Lip augmentation, Duck lips, and Lip lifts

The lips are an important feature of your facial appearance. It is one of the first things women address as they begin to show signs of aging in the face. They are looking for a more youthful appearance, but think they need a Lip augmentation. In other words, they think that making their lips fuller will make them more attractive. However, often times, the real solution is not a Lip augmentation, but a Lip lift.

What do beautiful lips look like?

Beautiful lips generally have these  defining characteristics :

  • well shaped cupid’s bow
  • 1.1 cm distance between the bottom of the nose and the top of the red part of the lip
  • a degree of fullness

For some reason, society has focused on the ‘fullness’ part, with a complete disregard for the other features that make beautiful lips.  The result is that there are a lot of duck lips out there. I know you have seen them – Not to pick on Melanie Griffith or Goldie Hawn, but all of those fillers just made the lips stick out–ala duck lips. Why?

Long space above upper lip creates Duck lips

The reason is that when the upper lip length (distance between the bottom of their nose and the top of their lips) is more than 1.5 cm , the upper and lower lips run into each other as you bring the jaws together. Thus, with fillers the lips have no where to go but out!  The real solution to their lip problem would have been to raise the upper lip.  A lip lift alone can make a HUGE difference.

Do i need a Lip lift or Lip augmentation?

So – do you need a Lip lift or a Lip augmentation?  The first step is to measure the distance between your upper lip and the bottom of the nose. If that distance is longer than 1.1 cm, or if you can’t see the upper teeth with the mouth slightly open, you would benefit more from a lip lift than fillers. The reason is that a lip lift would reshape the cupid’s bow, restore some fullness, and shorten the upper lip. Fillers, on the other hand, don’t shorten the upper lip, and can give you the “Duck lips” look.

I have been doing the Lip lift procedure for over 10 years. It’s a wonderful procedure and I wish that more people were aware of what a difference it can make! See our before and after Lip lift gallery to see for yourself.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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122 thoughts on “Lip augmentation, Duck lips, and Lip lifts”

    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      hi Dawn- The upper lift lift is $3200 and we have offered this fixed price for several years. You can read more about the procedure here: Our apologies for the delay in answering. We just recovered these comments from April! If you have any more questions, please call us at 410-494-8100. You can also schedule a Virtual Consultation by first filling out our Contact Form. Thank you for posting!
  • Delores Riggs says:

    I am a African American woman with full lips I would like smaller lips. What can you do for me if anything?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      If I could I would try to convince you to exchange lips with my wife. All kidding aside, there are several procedures I don't do and this is one of them. Just like liposuctioning of the outer thigh. I just don't like the results, and when you don't like what the surgery is supposed to look like you will never do the best job for the patient.
  • lysette rosado says:

    will a rhinoplast/septoplasty cause a longer lip. I find that is what has happened to me.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lysette: Yes it definitely can. There are two reasons. 1) If the tip of your nose is turned up with the rhinoplasty the lip will show more and appear longer. The second reason is that during the rhinoplasty sometimes the small communicating ligaments between the muscle of the lip and that of the tip of the nose are weakened.The ip then will descend over time. We do a lot of Lip Lifts on people who have had rhinoplasties. You can contact Kelly at for more info.
  • Hazel says:

    just what i am looking for. i dont have a mouth i have what i call a letter box. my top lip is none existent made worse by not having any bottom teeth (treatment at dentist starts very soon) i would like to know if after my dental work work a lip lift be suitable for me. there is literally no pink lip flesh showing on my top lip and the flesh from under nose to lip top is about 2.3mm
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Hazel: It certainly sounds like you would benefit a lot from a lip lift. Contact Kelly at so we can arrange a virtual consult and I can give you more specific advice. But I agree with you that it is very important to start the dental work.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Samantha: What you are describing sounds attractive as it is! Anyways, there is a procedure called lip reduction. It consists of excising part of the inner lining of the lip to make it thinner
  • indji says:

    dear Dr. Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez i wanted to ask u about the liplift... i wanted to do the procedure very much since when i smile my teeth dont show anymore although few years bas they did... i have used fillers to make my lips fuller as they were thin so mow when i close my upper and lower teeth together i get that ducky lip look so i stopped injecting my upper lip but still when i smile no teeth look as b4 and still i have that elongated space from the end of nose till beginning of lip. first i thought that my teeth bite is stronger and thus making me grid stronger that my upper lip bite became lower resulting in the elongated ducky look, i thought about a lip lift but i have thick skin and i am afraid that the scar will look bad.. special at the nose base where i feel the skin is v thick... what would u recommend? is there any othee non surgical way to fix this? will oping for teeth veneers with a longer teeth length than my usual ones?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Indji: I think a lip lift would help you, it is VERY rare to get a scar from my technique (only one thick scar in over 300 cases). Unfortunately, there are no nonsurgical alternatives.Finally I don't think they could make veneers long enough to correct your lip problem. I will give Kelly at your info so we can set up a virtual consult if you are interested.
  • Sahra says:

    Hello.I want to make my upper lip smaller and also to reshape the width.Will a lip lift help my situation?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sahra: A lip lift will indeed make the upper lip smaller, it is what it was designed to do. It can also reshape the width up to a point. I need to know more about your case to make definitive recommendations. Contact Kelly at or I can give her your info. We'd love to help you!
  • Lisa says:

    Hi how are you able to work with a patient who lives in a different state? How do they have the surgery and then return for the removal of the stitches? How long are they expected to stay in town after the surgery is over? What if there are problems after they go home? Is there any time of year when the price is lower ? Thanks Lisa
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lisa: We have patients from all over the world, and by that I mean as far as China, India, Europe, etc. You can get a lot of these details by communicating with Kelly at The lip lift procedure is very simple to manage and is done under local anesthesia. As for problems that may need medical attention after surgery, that would be extremely unusual, and we have not had one yet. We have had a few (about 5 or 6) that have come back because they want the lip a little more lifted.
  • Françoise says:

    Doctor, I live in France, and planning a secondary lip lift soon. I must say, here the lip lift surgery is not as popular as in the USA, and I am not sure, that it might be succsessful, if done by French surgeon, because my first lip lift has been failed - my lip dropped down 1 month after and left me scars under the nose.... Please give me our opinion about this lip lift procedure's description, given to me by one of surgeons I visited in Paris. I translated it in english, and hope, you'll understand this universal doctor's language, despite my non professional traduction :) "Indeed a facelift of the upper lip by removing only a portion of skin is not used much except to make a scar, the finished lip always backfires sooner or later. It does not really make sense to use this technique which is always doomed to failure. We must not only tie-muscle but also the skin bank less than a solid plan or cartilage forming the nasal septum is the bony spine of the maxilla. Thus the result is long-lasting and theoretically it is the only way to do this. The lip is maintained by the muscles and also by a fixed and solid anatomical structure (muscle or cartilage). With this method recidivism are extremely rare (less than 3% against 95% with pure skin technique). This is what I always do" Doctor, Is this the same technic as you do? Regards Françoise
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Françoise: I do secure the skin to cartilage and periosteum, but I do not tie the muscle. I have done over 250 of these lip lifts without ever tying the muscle and have not had any relapses. I do not feel comfortable endorsing the work of any surgeon whose work I have not witnessed. It is like any other type of craft- to describe it is one thing, to perform it quite another.
  • Kevin says:

    My bottom left lip gets bigger then smaller for some reason and I don't know why? Anyway, I went to a doctor and he told me that it is a muscle in my lip that made it bigger. But why does it get smaller sometimes too? This happens all day long. My lip will look some what normal then go back to being BIG! Does anyone know what is going on with my bottom left lip? Thank you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Kevin: To answer that I would need to see you talking and have you point out the areas in question. This usually requires a virtual consult by Skype or FaceTime.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Kevin: To answer that I would need to see you talking and have you point out the areas in question. This usually requires a virtual consult by Skype or FaceTime. I will tell Kelly at
  • sarah says:

    Hi dr, I had a lip lift done around 7 weeks ago with an initial 16mm philtrum length , 8 mm of skin were removed (I thought the surgeon was going to remove 4 or 5 mm to make it look natural) I know have a 6 or 7 mm philtrum on the cupid bow area and it still the same as before (16 mm) on the corners. Does lip lift drop down with time? how many weeks do I have to wait? thank you
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sarah: Give it at least 4 months before you know what the ultimate result will be. The front lip will come down, I just can't tell you how much. You may also need a corner lip lift to even out the result. I'll have Kelly at contact you
  • Stewart Morton says:

    When I open mouth my top lip pertrudes out, what I want is when I open my mouth my top is still flush with my bottom lipcan this be done and what would be the price for this procedure
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Stewart: This needs a visualization for me. Do you have an overbite? Have you had fillers already in your upper lip or any kind of procedure? Contact Kelly at if you are interested in a virtual consultation so I can take a look at pictures and discuss more fully with you
  • maureen says:

    Hi! Well, I cannot see my upper teeth and am very interested in a lip lift. I live in Central Florida can you recommend a surgeon in my area? All I have visited want to do fillers but I am afraid I would be the "Duck lips" Thank you for the wonderful video and any help you can give.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Maureen: Sorry for the delay in replying. There are only a few people in the country who can do this well or reliably. It is difficult to recommend anyone as I do not know how other people do it. The office handles more than 50 year which is more than anyone I am aware of. The procedure is done under local anesthesia. Patients from all over the world come to do it with us including people who have done it somewhere else and now need a revision. Patients have come from Hong Kong, Singapur, Germany, England, India, etc. Of course we also do many from all over the US and Canada. For you its should be an easy overnight trip. Contact Kelly at if you are interested.
  • Elizabeth shaneyfelt says:

    I have done my facial inj for several years. am APRN. Would like to do lips. Can I get instructions faxed to me?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Elizabeth: Different states have different regulations as to injections by non MD personnel. But in all cases it has to be under direct supervision of a physician. I advise you to get a physician in your area to make arrangements with you for supervision.
  • Tara Black says:

    Hi I'm interested in lip lift and lower and upper lip implants. Is it possible to have both procedures done at the same time?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Tara: Contact Kelly at for details. She will be happy to help you. The simple answer is yes. But really every case is individual and sometimes it may be better to do the lip first because the lift itself does help. The best way to know what is best for you is to set up a virtual consult so I can look at pictures etc.
  • Sabrina says:

    Hello I have natural big full lips and the destin between nose and lips is 2cm ! The problem is that when I try to see how it look with a lip lift my lips get very big and it is very ugly ... can I get a lip lift without increase my lip size?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sabrina: I don't think it should be a big worry. In any case, I would need a FaceTime(apple) or Skype virtual consult to get a better idea of what is possible in your particular case. Contact Kelly at for more info. Thanks!
  • Nada says:

    I did Juvéderm on my lips and one side starting drooping, it looks like my lips had a stroke. What is the solution to fix this? Can I inject anything to remove the Juvéderm? Where are you located?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Nada: I do not know what was done to your lip, nor can I see what it looks like so it is difficult for me to make a judgement. Were you injected by a nurse, paramedical person or a physician? If it was a physician, he may be able to explain what happened. Nurse injectors or estheticians may not necessarily know how to deal with this situation. Regardless, don't worry too much, this will not be permanent as Restylane is dissolved by the body. In any case, your best bet may be to see a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon near your area. We are located in Baltimore Maryland.
  • Nancy Elliott says:

    Dr. Rodriquez, I had a lip augmentation done with other procedures 12 yrs ago. The Dr. Told me he was using my own ear cardeledge. I am now 67 and have the "duck upper lip". When I called to get my records so I could look into having it fixed, if possible, they said they " can't find" my file. Another Dr. said it did not feel like "my own" "tissue. I used to be a television commercial spokesperson and now I will not even have my photo taken. You would probably say that it's not that bad but it really bothers me. I have a copy of the procedure and all it says is lip augmentation. Nothing else. Do you think you could help me at all or refer me to someone who could? Please do not post my name or email. Thanks
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dear Madam: As requested, I have not posted your name. Without seeing pictures there is really nothing I could suggest. If you are interested in a virtual consultation I will leave Kelly's (my assistant) email- I leave it up to you if you want to contact her.
  • lisa murphu says:

    Hi. I am a dark skin african American and require a subtle lip lift. I have had juvederm in the past but this didnt do anything in making my lip to nose gap better. I am not looking for fullness at all just for shape on the cupids bow to look better as well as fixing the space between lip and nlse. But will there be possible bad scarring due to my skin tone? I am quite prone to scars Thanks Lisa
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lisa: I have done a lot of African Americans and have not had any problems except for 1 patient. She was a keloid former and had other keloids. Being prone to scars is not the same as being a keloid former. Kelids are distinct because they grow beyond the borders of the original scar. I doubt you have that, but if you do, you would be at risk. The only technique to fix the nose-lip gap is the lip lift. Contact Kelly at if you want to set up a virtual consult to discuss this more . Thanks for the interest!
  • Jost says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, i was originally in a accident that left my lips very unattractive to say the least. So i went to this Doctor in Plano Texas that someone referred me to, it was stated to me that this is the best lip doctor. I needed someone that specialize in things like this, Well this doctor left me with the most ugly lips I cry all the time and wear a mask to cover on my lips so people want laugh at me. My lips have lowered my self-esteem so much. I have been looking for someone to correct this horrible mistake. My upper lip hang pass my front teeth and when i chew i bite my upper lip quite a bit. The bottom lip protrude out and i literal look like a duck by the mouth, this is not cute. I look angry even when I’m happy and when I'm sad i still look angry. Can you help me. Please, i even went back to this doctor and he made it worst. He put something in my lips and pintched the and made the flat and long. Please help.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jost: Your case is not straightforward. I will need to see photographs and do a consultation via Skype so I can see your lips in motion. Call Kelly at I will give it my best.
  • Debbie Farmer says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, I have silicon filler in my lips (yeah, I know...not smart) and now the white part of my lip is too long (1.7mm) and it puffs out a bit, turning the upper lip inward. (Not quite "monkey mouth" but close.) I'd like the red part of my lip to be fuller and turned outward and the white part shortened. Would a lip lift work on my thick upper lip? Thank you for your input.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Ms. Farmer: We know we can correct the lip length issue. The other issues will be harder to predict until I see pictures or get to Skype or do Facetime(Apple) with you. In any case, I'm sure we can help you in several ways. Give us a call! I'll give your info to Kelly at
  • Roli says:

    Dear Dr. Rodriguez. I have already injected my lips with fillers and the result is not much satisfying as you have explained I got the duck effect. I am now considering a lip lift, what effect does it give with already filled lips? I have been told that there is no need to wait for the fillers to go away as it is only a procedure to reduce the distance I have between my lips and nose.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Roli: You are right, you do not need to let the filler disappear before you go ahead. As a matter of fact, I have had several patients who AFTER they had the lip lift went ahead and added filers to the lips because now they could get really full lips without getting the "Duck Lip" or "Fish mouth) appearance. I'll have Kelly at contact you for more info. Hope this helps!
  • Nancy Spokes says:

    I am interested in this procedure but am wondering: If you cause something to be pulled up, there would be an opposite force pulling down. Is there a pulling down which makes the nostrils look larger?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Nancy: You are completely right and it is why many surgeons get poor results with this technique. The fixation is from the lip skin to FIXED skeletal structures, which include the septum cartilage at the midline and the periosteum (a stiff membrane over the bone) laterally. Read here and here
  • Jenna Joan says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, I read the information on your website about lip lifts and I watched your video as well. During the end of your video you said you may not be a candidate for the lip lift if you're already showing front teeth and that you'd do great with a filler. Can you please explain to me exactly why you said that, the way you explained that if you can not see your upper front teeth to forget about lip augmentation because it will give you the appearance of the duck lips?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jenna: If your upper lip is so long it goes beyond the border of your upper teeth, when you close your mouth it contacts the lower lip before the upper and lower teeth meet. The lips cannot go back because the teeth are blocking the way. They pout just a little, which is not considered abnormal. If you then put filler material, then the upper lip gets stiffer AND longer so now it pouts even more and to top it off the appearance is exaggerated because of the extra bulk of the upper lip. If your upper lip is SHORTER than the border of your upper teeth, then when your teeth meet, the upper lip does not even touch the lower lip. As a matter of fact, when this is so people will either tighten up the chin muscle a little to push the lower lip up to meet the upper lip, or they will purse their lips just a touch to make the lips meet. In this case, adding length to the upper lip with a filler actually helps as long as it is not over done. The short upper lip gains a little bit of length, but not enough to overpass the upper lip border. If you over do it and fill so much that the lip gets very long, then you will get duck lips. I hope this helps!
  • GiGi says:

    Hi, I had a rhnioplasty and lip lift done 6 weeks ago, the problem is the incision line seems kind of stuck together with my nose. Also, my lip that was beautiful when swollen and higher has dropped to just above where it initially was. He did not remove enough skin it seems. In addition, I used to have a natural triangular peak to my upper lip in the middle and he brought that down and made the curvature of my lip more even across which made the middle portion of my lip look oder because this little peak part that stands out has no where to go but out. So it makes the sides of my upper lip look even less filled in than they are because my middle upper lip is larger (stands out more), if you can kind of see what I am saying. It kind of looks like a beak in the middle of my upper lip. My questions are, how long do I have to wait to come to you to get the right results that I am seeking, since it's been 6 weeks since the rhinoplasty/lip lift? Also, what can be done about the middle portion of my lip? I am not sure if the other areas need to be filled out or if taking the middle portion back up to a triangle will help the problem. Thanks
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Gigi: We can help you and we'd love to. It would help if we could set up a virtual consultation and we can Skype or talk on the phone. That way we can go over your objectives and what your alternatives are. It sounds like your problem could be solved with deep anchoring sutures, but of course, I'd have to see pictures before I can give an accurate answer. Contact Kelly at to start the process.
  • diana says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez: I somehow heard that asians are not recommended for lip lift because of scaring. It is stated that generally the darker the skin, the more likely that the scar will cause a problem. (I understand that scaring is related to the doctor's technique as well). Is it a big concern? Can I send you a picture of my lip ? Thanks,
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Diana: I have done plenty of lip lifts on asians, african americans, latin americans, etc. Scarring is definitely related to technique and as far as my results are concerned, scar is NOT a big issue. We would be more than happy to arrange a virtual consultation with you so we can analyze your case. Contact Kelly at to arrange the details.
  • Tatiana says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, I have a less invasive idea that works for me at least for the lip lift. I have such beautiful shaped lips that I would never trust the lift. I am a bit older than I was and so I want more fullness. You can't see my teeth but they are still described as perfectly shaped by everyone I know. By accident, obviously, a dog bit me on my lower lip and when my bottom lip swelled My lips looked gorgeous-just a small swelling of the bottom lip gave me the look I want. SO for your patients who have a gorgeous kissable mouth, who want a little filler, it may be possible to simply augment the lower lip as I have proved through my unfortunate but fortunate-cause now I can get the lower lip fat injection-experience!!! I hope you understand this if not I speak Spanish fluently and can translate if you like. I would NEVER do a lip lift with my perfect lips but I promise you-my lips were sooooooooooo sexy when my lip was swollen from the dog bite! And it was only the bottom lip-it looked beautiful. So I am going to have them inject just te bottom lip. And I am so happy I don't ned to do anything to my beautiful top lip. It is perfectly defined and sucha pretty shape. I hope this is a great idea for you because I promise you it worked for me-I was disappointed when the swelling from the bite went down-but I am happy it didn't scar!:)
  • gracie king says:

    Dr. Rodriguez, I've heard of "Life Style Lift". What is it and what is your opinion of this type of procedure? Does this procedure last or is it temporary like fillers? I am 56 and very active and in very good health. When I look @ pictures of me 8 years ago and I see now that my face looks drawn and shallow. I would like to find other alternatives than 6 to 18 months of fillers. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks you so much for answering my other question about the wrinkles over the lips. What you said sounds very good. Now I need to know what to do with the rest of my face. I really don't have "sagging" skin" but do have wrinkles and a very thin face. Happy New Year. Gracie
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Gracie: The Lifestyle lift is a branded procedure with a heavy marketing push behind it. Since it tends to be a very limited dissection procedure its effects are not long lasting. I have seen many patients in the office who have had the procedure and it is not what I would call a great result. Secondly, may different surgeons with different skill levels perform the procedure. My suggestion would be to consider a combination of fat grafting and lifting procedure as the problem of the ageing face is two things: Loss of volume (the thin layer of subcutaneous fat) as well as loss of skin elasticity. If your skin is not really sagging perhaps only fat grafting would be necessary, as the stem cells in the fat will not only fill the wrinkles, but also restore skin elasticity. If you are interested in more specific advise, contact Kelly at We'd be happy to hear from you!
  • Tina says:

    Dr. Rodriguez-- I am nearly a year out from a revision rhinoplasty, and I now appear to have a longer upper lip which I hate. Is there any way to consult via email? I live on the West coast, but am willing to travel for this. Thanks in advance.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Tina: The best way to do this is via phone or a Skype (or FaceTime) consult. If you are interested, let Kelly know at We will need pictures and some info. It would also help if you measure the distance from where the little column of nose tissue betyween the nostrils meets the upper lip to the point where the lip skin meets the red part of the lip. It can measure anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters. Happy Holidays! Hope to hear from you soon!
  • gracie king says:

    I watched your blog about lip lifts and was very surprised about all of the information you offered. Thank you. My problem is I have deep lines above my upper lip. I still have nice shape in them and teeth slightly show when doing a slight smile. So my question is: Is there a procedure that can take those deep lines away? I am 55. My grandmother had the same thing and for me its terrible.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Gracie: Temporary fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane may help, and they last 6-18 months. Fat injections may help not so much to plump the lip, but to form a certain amount of dermal skin thickening. It's worth a try first with the fillers to see if you like the result, then move on to fat grafting for a more permanent solution.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Gina: I am a physician who runs a pratice. There is no staff to answer questions. Therefore I check my blog about once a week and answer questions, which then appear as a question and answer so other readers get the full benefit the "question and answer" process. This past week, as it happens, I was in Armenia in a medical mission as a guest of the Armenian Plastic Surgery Society so the gap was longer than usual. I do think I answered your post, and I hope you found it helpful.
  • Gina says:

    I read that if you just lift the skin & a little tissue (as opposed to manipulating the muscle) in a lip lift, the results are short-term. Is this true?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Absolutely, positively, NOT true when done right. None of my post op pictures are less than 4 months old. Some are over 1 year old. That might be true if you fix skin (upper lip) to skin (border of nose). But I don't do that. I fix skin (upper lip) to deeper cartilage and the sturdy membrane that covers bone (periosteum). The skin of upper lip and border of nose are then touching each other with out tension, and I just suture them together with a very small, quickly absorbable suture just to prevent seepage. Manipulating muscle opens the way for a host of other complications including muscle damage, damage to nerves in the areas, etc. And even muscle manipulating techniques do not prevent distortion of the nose postoperatively, look at those results closely. Fixing the upper lip skin to deeper fixed tissues is the KEY element of this procedure. Hope this helps!
  • Jackie says:

    I have tooth exposer when my lips are at rest so can I get a lip lift to roll out my thin upper lip?? I went on a consultation and he wants to do a lift with fat injection, however I am so scared that will increase my tooth exposer. I just want a fuller upper lip. More pink to show.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jackie: Please watch this small video to help you better understand the issue of existing lip length and how much you may want to shorten- or not- the upper lip. In your case a lip filler might just do the trick if you have more than 3 millimeters of tooth exposure. If you want we can set up a Skype so I can see your case and make suggestions
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Vanessa: For me to evaluate pictures it would have to be a virtual consult. It is a bit early still. Contact Kelly at in 2 weeks if you are still interested in a virtual consult. Hopefully everything will be resolved by then.
  • Vanessa says:

    Hello there, I had an upper lip lift(bull horn) done about 16 days ago. My PS has stritched the right side a little higher than the left. Can this be fixed? He said my lips were asymmetrical before. They never were. I can clearly see the uneven stitching. Luckily it's not that much, but it bothers me a lot. I see it and I paid a lot of money for this.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Vanessa: In Plastic Surgery it is impossible to get symmetry. One can try, and sometimes get incredibly close. 16 Days is too early. You should wait at least a month before making up your mind. I have had patients walk out of my operating room looking totally distorted, yet a week later they look totally normal. Be patient, and if at a month it still bothers you, talk to your surgeon and I'm sure he will try to accommodate you.
  • Lauren says:

    Why cant I get a lip lift? What will happen if I do? I am showing front teeth when I slightly open my mouth like you've described in the video. I would much rather get a lift than injections. Please get back to me as soon as possible. Thank you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lauren: You can get a lip lift. The question is finding out what kind of results you are expecting and what you look like now. For that I would have to see pictures. If you are interested, contact Kelly at, she can help arrange a virtual consult.
  • Georgie says:

    Dr. Rodriquez, I had rhinoplasty surgery 5 months ago. The focus was the bump on the bridge, however he also ended up doing significant tip work. I believe he may have put a columella strut in, as the area is tight and hard between my nose. The nostrils are wider than before (not sure if this was intended). The result is a very long lip: no teeth at rest or when I speak. The upper lip actually appears to curl under the lip when slightly open. The upper left side also hangs down further than the right. My teeth showed at rest, when I spoke and smiled before. The doctor reported it was a classic tension nose and it would drop but this is fairly significant. My questions are: what could have caused this with the surgery? Could it be nerve damage? Could a lip lift help this? Are there doctors in the rocky mountain area that you would recommend? Thank you for your time. This was not a side affect I had anticipated.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Georgie: Just so you know, even nationally recognized rhinoplasty doctors end up revising about 10% of their rhinoplasties. There are always asymmetries. The upper lip sometimes drops because of the work done in the lower part of the septum. This is not that uncommon. The lip lift does help. Unfortunately I don't know anybody in the rocky mountain area that does it well. For what is worth, this past week I did 4 Lip lifts and they all flew in from out of town, one from Canada, another from Florida, etc. The procedure is done under local anesthesia and is well tolerated. Patients usually leave the next day. If you are interested call Kelly at
  • Stephanie says:

    I have a few questions I hope you dont mind. Is there any way to alter the bottom lip aside from a filler to make the lip look bigger? would a lift look strange for someone who has thin lips and a small chin and a very long distance between nose and upper lip? Is it possible to gain or lose color in the lips from the procedure? can you alter the shape of the cupids bow? Oh and real quick I love your site. The most imformative and personable one so far.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Stephanie: I am not aware of any other procedures to alter the lower lip other than with fillers. As for your second question, I would have to see pictures to make a judgement as it is all a game of proportions. Sometimes a combination of lip lift and lip fillers makes a big difference on a person with a long middle face. Sometimes fat injections to the cheeks or a chin implant can significantly alter facial proportions. I don't think the color is an issue. As far as altering the shape of Cupid's bow, it can be done within limits. In a sense, every single lip lift changes the tilt and curvature of the Cupid's bow. You can contact Kelly at if you have any more questions, we'd love to hear from you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jessica: Contact Kelly at for info on pricing, she'll be happy to hear from you. As far as age, how old are you? Generally, we would like patients to be above legal consent age (18-21 years old), but may consider younger patients after discussion with legal guardian.
  • Julianne Kowalczyk says:

    I am interested in the lip lift. Can you tell me where you're located Thank you Julianne
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Julianne: We are located in Baltimore, and we get patients from all over the US. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, so it is very convenient to get it done with a short 24hr layover. We'd love to hear from you!
  • Melissa says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, Can you tell me if the lip is lifted only in the center or is it lifted on both sides of the cupid's bow during this procedure? Also, I'm considering a Rhinoplasty as well. I understand I cannot have both procedures done at the same time- which would you reccomend having first? Thanks! Melissa
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Melissa: The lift can be central, or go to both sides of the cupid's bow, that depends on the patient and what her/his goals are. I have a bias towards doing the rhinoplasty first because sometimes the nasal surgery drops the lip a little bit. Hope to see you soon!
  • Paris75 says:

    Doctor Rodrigues, I would like to ask you: if you short the lip upper skin only, how the lifted skin may bear the weight of the lip then? Does the tighten skin may pull down the nostrils immideately after the surgery, or later? That's what scares me a lot.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Paris: You can read this post for a technical description of the procedure. The upper lip skin is not attached to the skin of the nose. The skin's deep layer is attached to the bone membrane to take the stress and pull of the lip. The nose is not distorted with my procedure. Also, because the skin is not taking the load, the scar is very thin and almost invisible. Contact Kelly at, she'll give you more info, furthermore, she has had the procedure herself and can give you a patient's perspective.
  • sandra sarratt says:

    i am looking for a cotact number for dr. rodriguez. i am definately a candidate for a lip life and would like your office to contact me. thanks
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sandra: Contact number is 410 494-8100 You can email Kelly at, she'll be more than happy to help. I love doing the procedure and will be very happy to help in whichever way I can!
  • Meadow says:

    Hello Doctor I wanna have this procedure done but have some concerns. when my lip are at rest i see only the bottom part of my top teeth. I think i would benefit from this surgery but my nose is a short nose and you can see the base of my nose from a foward view. you say when you make the incision on the bottom of the nose will hide the scar I dont think my kinda nose would hide the scar because my nose sits up. What can you recomend that i could do to make this surgery possible for me a person with a short nose. oh and if i have sorta full lips will a lip lift make my lips look too big. you think a lip reduction as well as a lip lift would be beneficiary in my case. Oh and i would love to do a virtual consultation if possible that would be the best so i can get a idea of what if anything you can offer me Thanks doctor for your time.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Meadow: Thanks for your inquiry. Yes, in your case I think it is best to set up a virtual consult to decide what is best for you. I will need to see pictures from various angles. Contact Kelly at, she will get you all the details so we can talk. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
  • stephanie says:

    Thank you so very much for taking the time to reply. You are an absolute love. I will let you know what I decide to do.
  • Sima says:

    Thanks Dr. Rodgriguez! One more question...I have heard that a possible complication may be asymmetry or a speech impediment resulting from a complication...Have you experienced this? If so, how often? Also, is this done under local anesthesia or general?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sima: To start out, everybody has some degree of asymmetry in every part of the body you look at. So it stands to reason there will be a small amount of asymmetry after surgery. The amount of lip to be excised is calculated very carefully and when done correctly the asymmetry can sometimes be even less than there was before surgery. As far as speech impediments, I guess it could be possible, but I have never encountered it. If a person is a singer or depends on exact enunciation I warn them it may take some adjustment after surgery. The procedure is done under local anesthesia, but you may be done with sedation if you want.
  • Sima says:

    Hi Dr Rodgriguez...I have an appt scheduled with you in early March for a consultation for the lip lift procedure. I am very excited to meet with you and very nervous at the same time. What is the down time like? Can a person resume work in about a week?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sima: Down time is minimal, basically you can work the next day from home. The week is time enough for the swelling to go down so people won't know you just had surgery. Looking forward to seeing you!
  • Stephanie wilson says:

    Dear Dr Rodriguez, I have been researching lip lifts for a few months now having gone through exactly the process you describe. First, around two years ago, I realised something was happening to my lips (I'm 44 and must've always had a long lip that maybe just showed, say, a millimetre of tooth, or so) so had some filler around the lip line. This made the lips look nice (they're a pleasant shape, If i may say so myself, and not thin) but as you point out, that was not really the problem. So, I need a lip lift. The trouble is, I'm rather concerned about distorting the base and nostrils and in between part ( can't remember the name) of my nose as notice this is mentioned a lot on forums as an area that sometimes alters 'collaterally'. I have a short, quite upturned nose with largish nostrils (gosh, I sound gorgeous don't I!) so I really can't handle any more upturn or distortion of the nostrils and the scars would be more noticeable. I do see that the benefits of a lip lift would be well worth a little scarring. A local surgeon ( I'm English and live in London, England) suggested to me that I'd be best to lose 5mm of skin, still leaving me with quite a long lip as it is currently 20mm (Horrible), but this seems to suit my face. I'd really appreciate your input. such a shame that you're so far away - I would definitely come to you, otherwise. Warm regards, Stephanie
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Stephanie: I have had several patients from the UK. They usually do the surgery combined with a holiday trip as the surgery is done under local anesthesia and easily tolerated so it won't interfere with other activities. In your particular case, I would hesitate to make recommendations without seeing pictures of your face. If you are interested in a specific evaluation, you can contact Kelly at and she can arrange for a Skype consultation. I will say that if the fixation sutures are done from the underside of the skin to the cartilage of the nose, there will NOT be a distortion of the nose. I have done more than a hundred of these and I can assure you of that. I hope this helps.
  • lyn says:

    and one more question if you dont mind... do you fold the muscle over or cut it in the process? thx and God bless you for your kindness in answering these questions!!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lyn: I don't like cutting muscles or folding them or whatever. The most I will ever do is release it from its insertions so it can reattach later at a more favorable position. Lyn, thanks for blessing me, that was a sweet touch. God bless you too.
  • lyn says:

    Hi, i am considering you for several surgeries that im currently contemplating its hard to find one dr that specializes in *EVERYTHING*...LOL. But so far as my lip lift is concerned my question is this...i had a previous "open" rhinoplasty which left me unnaturally dented *in at the bottom of my nose(where the "columna" meets the lip). Do you think fat is strong enough to fill out that area to make a curve there in stead of a square dent?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lyn: It is not whether fat is strong or not, rather if it will take. Fat grafts don't take well in tight areas, but there are ways of loosening up the tissues in there. There are many ways to approach this problem, and the best way to address it is with a pictures, conversation, etc. Call Kelly at 410 494-8100, she'd love to hear from you.
  • allie says:

    my lower lip kind of hangs down, and my upper lip is smaller, i know jaw surgry would correct it but would a lip lift evn out my lips? i have trouble talking and i sucked my fingers till i was 13 yrs old, but its not real ba like some. thank you
  • Vannessa says:

    I have a special case. My nose is quite short but my upper lip long. My lips are already full and fleshy and if I relax my mouth my teeth show. Is my best bet to lengthen the nose or to lift the upper lip or both. Also my nose is upturn so I am concern the scar would show or not heal right. Nose is 4.5cm, upper lip 1.5cm.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Vanessa: Not having seen you, there are a couple things your surgeon should know, for example, your facial proportions. That is what will determine whether you need to lengthen your nose, or shorten your lip, or both. Also, you have to decide what is more important to you, the appearance of the nose or the lip?
  • Natasha says:

    Hey again Dr. Rodriguez, I've looked at this particular blog entry you have several times. It's really hard for me to tell whether a lip lift would benefit me or not. I think my upper lip height is just at that 1.5 cm line, and when I open my mouth slightly you can see just very little of my top teeth. However, I have fairly small teeth, so that might or might not be taken into consideration. I plan on having rhinoplasty, as I've told you. Would you recommend having this procedure done simultaneously or after the nose job? Also, can I e-mail you a picture for you to evaluate whether a lip lift would benefit me? Thanks so much. -Natasha
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Natasha: I would recommend doing the procedure either well before or well after the rhinoplasty if the rhinoplasty is an external rhinoplasty. The reason is that in an external rhinoplasty there is a small incision in the columella, very near where the lip incision is. As far as making a judgement in your individual case, you can contact Kelly ( if you are interested in a virtual consultation.
  • lyn Y says:

