Lip lift – A technical description of the procedure

If you want a more youthful and sexy looking mouth, keep in mind that big lips are not the only way to go!

Ideal length of space above upper lip

I have been doing more and more Lip lifts. An alternative to lip augmentation, the Lip lift is a procedure which reduces the space between the bottom of your nose and the top of your lips. Some people are born with a longer space, while other people start to notice it more with the aging process. The ideal distance is 1.1 cm.

An illustration of an upper lip length 1.1cm.

Often times a patient will come to me thinking she needs a Lip augmentation. However,  a closer examination of her lips reveal that her teeth are not showing when her mouth is at rest and the distance between her nose base and the top of her lips is greater than 1.5 cm. If I augment the lips with a filler, I run the risk of the lips just moving outward, and not lifting upward. When there is no space for the lips to go but outward, this creates a ‘duck lip’ look. Since the goal is NOT ‘duck lips,’ the alternative is to raise the upper lip so that her teeth become visible. This refreshes the mouth area and results in a more youthful appearance.

Once the upper teeth are showing, there is usually no need to increase the actual size of the lips, as more of the red portion of her upper lip is now prominent. The Lip lift simply corrects the anatomical distance of the upper lip so that her mouth is more shaped and youthful. Remember, it’s not just about big lips.

Lately, my patients have been quite educated about the various techniques that surgeons use. Recently a patient asked me if my technique would cut muscle or nerves. This is a good question and I would like readers to know that my technique does NOT cut muscle or nerves!

Technical description of a Lip lift

In summary, this is a description of the Lip lift technique that I have been using for many years:

  • An incision is made at the base of the nose in the natural ridge between lip skin and nasal skin
  • Skin is elevated only to the level where preoperative markings were made, leaving the muscle intact.
  • We spread muscle fibers at 5 points to reach the membrane covering the septum and nasal bones. Three tunnels are made centrally: one through the septum and the other two on either side of i, corresponding to the middle and ridges of the philrum in the upper lip. One tunnel at the outer border of the nostrils.
  • The sutures are tied to the underside of the lip skin. The sutures do not tie muscle, and do not tie nerves. There is no cutting of any structure once we cut skin.

Before & after Lip lift photos

With the Lip lift techniques I use, described above, the results are just great! Remember, the Lip lift simply corrects the anatomical distance between the bottom of your nose and the top of your lips, as shown in the following photos:

Lip lift patient one
before and after lip lift
before and after lip lift profile view
Lip lift patient two
before and after lip lift photos
Lip lift patient three
before and after lip lift photos
Lip lift patient four
before and after lip lift photos
Lip lift patient five
before and after lip lift
Lip lift patient six
lip lift photos

Lip lift VS. Lip augmentation

Watch my Lip lift video to learn more about the difference between a Lip lift and a Lip augmentation. If the space above your upper lip is too long, fillers will give you duck lips!

Fly in for a Lip lift

Many of our Lip lift patients live outside the Baltimore area. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and the required stay is one night in Baltimore. Contact our office for more details.

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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94 thoughts on “Lip lift – A technical description of the procedure”

    • Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez says:

      Elizabeth: The lip lift cost is $3200 and unfortunately this procedure is not covered by insurance. You can read more about the procedure at Our apologies for the delayed reply as comments from April were just recovered! Thank you
  • SJ says:

    I am a physician and have heard mixed opinions regarding the risk of scarring from surgical colleagues . My skin is essentially scar free and very smooth. What is the likelihood of a visible scar in FITZPATRICK 5 skin ?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      I do many lip lifts on african american patients and have seldom have run into scar problems. Perhaps the most important factor seems to be tension on the scar. My technique specifically avoids tension on the scar by fixing the tissues to the cartilage of the septum and periosteum of the nasal sill. Hyperpigmentation can easily be handled with hydroquinone, but it takes time. Hypertrophic scars may take some post operative steroid injections. But like i said, it is very rare.
  • Maricela Burns says:

    Hello, How much is a bullhorn lip lift and a corner lip lift? Also, can I do a virtual consultation like mentioned on the Dr.'s blogs. I'd like his opinion on what procedures I'd benefit from for portion sake since my upper lip protrudes? Thank you. Maricela Burns
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Maricela: Yes we can do a virtual consult, I will put you in contact with Kelly, who can also give you pricing info. Her email is
  • Lori says:

