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Lip Lift

Lip Lift

The lip lift is a cosmetic procedure that has gained popularity over the past years due to its potential to create a youthful and more balanced facial appearance. We live in a society where visual appeal can play a significant role, and this has led to an increase in the demand for procedures like the lip lift. As such, it’s important for individuals considering this procedure to gain a comprehensive understanding of what it entails.

One of the first things to understand about a lip lift is that it is a surgical procedure, carried out by a plastic surgeon like Anca Breahna. This procedure is designed to reshape the upper lip to increase its prominence and give it a more aesthetic appeal. The purpose of this procedure is not just about creating an appealing upper lip, but also about achieving a balance with the other facial features to ensure a harmonious overall look.

At a glance

Procedure Time
1 to 2 hours
Procedure Anaesthesia
Local Anaesthesia
Procedure Downtime
A few days

Table of Contents

What is a Lip Lift?

A lip lift, in the simplest of terms, is a cosmetic surgery intended to enhance the appearance of the lips, mainly the upper lip. The aim of this procedure is to create a more defined lip line, reduce the distance between the nose and the upper lip, and give the lips a fuller, more appealing look. It’s a tailored procedure that’s adjusted to your facial structure, individual needs, and desired outcome.

The specifics of the procedure can vary depending on your facial features and desired results. In some cases, only a small adjustment is required to achieve the desired result, while in other instances, more extensive work might be necessary. This is one of the reasons why a thorough consultation with Anca is an essential part of the process.

Lip lift good candidates

Who Needs Lip Lift?

Determining candidacy for a lip lift is a multifaceted process involving both physical and mental factors. Below, we explore these factors in more detail:

Physical Appearance of the Lips

  • Thin Upper Lip: Many people who choose to have a lip lift are not satisfied with the thinness of their upper lip. They desire a fuller, more prominent upper lip, which a lip lift can provide by reshaping the upper lip and enhancing its fullness
  • Long Upper Lip: Some people may feel that their upper lip is too long, or that it hangs over their teeth more than they would like. This can lead to less of the upper teeth being visible when the person talks or smiles. A lip lift can help in these cases by shortening the upper lip
  • Lack of Definition: A well-defined cupid’s bow (the double curve of the upper lip) is often seen as a desirable trait. Those lacking this definition may opt for a lip lift to create a more defined shape to the upper lip
  • Large Philtrum: The philtrum is the area between the upper lip and the base of the nose. If someone feels this area is too long, it can make the upper lip appear smaller and less noticeable. A lip lift can help by shortening the philtrum, which in turn enhances the prominence of the upper lip

Overall Physical Health

Before any surgical procedure, candidates must be in good overall health. This means:

  • No Chronic Health Conditions: Individuals with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or any other chronic illnesses may face increased risks during surgery and the recovery process. It’s essential to discuss these concerns with Anca before considering a lip lift
  • Non-Smokers: Smoking can complicate both the surgery and the recovery process, as it impedes healing and increases the risk of complications. Individuals who smoke are usually asked to quit well in advance of the procedure

Age Considerations

Age can also play a significant role in determining whether someone is a good candidate for a lip lift.

  • Ageing Signs: As we age, the upper lip can lengthen and lose volume, leading to a less youthful appearance. Those who are beginning to notice these signs of ageing might consider a lip lift to restore a more youthful look to their lips
  • Younger Individuals: That being said, a lip lift isn’t just for older individuals. Younger people who are unsatisfied with their natural lip appearance may also opt for a lip lift to achieve their desired aesthetic

Mental Preparedness

Undergoing any form of cosmetic surgery requires a certain level of mental preparedness. It’s vital to:

  • Understand the Procedure: Candidates should have a clear understanding of what the procedure entails, the risks involved, and the expected outcomes. A thorough consultation with Anca can provide this information
  • Have Realistic Expectations: While a lip lift can significantly enhance a person’s appearance, it is not a path to perfection. Candidates need to have realistic expectations about the results
  • Be Ready for Recovery: The recovery process after a lip lift requires time and patience. Candidates should be mentally prepared for this aspect of the procedure

