have elongated faces, or an oval shape, this may not be a good procedure for them,” advises the surgeon. “If you’ve already got a lot of tooth show, a Lip Lift is just going to make their faces look longer.

Can a Lip Lift help plump up a thin upper lip?

If you’ve got a thin upper lip, a Lip Lift won’t give you the increased volume you may desire, says Dr. Mascaro. “This procedure really addresses shape, more than the volume. What it does is it tricks your brain into thinking there’s more volume because all you’re doing is taking that surface area and turning it up, but you’re not actually plumping it or have anything there. If you’ve got a thin lip, you can’t expect to double it when you flip it. If you need to actually create more volume, then you can plump it up with fat grafting or filler.”

Does a Lip Lift leave a scar?

Anytime you make an incision there is a risk of visible scaring, but Dr. Mascaro notes that in the hands of a skilled surgeon, the degree of scaring can be controlled and his goal is for a seamless result. “From my end, I think of every single variable that I can control. That means that everything from what instruments we use during surgery, what settings for the instruments we use during surgery, and what medications we give patients before and after surgery—It’s all geared towards minimizing those variables.”

How long does a Lip Lift take?

While a Lip Lift is a true surgical procedure, it is done in under an hour and downtime is minimal. “It takes me about 45 minutes to an hour,” says Dr. Mascaro, who has patients fly in from across the country for his expertise. “I normally tell patients my cheesy line is, you know, just because your flight is 45 minutes doesn’t mean your whole trip is 45 minutes. It’s kind of like going to the airport. You’ll be in my office for about two hours. For most of my patients, healing time takes about 10 days. You’ll be a little pink, but you can cover it up with a little bit of makeup.”

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