    About the lip lift procedure, I have a long philtrum (15 mm-female) Why would you want your teeth to show at rest? That doesn't look attractive or natural, your lips are suppose to close. Is there a way to lift without teeth showing?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lori: The issue of tooth show has many factors. 1) Anatomical: If a patient has a long upper jaw and long teeth, there will be more tooth show no matter how little you lift the lip. If on the contrary, the patient has a short upper jaw and small teeth, she/he may not get tooth show at all even with a big lip lift. 2) Preference: Some people do not like tooth show, but the vast majority specifically ask for it. 3) Procedure design: The ultimate amount of lip lift is decide by the patient in front of the mirror doing various maneuvers to lift her lip and then I measure the desired length. As far as the teeth showing when the lips are at rest, that happens normally. Many young people have that look naturally and yet can also close the lips effortlessly and naturally. In the beginning after a big lip lift it will feel awkward but people quickly adapt. I will have Kelly at contact you. Thanks for the questions@
  • Aya says:

    Hello! I think I am a good candidate for the lip lift surgery amd I would like to know your opinion on performing at 18 years of age. Could there be any changes on the womans face further this age that could later affect the results of the surgery? Also, I saw you, Doctor, mention the tendency of younger patients to scar more... Could you please give me your honest opinion on scarring as I am doing (Photo)modeling, so this is an incredible risk for me. Thank you!!!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Aya: The risk of scarring depends a lot on the technique used. Also the decision depends a lot on an analysis of how your lip looks now. If you do not know of a Doctor in Russia who does this A LOT and can refer you to some patients he has done so you can talk with the patients, then I would wait.
  • Marcela says:

    Hello Dr Rodriguez: I have a 1.8 distance but also some teeth show, my doctor doesn´t want to do the lip lift because he says my face is quite attractive as it is, but I always noticed something strange about my mouth, not only the upper lip is long but the lower protrudes, not only the red part, but also the skin under the lip, I dont know how to explain it better. This makes me wonder if I have a bimaxillary protrution (my teeth are perfect and my dentist said no, but IDK) The question is, if I had bimax can a lip lift help me look better? (also, I have a small chin, but suprisingly I still look good! haha)
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Marcela: This will need more than just a simple answer. If you sent me pictures we could do a virtual consultation to see what your best options are. There are many from oral surgery, to filing down teeth and then doing a lip lift to just doing a lip lift. It all depends on your goals and what your actual anatomy is. But I do need to look to see what the options are. I will have Kelly ( ) get in contact with you if you want info or if you want a virtual consult.
  • Laura says:

    Hello, I'm an African American woman with full lips and at rest, some of my teeth show. However, the distance between the bottom of my nose and lips are nearly 2 cm apart. Would a lip lift still work for me to correct this distance without making me look ridiculous?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Laura: I think the best answer to you particular case is a virtual consult. In a virtual consult I can look at you directly and can make very pertinent and specific recommendations. Although I cite the distance of 1.1 centimeters as being "ideal", there are many patients who get 1.5 cm or even .8mm depending on the combined length of their upper jaw and teeth, how much the teeth show, etc. I'm going to give your info to Kelly at so she can get in contact with you.
  • sam says:

    I have medium olive skin and scar easily. I have full lips. However, in pictures my upper lip appears thin--but not to me when I look in the mirror. My lips also cover my teeth entirely at rest. This makes me less likely to smile unless someone actually does something to make me smile, if that makes any sense. I hate it when people tell me "oh, you're such a pretty girl, but you need to smile more! It bothers me more than the thin upper lip. Is there anyway that i can get a lip lift with good results and fix both problems? Is there a way to do it with minimal or no scarring? Your thoughts would be appreciated.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sam: Scarring is not a problem with this procedure when done appropriately using deep fixation sutures. You sound like a great candidate for lip lift. Contact Kelly at for more info and setting up a virtual consult.
  • pothiraj says:

    my lips has been very slightly dislocated i.e my lower lip went somewhat inside is there any cosmetic surgery to make it return to the desired previous positions
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Pothiraj: It is very difficult to make any recommendations on the information you have given me. Contact Kelly at for more info. We will probably need some photos so I can see what the problem is. Thanks!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Gloria: Thanks for your interest! Contact Kelly for more info on pricing, she will answer any other questions you have or set up a virtual consult.
  • Elizabeth says:

    is it possible to shorten the distance between upper lip and nose without making the upper lip bigger? I don't want a bigger upper lip. Just a shorter distance. Thank you
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Elizabeth: The best way to evaluate this for yourself is to look at our pictures. The lip always gets enhanced but it is nothing like the abnormal appearance you get with fillers. It looks very natural.
  • Sarah says:

    Hello, I had medium cheeks implants several months ago. Although I am very happy with them I feel like they have made my upper lip turn under. My lips are already thin to begin with. I have had lip filler before the cheek implants and liked it. Now when I have filler done in the upper lip, it doesn't make that much difference because the lip turns under Why would that happen??? My distance is 1.8 A small amount of my upper teet show. Would I be a good candidate for a lip lift? Thank you.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sarah: You definitely sound like a good candidate for the following reasons: You are in good health. Your lip is 1.8 cm in length. Your lips are thin. The only caveat is that if you already have some front tooth show we have to be careful of how much we lift. Anyways I will let Kelly know of your interest.
  • Catherine says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, I am considering having you perform my liplift. I am having a revision rhinoplasty in which the ala may be trimmed and brought in and the rhinoplasty surgeon told me I should have the liplift first because of the possibility of nostril distortion? Do you agree? Are there any cases where you see a millimeter or two of nostril distortion ever? Next, my cupids bow is slightly off center from my midline. Is it possible to move the cupids bow left a millimeter or two to line align more during the liplift? My nose is off center and will be straightened more to the left also. Lastly, if a 47 year woman has a skin only liplift and she heals well, can she have another liplift later if necessary? I am sorry for all the questions, but I am trying to plan everything. I am definitely having a liplift. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Catherine
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Catherine: That is a lot of information to sort out! If you are really interested, I suggest we do a Skype or FaceTime consult so I can see your lips and nose, etc. I think the issue of nasal ala distortion is worse when people do not use my technique which is based on a deep fixation of tissues. But if that makes your rhinoplasty surgeon more comfortable I'm all for it. I'll have Kelly at contact you. Thanks!
  • Dawn says:

    Looking for info on a lip lift. Don't think I want a bullhorn lift,wonder if you can just do a few stitches or what all my options are.. What procedures do you offer? Thanks
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dawn: Thank you for your interest on lip lift. Kelly at will get in contact with you. She has had the lip lift so you can ask her questions and she will be happy to answer. We could also set up a virtual consultation, but for that I would need to see pictures so I can give you an informed opinion. Thanks for your interest!
  • Ella says:

    I had rhinoplasty about two years ago, (two year mark is in August) and I suffered from a drooping tip. After my rhinoplasty, of course I am very pleased with my nose now but I've noticed this abnormally large space between my upper lip and my nose ever since my nose job. Because my nose was literally covering most of my philtrum. My philtrum measures about 1.8 cm. Sadly. Very great article AND video! I will be getting a lip lift in the near future!
  • Ella says:

    I had rhinoplasty about two years ago, (two year mark is in August) and I suffered from a drooping tip. After my rhinoplasty, I am very pleased with my nose now but I've noticed this large space between my upper lip and my nose ever since my nose job. Because my nose was literally covering it. At first, I was contemplating lip fillers because I wasn't blessed with the *biggest* lips ever. (that means I have small lips). I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could make myself look younger, sexier, more attractive, etc. I spent even more time studying model's faces. Just beautiful women and what they have in common. One of the first things I noticed was how they could look into the camera, with the most subtle facial expression and still look sexy as heck. I tried doing the same in selfies. How do they do that? I looked like a joke! I noticed something. Their front teeth. They show when they open their mouths. Why don't mine show? I started studying my face as I recorded videos of myself. Woah, do my bottom teeth ALWAYS show this much? After that, I've figured it out. I have an abnormally large philtrum. Ugh. Life. Why you do dis. I figured that if I could somehow shrink this part of my face then everything would be ~~fabulous~~. I googled and googled until I found that this was an actual procedure. HURRAY! My consultation is tomorrow with the same doctor that did my rhinoplasty. Can't wait! YOUTHFUL LIPS HEREE I COMMMEEEE!!
  • ludovic says:

    Hello Dr, Description you make of this original technic leaves me 1 interrogation : deep sutures to nose/periostum structures are intended to leave there or are resorbable? As nothing is cut in depth, I guess it's just here to help maintain skin external suturing during first weeks of healing phase ? regards
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Ludovic: The deep sutures are permanent to counteract the action of the lip muscles. The lip muscles pull the skin down and away from the nose skin. It is for that reason that we use deep permanent sutures, so they hold the tension. This leaves the skin itself without tension, so the scar does not get thick or the nose is not pulled.
  • elle says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, I am considering driving in to have my lip lift done after seeing all the great before and after pictures. My question is this: I am also considering getting a revision rhinoplasty and a chin augmentation. I will also be flying out of state to do these procedures. I am hoping that my revision rhinoplasty can be performed closed instead of open and may just be a tip-plasty not a full rhinoplasty. I would like to have my lip augmentation first because I know that I really want/need it (20mm lip distance, that seems to have lengthened after the rhinoplasty?). Is it possible or recommended to have the lip lift and then fly out 2-3 days later for my other 2 procedures. I am trying to have everything done in the 2 weeks that I have off from work. Thank you.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dear Ms. Elle (screen name?): Having the lip lift is well tolerated and has a short recovery time. I would not do the rhinoplasty until at least a month has gone by. There will be some swelling in the nose and the other surgeon might find it distracting or even impossible to do his best. We do find that some patients experience lip lengthening after rhinoplasty, and we do these types of case often. I think if you came here on a Friday you could have the procedure done and go tho work the next week provided you don't mind other people seeing you have a swollen lip. The swelling goes down a lot after a couple of days and is minimal after a week. In any case, we look forward to seeing you!
  • Paco says:

    Dear Dr Rodríguez. I am a 50 year old male, considering having a bull horn lip surgery. Given that I also need a rhynoplasty to correct a high and idsplaed bone, would you recommend that the li lift is done before or after rynoplasty has settled and healed? Thank you Best regards Paco
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Paco: Get your rhinoplasty done first. There is a lot of dynamics that go on in the nose that will affect how the lip looks.
  • BeverlyHillsLipPatient says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, I just had an upper lip lift with a very prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who specializes in this procedure. You would know who he is if I said his name. My surgery was only 3 days ago but when I woke from surgery under general anesthesia before much swelling had taken place, I was able to see in a mirror and noticed asymmetry in how the center of my philtrim/nostril area was not lined up with my cupids bow of my top lip. It may have been due to swelling that I was seeing asymmetry, or it may have been that the dr did not lift one side enough and it appeared off kilter so that the cupid's bow was not lining up centered with my nostrils and was looking slanted. Now that the swelling is starting to go down on my lip lift after 3 days, I see this again. I have a lot of swelling still but am wondering if asymmetry is common in bullhorn lip lifts as I would have to have this revised to pull up the longer side a little more to correct this problem at a later date. Can you offer advice on this? I will be seeing my surgeon on a few days to remove the stitches so I will also ask him. Thank you.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Angela: It's been several weeks after surgery. I suspect most of the swelling is gone by now. How is it coming along?
  • Jonny says:

    Hi Doctor Rodriguez. I'm a 35 year old male with a 20mm long philtrum. I've noticed you said that 15mm is ideal for men. The problem is, I'm concerned that removing 5mm may be to much for me because I'm afraid it will cause my upper lip to project outwards and also look fat. Is it possible to remove only 2 or 3 mm without causing the red portion of the upper lip to change? I'm not looking for a drastic difference, but rather a subtle one. The pic of the male with the stubble who you've posted on your site looks great. It looks as if you were able to shorten the distance without changing the shape of the red portion of his upper lip too much. Can this be repeated?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jonny: Although something is "ideal" it does not mean it's the best for every case. I have removed only 2-3 mm before, and I have also come back to remove some extra on a couple of patients. Having to remove more comes from being conservative the first time, which is the correct approach, as it is always easy to remove more, adding some is very hard. So in answer to your last question, yes. We'd love to hear from you, contact Kelly at
  • David says:

    Dr Rodriguez - your male lip lift example is perfect and I would like to try it. However, I have the most unsuitable combination of long upper lip and very thick upper lip (vermillion). Is the lip lift definitely not recommendable in my case? The last thing I want is more volume in the lip. How many millimeters of skin did you incise in your male lip lift example? It looks really conservative and perfect for a man. Thanks
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sorry for the delay. I had read your inquiry and thought I had answered it yet here it is along the "unread" pile. If I have already answered it disregard this. In males I usually go for a 1.3-1.5mm length. The amount cut depends on the original lip length. Obviously it is less than on females. The particular example on the web was a male teacher and wanted a subtle change, as do most men. Icannot recollect exactly how many mm I cut but it must have been in the range of 3-5mm. As to whether I cvould recommend this to you or not, I'd need to see pictures and discuss your goals. If you are interested call kelly at she'd be happy to hear from you.
  • silvia says:

    is it the "buffalo technique" you use? i heard more than a surgeon talk about this this technique for lip lift (they also talked about little scar under the nose) and i wondered if it's the same you use as i find your examples simply great.let me know.thanks
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      I haven't heard of the "buffalo technique, but I have heard of the bullhorn technique.It refers to the shape of the scar. The bullhorn looks like a pair of bullhorns or a mustache drawing, depending on how you look at it. To me the most important things are 1) Fixation to the deep tissues and 2) Not cutting muscle Contact Kelly at and she can give you more info.
  • Kat says:

    12-15 mm is "ideal". 1.1 cm is actually a bit too short, if you want to be that technical. Perhaps you suggest 1.1 cm to make nearly everyone insecure enough to consider a lip lift - money talks I suppose.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Kat: I suggest you watch this video to get more info. Although the figure 1.1 cm is not universal, for example, some women with a short maxilla may need an even shorter distance, and some women with a longer maxilla might need a longer distance, we have found over the years 1.1 cm works well for most women. Men seem to do better with a 13 to 15mm distance. The few women that have had concerns over the 1.1 cm that have had the procedure done have subsequently come back to have more tissue taken out. In any case, the distance to be taken out is not absolute and gets decided on a case by case basis. BTW, I don't advertise so people that find me are those who want their lip to be made shorter and find me thru Google search.
  • Niva says:

    Dear Dr Rodriguez, I read on another surgeon's website that the lip muscle needs to be lifted up to prevent nostril deformation, unsightly scar formation and the lip falling again. However, I really don't like the idea of an invasive procedure of cutting muscle, I'm worried about lip movements, speech, nerve damage etc. I like the pictures of the skin-only lip lifts on your website. Are the results long-lasting? What is your opinion of the skin vs. muscle issue? Thank you.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Niva: With all due respect to that surgeon, he is probably doing the skin procedure wrong and that is why he gets unsightly scars and nostril deformation. The key to skin only resection is to place the fixing sutures not to the nasal skin but to the deeper fixed structures such as cartilage and the membrane covering the bone. That way the skin of the lip is touching the skin of the nose on its own, held there by the deep stitches. The last layer of stitches on the skin is very thin and absorbable and is only to create a super smooth scar line. As far as the muscle cutting, I agree with you- too much potential for nerve impingement or altering muscle function. Contact Kelly at and she'll be happy to help you!
  • Elva Quiroa says:

    I have done my lip lift 9 months ago and I am super happy Dr. Rodriguez is amazing I can't be more happy.
  • leyla says:

    Would it be possible to see photos at various stages post op? Also from what point would camoflage make-up be allowed to be worn in the recovery stages?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Leyla: I do not take day by day pictures. Most of my patients come from out of town. If you call our office I'm sure they can put you in contact with some patients and you can ask them. My patient coordinator, Kelly at has had the procedure done and if you call her I'm sure she will let you know what it was like. You can wear cover up make up after about 2 weeks.
  • Tami says:

    Hello: I am interested in learning the cost of the upper lip lift procedure? Also what is the recovery time?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Tami: Recovery time is just a couple of days, but the lip will appear swollen for almost a week and will not look like the final result for at least a month. for the cost, contact Kelly at
    • Kelly Warner says:

      The first few days after lip lift we recommend that you rest as much as possible, preferably in bed or in a recliner. You must keep the area clean and dry. It is best to keep your head and neck elevated at a 45-degree angle. Swelling usually reaches its maximum on the morning after surgery, while bruising may increase slightly for several more days. Moderate activity may be resumed, although bending and straining should be avoided for three days. Feelings of stinging, burning and other sensations are common during the healing process. Patients are prescribed a pain medication to relieve this mild to moderate discomfort. Immediately after the lip lift you will have skin glue on the incision right under your nose. It may take up to 10 days for this glue to come completely off, at which time you’re able to use a makeup cover-up cream if you desire. It is normal for the upper lip and nose to become red, swollen, and bruised and will disappear with time. The scar will be pink at first but will fade in time to almost undetectable. The scarring course goes through a process of excess collagen deposition, followed by scar remodeling, and finally softening. All of this affects the look and feel of your upper lip. In about 2-3 weeks, the scar will be stable and we recommend applying a sunscreen on the incision along with massaging the scar at 4 weeks after surgery. It may take 6-8 weeks to feel like things are back to normal. Your sutures do not need to be removed, as they will dissolve. So it is not necessary to come back to the office if you live out of state The incision may feel slightly tender for a few months and itching is common. Any tight feeling or numbness will disappear over several months. Full healing of any incision on the body can take six to nine months. You will enjoy your new look almost immediately and wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. I would be happy to talk with you and help you set up your consultation with Dr. Rodriguez. Please call me at 410-494-8100 or email me at COST - $2,850 Stay beautiful, Kelly Warner Patient Coordinator Dr. Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez Rodriguez 410-494-8100
  • Susan says:

    Dear Doctor, I do not have a dramatic long upper lip but none of my upper teeth show, only the lower which gives my mouth a very old appearance. Also the upper lip rolls a little inwards (I have really thin lips). Wouldn´t that also be an indication for a liplift? It is something which I am dreaming of since years, unfortunately I am not living in the US. And: How long would the recovery or "social hiding" be? And: How much does your technique also roll out the lip to give the lip mor vertical height? (I am assuming it naturally rolls it out a bit. And: Could you combine the technique with a outer corner liplift so that the outer corners of the upper lip move up a bit or would your liplift also take care of that assuming I have also a norrow mouth and a large base of the nose? Thanks so much for your thoughts and feedback.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Susan: Those are a lot of questions. The short answer is yes, it would help you. If you want a more detailed answer we can set up a virtual consultation via Skype. I do that with our overseas and out of state patients. If you are interested, contact Kelly at
  • stefano says:

    you're right as the jaw was really set back..definetely too much..anyway i would prefer not to have any filler in the lip below also because the maxilla situation of the mandible should be reconsidered by another surgeon in the future..maybe the problem is emphasized by the "great fall" of the upper lip that presses onto the lower as you say in your video "the upper lip goes passed the teeth and is really overriding on the lower.." and already pushes forward in the way of the duck lip you mention but without the effect of duck lip as there was no augmentation..i think i'll defineteley fly in for a lip lift before summer, i've got got to check when it's the cheapest flight...hoping to get an improvement as "dramatic" as the the first lady in the photos...the distance and the fall of the lip looks not too far from that example...hear you soon
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Stefano: Be sure to contact Kelly at in advance before you come so we can be ready for you. Chers!
  • stefano says:

    dear dr rodriguez, i'm stefano from rome! due to a maxillo facial surgery more than 1 year ago i don't like my mouth anymore.. i had quite fleshy and visible lips now the vermillion of both upper and lower lips has rolled in making them look thinner and more "flattened" for the upper lip i look the ideal candidate for the lip lift since the distance is now 2 cm about 5mm more than before that surgery and obviously i don't show any front teeth (i can see your non common ability in this procedure from the great results and sometimes "dramatic" changes and improvements you get from it)...what about the lower lip?is there any similar procedure for the lower lip to make the vermillion roll out and look it fuller and slightly "increased" just like the lip lift for the upper without any augmentation?i don't like the idea of any fillers..(my original lips are fleshy the problem is that they rolled inside)..bye..many compliments for your lip lifts also for the one you performed on the man of the photo
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Stefano: If you had maxilla facial surgery, it is entirely possible your lips rolled in, especially if your jaw was set back. As for the upper lip I think a lip lift will help. For the lower lip, I would need to see before and after pictures to better understand the problem. The lips look fleshy before probably because the jaw bones (maxilla and mandible) were pushing the lips out, not necessarily because they were thicker than the average. You may benefit from a lip lift un the upper lip and filler bellow. Stefano, I envy you living in Rome. All the great eras of man in one place, and great food to sit and contemplate.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Danyelle: I don't understand what you mean. If you want to show me, either send some drawings of what you mean, or pictures. Contact Kelly at for more info
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      DJ: Plastic Surgery "turns back the clock of aging", but aging continues. Most people will not need a lip lift redo, but this is all a matter of individual preference. I have several patients that are approaching the 10 year mark, so far none have come back for a redo, but I have had several who come in before 10 years who come back because they want to go higher. It is somewhat like people who want larger breast implants.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jennifer: How young is young? Below age 18 you need your legal guardian's approval. I would not recommend it to patients who are not done growing. Other than that I would have to speak to you and evaluate you to see if you are a candidate. Contact Kelly at, she'd love to help you.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Linda: The word is not entered in the text of the post, thus it was not misspelled. I can only assume that you mean the picture shows an arrow over the philtrum. Thank you for giving my readers the opportunity to learn the technical term for that particular segment of the upper lip. Oh, and smile! :)
  • Brittany says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, my lips are slightly asymmetrical. Are lip lifts ever performed to attempt to correct this? And if so, has it been successful? One side of my lip lifts slightly more than the other side when I smile. I'm afraid that a lip lift will make the asymmetry more noticeable and/or not correct it at all.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Brittany: Symmetry is impossible to get with surgery. Sometimes the asymmetry is due to the way the person moves their facial expression muscles. This is also seen with eyebrows. One always attempts to leave the same amount of lip skin on each side, indeed, the measurements are not of what is being taken out, but what is left behind. For example, I do not measure that I am taking out 4 millimeters of lip tissue, I measure that I will leave behind exactly 1.1 millimeters on each side of the upper lip. Despite my attempts at perfection, always one side ends up being slightly different. In your particular case, the fact that one side lifts slightly more when you smile is a good indication that it is due to muscle action more than skin excess. The surgery will probably not affect this asymmetry, but I doubt it will make it worse.
  • Rosita Alvarez says:

    i have long distance between nose and lip. Went to a surgeon years ago to correct this. He injected fat that he had taken from my belly into my lips. I now have lumpy duck lips. I understand now looking at your video that the procedure i was suppose to have was the lip lift. When i leave my mouth rested i see no teeth. Is there any chance that my lips can still have a lip lift. Can the lumps be smoothed out upon having this procedure done. What is the procedure cost and is there a consultation fee. I live in New York. I have a friend out in Baltimore that i could stay with!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Rosita: Yes, you can have is a lip lift! About the lumps, I would have to see what we are dealing with before I give an opinion. Call Kelly at, she'll give you all the info you need and she herself had the procedure done. Looking forward to seeing you! And don't forget to spread the word about the blog!
  • David Cog urn says:

    I am very impressed by your photos as well as your candor. How often do you perform lip lifts on men and do you have Any photos to shRe
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dr. Cogburn: I do perform lip lifts on men. Obviously, it's not as frequent as females, because my practice is mostly female. I tend to more for a conservative approach on men (1.3 to 1.5 cm lip length) and that seems to work fine. Unfortunately men don't tend to come back for post op pictures, but several have volunteered to talk to patients who are interested. I have only turned down one male, and it was because his problem was there was no pull on the zygomaticus muscles (zygomaticus major or minor) and smile dynamics would not have altered at all, which is what he wanted. BTW, I just went over to your site and was impressed by your Sculptra Results. I tend to go for fat when I want that much volume, but you really get great mileage out of Sculptra. If you contact Kelly, she can put you in contact with men I have done, sharing may depend on consents, etc., but I'm sure Kelly will be more than happy to help.
  • Mara says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, I had been researching different procedures for months and finally I came across your website and in your video your explanation was exactly what I had been looking for, so my questions are: *How long would you say it takes for the scar to be as close to gone as humanly possible? *Also, would you need to be extremely careful in the following days/weeks to not rip the scar open? *Last question, I noticed you said that women as soon as their twenties may benefit from this procedure, would someone as young as 18, providing that they have the same situation, be a good candidate as well? Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such personal feedback! Also, your website is very informative and comforting:)
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Mara: Scar resolution is a highly individual event. As a general rule, younger people sometimes take longer for the scar to resolve, but there is variation in that too. The days after surgery (5-7 days) we recommend patients not to talk too much and to eat soft foods where there is not a lot of vigorous chewing. My patient coordinator, Kelly had the procedure done. You may want to ask her a few questions she can answer from a patient point of view. Kelly can be reached at We'll be looking forward to hearing from you!
  • Sam says:

    Hi, I have had a lip lift before but the scars are bad and I am not happy with the amount that was taken out. I would love to have it revised, would it be possible to cut out the scar and more skin to get a better result this time. I would also love to hear whether you can create a much more defined philtrum without giving the area a bulky look, as this is what I was left with from the previous lip lift. I am also hoping to have a rhino in the future. Would your method of creating tunnels through the septum allow this? Great site and pics :)
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sam: I need to see your case to determine what can be done. In theory, yes, we can revise the scar and anchor the skin to the deeper tissues, which is what prevents tension in the scar (this may be why you have a thick scar). This would also make the result more long lasting. You might be interested in this short video with criteria and results. As for the philtrum, when you bias your repair towards the center, that is, you suture the skin of the lip to a point closer to the center underneath the nose, you recreate a more defined philtrum. I will let Kelly know of your interest, she will be contacting you soon. We'd love to help you.
  • valerie says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, I have a couple of questions - I have a small upper lip and no tooth show. Fillers definitely help, but as you've pointed out, they can only do so much before you look like a duck. I'm really more interested in exposing/rolling out more of the vermillion of my upper lip and if I can get a couple of mm of tooth show, I'd be happy. I am interested in the "skin-only" lip lift as opposed to the muscle-hemming lip lift because hemming the muscle appears to be really complicated and risky. 1st question: I've seen a couple of doctors in LA/Beverly Hills who really encourage the muscle-hemming lip lift because they have both said the skin-only lip lift isn't permanent. Could you please tell me if this is the case? 2nd question: The 2 doctors in Beverly Hills have both said that the upper lip lift really doesn't increase the fullness of the upper lip (which makes sense in the "muscle hemming technique", since you're not really rolling anything out, you're just lifting everything up), yet both of them were unable to actually show me what it would look like. I know this may sound crazy but I actually will press in on the skin just below the base of my nose, which causes the upper lip to roll slightly out and up and I absolutely love it! I'm wondering if this is what I could expect with a skin-only lip lift?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Valerie: Steer away from those muscle hemming techniques, I hear a lot of horror stories on the internet. I do skin only. All my post op pictures are at least 4 months after surgery. You can see a short video here with long term results. Kelly, my office assistant had hers done years ago, ask her about it ( The lip lift does not increase the fullness of the lip but it does make more of the red part of the lip show, so the lip appears "fuller". You sound like a great candidate for the lip lift, and if you are interested we can set up a skype conference and I can explain how it works. We'd love to hear from you!
  • courtney j says:

    hi, i have been trying to research this new technique by a Houston doctor you can google it and see what i am talking about. It is really interesting and it does not leave any scars. it supposedly only takes 15 min and is an in office procedure. i was wondering if it was possible, could u do this surgery on someone?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Coutney: I can't Google it unless I get some more specific details. There is a procedure where one inserts a small suture to shorten the lip. There are 2 reasons I don't like it:
      1. It only lifts the central part of the lip
      2. I've tried it and patients complain that it tends to limit the motion of their lips in the lateral directions.
      If you are interested, contact Kelly at, she'd be happy to hear from you!
  • mm says:

    Hi Dr Rodriquez, I had a muscle lip lift where the doctor hemmed or folded my OO muscle and then he completely sutured it to the periosteum behind the nose. Now I have an upper lip that has flattened and the area between both philtrums just hangs without any ability to normally move. The movements of my upper lip are abnormal and I have difficulty eating and with speech. I used to have a really nice upper lip with a nice curl to the white roll, just a bit long. Now the lip hangs way below my top teeth. It's much longer then before the surgery, I believe due to muscle inactivity. Do you think it is possible to get the function back in my upper lip if it was released and is it possible to get a liplift revision.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dear Mary: Without knowing how your procedure was done, there is very little I can say. To make any kind of recommendation I would need a copy of the operative report and see your pictures or even do a Skype session just to see how your mouth moves. You will need a thorough evaluation to see what can or cannot be done. I think in most cases, something can be done, but do not expect perfection. If you are interested, email Kelly at
  • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

    Jessica: I have tried this method a couple of times. The problem comes when you try to move the lips side to side, the loop holds the central part of the lip at a fixed distance. It looks a little bit funny and patients complain it bothers them. Both patients I did ended up being converted to a traditional lip lift. If the procedure was as good as it looks everybody would be doing it. I'm always on the lookout for better ways to do things, but I tried this and it didn't work out as well as I thought it would.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jessica: The cupids's bow can be changed very effectively by the lip lift. Doing a combination of lip lift with fillers you can get very dramatic results. I love this procedure because it does give such great results.
  • Peter Grove says:

    Very Good Article, nice to see a professional posting an in-depth post on what seems to coming be a very common procedure.
  • cosmetic surgeon orlando says:

    Very educational post. How common is it for your patients to combine the lip augmentation and lift?