Lip lift benefits


Benefits of Lip Lift Surgery

Lip lift surgery offers a number of significant advantages to those who wish to enhance the appearance of their lips and overall facial aesthetics. Here are some of the key benefits of this procedure:

Enhanced Lip Fullness:

  • A primary benefit of lip lift surgery is the enhancement of lip fullness, particularly in the upper lip
  • By altering the shape and position of the upper lip, the procedure can create the appearance of greater volume, without the need for fillers or implants

Shorter Philtrum:

  • The philtrum, the area between the base of the nose and the upper lip, can elongate with age or may naturally be longer in some individuals
  • Lip lift surgery can effectively shorten the philtrum, giving the face a more balanced and youthful appearance

Increased Tooth Show:

  • An ideal smile shows the right amount of upper teeth. However, with a longer upper lip or with age, fewer teeth are visible when smiling
  • A lip lift can increase the visibility of the upper teeth when smiling, leading to a more attractive and youthful smile

Improved Facial Harmony:

  • The lips play a key role in facial aesthetics. By enhancing the appearance of the lips, a lip lift can improve overall facial harmony and balance
  • This can make the face look more proportional and can enhance the individual’s overall attractiveness

Long-Lasting Results:

  • Unlike temporary solutions such as dermal fillers, a lip lift offers long-lasting results
  • Once the lip lift has been performed and healing is complete, the changes in lip shape and position are typically permanent

Boost in Positivity:

  • Improving the appearance of the lips can have a significant impact on an individual’s positivity and satisfaction with their looks
  • The resultant enhancement can lead to an improved outlook and a more positive self-perception

Customisable Procedure:

  • There are various types of lip lift procedures available, each designed to address specific issues
  • This means that the procedure can be tailored to meet the individual’s unique needs and aesthetic goals

How is Lip lift surgery performed

Types of Lip Lift Procedures

Direct Lip Lift

  • The direct lip lift is a technique where an incision is made along the border of the upper lip, and a small strip of skin is removed
  • The upper lip is then lifted directly upward, reducing the distance between the upper lip and the nose
  • This procedure can provide substantial enhancement in lip volume but is less commonly performed due to the more visible scar along the lip line

Subnasal Bullhorn Lip Lift

  • Also known as a ‘subnasal lip lift’ or ‘bullhorn lip lift’, this is the most common type of lip lift procedure
  • Anca creates an incision just under the nose, following a pattern that looks like a bull’s horns, hence the name
  • The skin between the incisions is removed, allowing your plastic surgeon to lift the upper lip to a more aesthetically pleasing position. This shortens the philtrum and enhances the visibility of the upper teeth when smiling

Italian Lip Lift

  • The Italian Lip Lift is a variation of the subnasal lip lift. Instead of one single incision under the nose, two smaller incisions are made
  • This technique provides subtle lift and volume to the upper lip. The scars are also smaller and less noticeable
  • It’s called the Italian lift because the incisions resemble the shape of Italy when viewed from the side

Corner Lip Lift

  • Unlike other types of lip lifts that mainly focus on the central part of the upper lip, a corner lip lift targets the corners of the mouth
  • This type of lip lift is beneficial for people who have a persistent frown due to the downward slope of the mouth corners
  • The procedure involves making small incisions just above each corner of the mouth, lifting the corners upward and creating a more cheerful expression

Central Lip Lift (Gull Wing Lift)

  • The Central Lip Lift, sometimes referred to as a “Gull Wing” lift due to the shape of the incision, is a procedure that aims to increase the prominence and fullness of the central part of the upper lip
  • This type of lip lift procedure involves an incision made along the border of the upper lip, which can be designed to mirror the shape of a seagull in flight, hence the nickname
  • Your plastic surgeon then removes a thin strip of skin from along this incision. The absence of this skin allows the central part of the lip to lift upward, increasing the visibility and volume of the ‘pink’ part of the lip
  • While this technique can provide significant enhancement to the fullness and shape of the upper lip, it is less commonly performed due to the location of the incision and the potential for a more visible scar. The Central Lip Lift is usually considered for patients who desire a substantial increase in upper lip fullness and who are less concerned about the possibility of a visible scar

How is the Lip Lift Procedure Performed?

