What is a Lip Lift?

A lip lift is a surgical procedure that involves removing a small strip of skin under your nose in order to lift the top lip. This results in a shortened space between the bottom of the nose (philtrum) and the top of the lip. This also results in a slight pull of the top lift, giving it a fuller, more enhanced appearance.
This procedure can be utilized as a permanent solution for thin lips, or thinning/sagging lips that may come with natural aging.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Lip Lift?

A lip lift can provide many benefits and enhancements for a patient, but it is important to set realistic goals and expectations for the outcome of the procedure. You may be a good candidate for this procedure if:

– You want to fuller lips with more volume and definition
– You have thin lips or lips that are starting to thin due to aging
– You believe that the space between the bottom of your nose and your top lip is too wide
– You have wrinkles around your mouth that you want smoothed out
– You are a nonsmoker. If you smoke, most plastic surgeons will ask that you stop smoking entirely, or stop smoking six weeks prior to your procedure, as well as six weeks post-operation.
– You are in good health overall. This procedure requires a period of healing. Ideally, the patient would not have any medical conditions that would impair or complicate the healing process. If you suffer from a chronic medical condition, it’s best to speak to your primary care physician to see if this procedure is right for you.

If you believe you are a good candidate for a lip lift based on the qualifications outlined above, we suggest you schedule a consultation with Dr. Buchanan to discuss the possibility of a lip lift and the added benefits it could bring to your life.


Because there are many lip lift techniques to choose from, it is important to be clear on your aesthetic goals. Before the surgery, Dr. Buchanan will listen to your desires for the outcome of your surgery and will help you decide which technique would work best to provide you with your desired results. This procedure is usually a minimally invasive outpatient procedure done on an outpatient basis under local anesthetic, such a numbing cream, or injections. However, depending on your preference and the complexity of your case and the technique that is used, the procedure may require general anesthesia.


Recovery from this procedure will vary from patient to patient depending on if it was combined with any other procedures, but in most cases, you can expect little downtime.
We typically recommend that patients take one week off from work in order to let the incisions heal and let the swelling subside. You may experience some bruising and soreness around the mouth, which can be treated with a cold compress or over-the-counter pain medication. Swelling usually last up to two weeks, and during this time, it is best to avoid excessive chewing of food or gum.

You will be instructed on how to clean the incision and apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound. During this time, it is critical to follow all instructions from Dr. Buchanan and make your scheduled follow-up appointments, so that you can recover as quickly as possible.


Most patients have visible results immediately following surgery. Permanent results will materialize after all swelling has faded, which can take up to three months. Results will last for several years with proper care and maintenance, which is an added benefit of having this surgery done over the repeated use of fillers. Most fillers last less than 12 months.
In order to prolong your results, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and daily practices to delay the natural aging process. Proper sun protection, a daily skincare regimen, and diet and exercise are all lifestyle habits that help keep signs of aging at bay.

Finding the Right Plastic Surgeon

During your search for a potential plastic surgeon, you should only consider a surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Board-certified surgeons spend a minimum of 6-8 years in training after medical school to ensure that they are well-trained in both aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

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