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Lip Lift

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Upper Lip Shortening in New York City with Dr. Cangello

In recent years, upper lip shortening, also known as lip lift surgery, has become a sought-after procedure at the New York City practice of Dr. David Cangello. Not only can an upper lip lift help patients achieve a more shapely pout, but this procedure can be used alone or in conjunction with a facelift to create a dramatically more youthful appearance.

Conducted with the proper artistry and expertise, upper lip shortening diminishes the distance between the bottom of the nose and the top of the lips and enhances the contour of the upper lip. As a world-class plastic surgeon, Dr. Cangello has mastered the techniques necessary to create the kind of natural-looking and refined results his patients rely on to improve their appearance as well as their self-confidence.

Contact Dr. Cangello today at (646) 733-4696 to schedule your lip lift consultation at his NYC office.

Benefits of an Upper Lip Lift

Over time, the supporting structures of a person’s face begin to loosen, causing the upper lip to gradually shift and droop downward. Resulting lengthening and thinning of the upper lip exacerbates the appearance of aging, which is further compounded by diminished exposure of the upper teeth when the person is in repose, speaking, or smiling. Using advanced lip lift surgery techniques, Dr. Cangello is able to reduce all of these aesthetic issues while improving the Cupid’s bow and overall appearance of the lips with minimal scarring and downtime.1

Some women also use a lip lift procedure to evert the upper lip, turning it outward. This is also often done with dermal fillers such as Juvéderm® and Restylane®Ⓡ, which creates the appearance of more lip volume by causing more of the pink part of the lip to show.

Preparing For Lip Lift Surgery

To ensure a smooth and successful lip enhancement procedure, it’s important to follow a few key preparation steps. First, avoid smoking for at least three months and alcohol consumption for at least two weeks prior to your surgery, as these can impair healing. Ensure you stay hydrated and maintain a healthy diet, rich in vitamins and proteins, to promote better recovery. Inform Dr. Cangello of any medications or supplements you’re taking, as certain products may need to be stopped beforehand. It’s also advisable to arrange for someone to drive you home post-surgery and assist you for the first 24-48 hours. Finally, prepare a comfortable recovery area at home with essential items like lip balm, ice packs, and soft foods within easy reach. Following these guidelines can help facilitate a smoother surgical experience and recovery.

The Lip Lift Procedure

An upper lip lift involves the removal of a small amount of skin between the nose and pink/red portion of the upper lip. This decreases the amount of visible skin between the nose and the upper lip and also increases the amount of the visible pink portion of the upper lip. In order to achieve the most favorable results with minimal scarring, Dr. Cangello employs what is often referred to as the bullhorn lip lift method, named for the shape of the incision made just under the nose.

Upper lip lift diagram

Once excess skin is removed, Dr. Cangello gently and precisely brings the edges of the incision together, literally lifting the upper lip to a slightly higher position on the face. Dr. Cangello then meticulously places sutures to minimize the appearance of any surgical scars, which will be hidden in the natural fold below the nostrils.2

Lip shortening surgery is performed at Dr. Cangello’s office in New York City, which is equipped with a fully accredited (AAASF) operating room, and generally takes less than an hour. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia. However if the patient desires, our anesthesiologist can administer sedation.

Recovery After Lip Lift Surgery

After lip lift surgery, it is common for patients to experience mild discomfort and swelling for the first 48 to 72 hours. This is easily managed with medication and cold compresses.

Dr. Cangello encourages his lip lift surgery patients to rest, minimize chewing by eating only soft foods, and engage in minimal physical activity for the first week following their procedure, after which they will return to his NYC office for him to remove their stitches and confirm that they are healing well. After this, patients will continue to see minor swelling abate over the course of the next two weeks, during which time patients are discouraged from engaging in strenuous activity.

Lip Lift Results

Patients who undergo lip lift surgery can expect to significantly enhance facial aesthetics by shortening the philtrum, the area between the base of the nose and the upper lip. The central portion of the lip will be elevated, offering a more youthful and pronounced cupid’s bow. Performed just beneath the nose in the subnasal area, a lip lift carefully reshapes this region.

Candidates for Lip Lift Surgery

If you feel that the lengthening or thinning of your upper lip has contributed to a tired or aged appearance, you may be a good candidate for lip shortening surgery with Dr. Cangello. Potential candidates should also be in good overall health, able to travel to Dr. Cangello’s offices in New York City, and have realistic expectations about what can be achieved through lip lift surgery.

Lip Lift Surgery vs Lip Augmentation

It is common for Dr. Cangello’s patients to explore the benefits of lip lift surgery as compared to lip augmentation using fillers, implants, or fat transfer. For some patients, lip augmentation may be sufficient to achieve a more youthful, pouty appearance to the lips. However, lip augmentation cannot change the position of the lips or the distance between the nose and lips which is often the source of a patient’s discontent. Additionally, lip lift surgery provides a permanently more youthful, fuller appearance to the mouth, the likes of which can only be maintained with regular and repeated use of lip fillers.3

To learn more about lip lift surgery and other facial rejuvenation options, please contact us to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. David Cangello in New York City.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lip Lift Surgery

Lip lift surgery typically takes about 1-2 hours and is usually performed under local anesthesia. However, the specifics can vary based on individual circumstances and the surgeon’s practices.

Post-surgery, patients may experience swelling and mild discomfort, which generally subsides within a week. Most patients can return to normal activities within a few days, but full healing and final results may take a few months to manifest.

Yes, the results of a lip lift are generally considered permanent. However, it’s important to note that natural aging processes will continue to affect the facial structure over time.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks including infection, scarring, asymmetry, and changes in sensation. Choosing a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon can help minimize these risks.

There is the possibility of visible scarring post-surgery. However, Dr. Cangello strives to minimize this risk by ensuring the incisions are well-concealed within the natural contours of the nose.

The cost of lip lift surgery varies depending on the specific details of the procedure. During your consultation with Dr. Cangello you’ll receive a cost breakdown and surgical treatment plan designed to address your cosmetic goals.

Yes, a lip lift can be combined with other facial cosmetic procedures like rhinoplasty or facelift for a more comprehensive rejuvenation. Dr. Cangello can recommend the best combination of procedures based on your aesthetic goals.

Contact plastic surgeon Dr. David Cangello today at (212) 644-4416 to schedule a breast augmentation consultation at his NYC office.

1 Austin, H. The Lip Lift. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Volume 77, Issue 6, June 1986, pages 990-994. Available:

2 Spiegel JH. The Modified Bullhorn Approach for the Lip-lift. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2019;21(1):69–70. doi:10.1001/jamafacial.2018.0847.

3 Holden PK, Sufyan AS, Perkins SW. Long-term Analysis of Surgical Correction of the Senile Upper Lip. Arch Facial Plast Surg. 2011;13(5):332–336. doi:10.1001/archfacial.2011.55.

Dr. Cangello has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

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The consultation fee with Dr. Cangello starts at $250. Your consultation fee may be applied to your procedure, provided you undergo the same procedure for which you had the consultation.