The lip lift procedure may vary slightly depending on the specific type of lift being performed, but the general steps usually include the following:

Consultation and Planning

  • Before the surgery, you’ll have a consultation with Anca to discuss your aesthetic goals, evaluate your facial structure, and decide on the best lip lift technique for you
  • Your plastic surgeon will take detailed measurements and may use computer imaging to plan the procedure and show you potential outcomes


  • Lip lift surgery is usually performed under local anaesthesia, which means you will be awake but your upper lip area will be numbed
  • In some cases, sedation or general anaesthesia may be used, depending on your comfort level and the complexity of the procedure

Making the Incision

  • Anca will make an incision at the designated site. The location and shape of this incision will depend on the type of lip lift you’re getting. For example, a subnasal bullhorn lip lift involves an incision under the nose, while a direct lip lift involves an incision along the upper lip line
  • Your plastic surgeon will carefully cut along the pre-marked lines to minimise scarring and ensure precise results

Lifting the Lip

  • Once the incision is made, Anca removes a small strip of skin and underlying tissue
  • The remaining skin is then lifted and secured in its new, elevated position, which creates a shorter, fuller-looking upper lip

Closing the Incision

  • The incision is then carefully closed with sutures. Your plastic surgeon will take care to place these sutures in a way that minimises visible scarring and supports the new shape of your lip

Recovery after Lip Lift Procedure

Recovering from a lip lift procedure involves several stages and specific care instructions to ensure proper healing and the best possible outcome. Here’s what you can generally expect during the recovery period:

Immediate Post-Surgery Care

  • Right after the surgery, your lips and the surrounding area may feel numb due to the local anaesthesia. This sensation will wear off gradually over a few hours
  • You might experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort in the first 48 to 72 hours. Applying cold compresses can help reduce these symptoms
  • Anca may prescribe pain relief medication to manage any discomfort

Incision Care

  • You will likely have stitches along the incision line, which need to be kept dry and clean
  • Your plastic surgeon will provide specific instructions on how to care for your incision site
  • Most stitches are removed within a week after the surgery. Anca will use dissolvable sutures that don’t require removal

Activity Restrictions

  • It’s usually advised to take it easy for a few days after the surgery and avoid strenuous activities
  • Activities that could increase blood flow to the face, like bending over or heavy lifting, should be avoided
  • You should also avoid hot showers, saunas, and other heat sources, as heat can increase swelling

Dietary Adjustments

  • Eating soft foods and avoiding hot drinks can help manage any initial discomfort during eating
  • You should also stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water, which aids the healing process

Follow-up Appointments

  • Anca will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress
  • These visits are essential for your plastic surgeon to ensure you are healing properly, remove non-dissolvable sutures, and address any concerns you may have

Long-Term Results

  • Swelling can take several weeks to fully subside, and it’s important to be patient during this time. The final results of your lip lift may not be apparent until all the swelling has gone down
  • Scars from the incision will fade gradually over several months and can be concealed with makeup once fully healed

Further Reading



Frequently asked questions

A lip lift procedure is relatively quick. It usually takes between one to two hours to complete, depending on the complexity of the individual case and the specific type of lip lift being performed.

Most people can return to work within a few days of having a lip lift procedure. However, the exact timeline can vary based on the specifics of your procedure and your individual healing process. Anca will provide more personalised guidance on when you can resume work and other normal activities.

Yes, a lip lift procedure can be combined with other facial surgeries such as rhinoplasty, facelift, or chin augmentation, among others. This depends on your overall aesthetic goals, and it’s best to discuss this with your plastic surgeon during your consultation.

The cost of a lip lift procedure can vary widely depending on several factors, including the specific type of lip lift performed, the complexity of the procedure, and the region in which the surgery is performed. Other costs to consider include anaesthesia fees, surgical facility costs, and any additional post-operative care.