    I just want to say Thank you again Dr. Rodriquez for doing an excellent upper lip lift on me. If anyone wants one done, you don't need to look any further. I did my homework for 1 year looking for someone I can trust and go back to. He did a great job. I didn't feel a thing. He's very confident in upper lip lifts. If you want to talk to me I have before and after pictures. you could e-mail me with any questions. You are in good hands with the best Plastic Surgeon for Upper Lip lifts. No more injections into my lips. Go for it.
  • patricia says:

    absolutely, waaaay big bang for your buck. it has really given me a more youthful look and i haven't had to use any filler at all. fillers over time cost sooo much more than a lip lift especially when you all you need is a one time lip lift. the scar is imperceptible, i find yellow cover stick works wonders on it and then just a light pat of translucent powder to set it and you're done. i forgot to say that during recovery, you should try and keep your mouth slightly open at all times to put the least amount of stress on the stitches and then still for at least another couple of weeks after the stitches are out...and forget about flossing for at least a couple of days but brushing is surprisingly easy so just eat food that doesn't get stuck between your teeth. i just had this done a couple of months ago and two of my girlfriends have made appointments to get theirs done, they were blown away by how natural it looks. i don't know why i took so long to do this.
  • patricia says:

    believe me, lip lifts are the way to go. i'm so glad i saw this video with the measurement part, it really assured me of my measurements. my nose to lip was 16 mm long and the top lip sat on top of my bottom lip and made it look like i had filler in it...sort of trout mouth, not very cute. my doctor took 5 mm out which i thought would look really dramatic but it wasn' looks completely natural, soft, pretty and you can see bit of my top teeth when my mouth is open. i absolutely love it and i am thrilled it is available. during recovery, talk as little as possible, cut all of your food into tiny pieces and do EXACTLY WHAT THE DOCTOR TELLS YOU!!! the realistic downtime is 2 weeks off if you have a chatty job, you will spend the first week napping and watching tv, enjoy it, you will end up really loving this procedure.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Patricia: I'm so happy for you! Isn't it great! I love the lip lift, and I think it is the greatest bang for the buck as far as transforming a person's look. Spread the word about the video, help others get what they need. Thanks for the feedback and enjoy your new look!
  • Faye says:

    Hi, I'm 23 with duck lips. when I open my mouth, I dont see any teeth at all. I have to smile really wide to show my teeth. I was wondering which type of lip lift suit me more? bull horn or gull wing? and will there be visible scars?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Faye: Sorry I took so long to answer, I was working on a grant for stem cell therapy. From what you are telling me, I would go for a bull horn scar. There are few, if any, indications for the gullwing scar. It is always visible and unnatural looking. We would love to hear from you, write an email to Kelly at
  • Fay says:

    Hello, My name is Fay and I just stumbled across your video. I've been wanting to use filler for my lips for quite some time, then this idea of lip lift came along. My teeth do show when I leave my mouth open so I assumed according to what you said that the lip filler would work well on me. Then I realized that the distance between my bottom nose and the red part of my lips is 1.5 cm, which is quite long? But my teeth are still showing. What would you suggest in such a case? Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Fay Kazzi
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dear Fay: The distance is not as important as the appearance. If your teeth show, you can probably do a filler safely without worrying about duck lips. What the lip lift can do is shape the shape of your upper lip border. I can't tell what is right for you without seeing pictures, but from what you are saying, both options could give you satisfactory results. Let us know how it turns out!
  • Kasey Nure says:

    Hi there, in regards to your video about lip lifts, you state that fillers would be more suitable for people who are able to see there two front teeth when mouth is slightly opened. I can see my two front teeth but i have already tried fillers and they seem to make my top lip look like a trout. basically i just want my lip a bit closer to my nose and give it a puffy look but at the same time the bottom of my top lip to stay in line as how it initially was, if i go ahead with the procedure will it make my top lip look to high up showing to much of my teeth. and also is there any way to make bottom lips larger. thanks heaps :)
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Kasey: Without seeing your picture, it is hard to say what would be best for you. But from what you say, I would only do a modified lift. Perhaps take a little less from the central part, and elevate more on the sides. In any case, for the lower lips, I like fillers a lot.
  • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

    Contact Kelly at, she can help you out with pricing info. Have a good day!
  • Lisa says:

    I saw this youtube about lip lift and I would like to know if it can also lift up the corners of the lip. How much does it cost and what follow up is required? What kind of time is involved? I come to Bethesda about once a year to visit NIH with my daughter. Thank you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lisa: The lip lift does not lift the corners of the mouth. There are 3 choices for the corner of the mouth. One is a small incision at the corner of the mouth, which is at the lip border. The other is a procedure called the Depressor Anguli Oris Release, with an incision inside the mouth, where the muscle that depresses the corner of the mouth is separated. The third is Botox to the corner of the mouth. I like doing Botox first, and if the patient likes it, then proceed to the DAO release. Follow up is usually at 1 week, just for a look-see, because there are only internal stitches. Many patients come from out of town and leave the next day. Contact Kelly at for pricing info. Have a Good day!