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Lip Shortening

Lip shortening is a surgical procedure designed to improve the facial aesthetic by removing excess skin from above the upper lips and reshaping the remaining tissue. Typically, this technique is ideal for patients who are concerned with having excessive space between the nose and upper lip, which can produce an unbalanced appearance. Both young and mature patients can benefit from this procedure and enjoy a plump and luscious pout.

Do you...

  • Feel dissatisfied with the downturned corners of your lips because they make you appear upset?
  • Desire a fuller upper lip that complements your facial features?
  • Yearn for improved facial proportions and balance?
  • Wish your lips had a better shape?
  • Want your teeth to be more exposed when smiling or speaking?

What Lip Shortening Can Achieve

One of the most visible indicators of age can be a thinning upper lip with downturned corners. Lip shortening surgery minimizes signs of aging by lifting the center and edges of the upper lip, producing a more youthful smile. Other techniques can also help smooth vertical lip lines, if necessary.

Patients with thin lips may want to consider lip shortening surgery to achieve a plumper pout. This procedure shortens the space between the nose and upper lip to produce a fuller lip aesthetic. Some patients may also pair lip shortening with augmentation for optimal results.

Throughout the aging process, the lips can undergo various changes and may become disproportionate to other facial features. Individuals who opt for lip shortening surgery can improve their facial balance by addressing thin or drooping lips, revealing a more attractive overall appearance.


Various lip shortening techniques can be utilized to create fuller and more prominent lips. Lip shortening can be performed using local anesthesia, allowing patients to drive themselves home immediately following treatment. Some patients will choose IV sedation if they are overly anxious or desire to be more relaxed. During your consultation, Dr. Agullo will determine the ideal lip enhancement approach to achieve your cosmetic objectives.

Subnasal Lip Lift

  • A bullhorn-shaped incision is created beneath the nostrils, through which excess skin is removed
  • The philtrum (the area between the nose and upper lip) is shortened
  • Incisions are hidden at the base of the nose

Corner Lip Lift

  • A tiny incision is placed at each side of the upper lip, through which minimal tissue is excised
  • Can be performed in conjunction with the subnasal lip lift technique
  • The incision is concealed along the edges of the lips

Lip Augmentation

  • Lip augmentation helps make the lips more prominent and smooths fine lines
  • Injectable fillers or fat transfer can be used for additional lip enhancement


  • Laser or radiofrequency treatments can be used at the same time as other techniques to remove fine or coarse wrinkles around the mouth for a total oral rejuvenation

Preparing for Your Surgery

Patients who are planning on undergoing a lip shortening procedure must refrain from smoking and taking blood-thinning medications or supplements for at least two weeks before their scheduled surgery. Because this procedure is performed using local anesthesia, there is no need to make arrangements for someone to transport the patient to and from the facility. Patients are advised to take one week off of work to allow any side effects to subside.

Lip Shortening FAQs

Who are the best candidates for lip shortening?

Ideal candidates for lip shortening are displeased with their facial appearance due to having a long philtrum, a drooping cupid’s bow, downturned lip corners, fine lines around the mouth, and disproportionately sized lips. They must also be in good health and have realistic expectations of the procedure.

What is the ideal upper lip length?

The ideal space between the upper lip and the bottom of the nose varies with gender. For females, a distance between 1.0 and 1.2 cm is optimal, and in men, 1.3 to 1.8 cm is considered optimal.

What are the risks of lip shortening?

While complications following lip shortening are rare, some of the potential risks may include:

  • Infection
  • Hematoma or seroma
  • Scarring
  • Changes in sensation
What can I expect during my recovery after lip shortening?

Patients can expect to experience the bulk of their recovery during the first few days after their lip shortening procedure. Swelling should subside considerably within one week, but residual swelling can persist for as long as three months. Applying cold compresses and taking over-the-counter pain medication can help alleviate any postoperative discomfort.

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