While scarring is a part of any surgical procedure, the scars from a lip lift are well-hidden under the base of the nose or along the natural contours of the upper lip. Over time, these scars typically fade and become less noticeable. Anca will provide you with instructions on how to care for your incision to promote optimal healing and minimise scarring.

While lip lift surgery is generally safe and complications are rare when performed by a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon, no surgery is without risks. Here are some potential risks and complications associated with the procedure:

  • Bleeding: As with any surgery, there is a risk of bleeding during or after the procedure. While this is well-controlled during the operation, any post-operative bleeding should be reported to your plastic surgeon
  • Infection: There is a risk of infection whenever an incision is made in the skin. While steps are taken to minimize this risk, such as administering antibiotics and maintaining sterile conditions during surgery, it’s crucial to follow all post-operative care instructions to prevent an infection
  • Scarring: Scarring is inevitable with any surgical procedure, and the visibility of scars can vary between individuals. Anca will make every effort to place the incisions in inconspicuous locations, and the scars should fade over time
  • Asymmetry: There’s a risk that the lips may not heal symmetrically. However, this is rare and can often be corrected with a minor revision procedure if necessary
  • Altered Sensation: Some patients may experience temporary or, in rare cases, permanent changes in the sensation of the upper lip. Most often, this is a temporary numbness that resolves as the surgical area heals
  • Dissatisfaction with Aesthetic Results: There’s always a risk that you might not be fully satisfied with the results of your surgery. It’s important to have realistic expectations and to discuss them thoroughly with Anca prior to the procedure
  • Reaction to Anesthesia: Some people may have an adverse reaction to the anaesthesia used during surgery. This risk is generally low, especially when the procedure is performed under local anaesthesia
  • Delayed Healing: Everyone heals at their own pace, and in some cases, the healing process may take longer than expected. Factors such as age, overall health, smoking, and compliance with post-operative instructions can impact healing

About Anca Breahna – Consultant Plastic Surgeon

top UK cosmetic surgeon anca breahnaMs Anca Breahna, PhD, MSc, FEBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast) is a highly regarded Consultant Plastic Surgeon specialising in the field of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Anca performs a range of breast, body and face surgery and minor skin procedures.

As one of the very few female Plastic Surgeons in her region, she is able to offer that unique female perspective, with empathy, attention to detail and personalised care.

Anca Breahna’s surgical training has been largely undertaken within the United Kingdom. She began a rigorous training programme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1999, after achieving her medical degree from the University of Bucharest. Miss Breahna attained her PhD degree at the same university in 2007 for her medical research. She then relocated to the UK to further extend her qualifications and training.

Anca’s NHS practice is now focused on Breast Reconstructive Surgery, Skin Cancer Surgery, Hand Surgery and soft tissue reconstruction. Over the last 15 years, through her pursuit of further training and education, Anca has developed a special interest and expert practical experience in a range of Aesthetic Breast and Body Surgery.

It is Anca’s true dedication and commitment to her field, that sets her aside from her peers. Her extensive surgical training means that you are in safe hands. She is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

Anca will treat you in a straightforward manner, with respect, consideration and empathy to ensure you are comfortable with your choice.



Your Next Steps

Do your Research

  • Please read our website pages and blogs to learn more about your intended procedure.
  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read more about the risks of your surgery.

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • A Medical Referral from your Doctor before your consultation is not compulsory however  it is recommended.
  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Anca – Car parking is available on-site at all hospitals.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly read all the documents provided.

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

Please call to find out more about availability, pricing and medical payment plans or to request more information about the procedure, contact us.

How to Book your Consultation with Anca Breahna – Plastic Surgeon

You can book your consultation with Anca by paying the £150 cosmetic consultation fee when you make your appointment. This fee covers further consultations about the same concern.

Contact Anca’s Team

Call Claire on 0800 080 6026 or Joedy on 03332 244111 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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    Nuffield Health
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