Plastic Surgery

Lip Lift

Surgical procedure to lift the upper lip, creating a more defined and youthful contour by shortening the distance between the lip and nose.

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Bullhorn Lip Lift

If you’ve spent your life wishing for a fuller upper lip, have a long upper lip (distance from nose to the pink lip), or have noticed a loss in volume as you’ve aged, a “bullhorn” lip lift, also known as a subnasal lip lift, could be the procedure for you.

What is a bullhorn lip lift?

A bullhorn lip lift is a procedure that shortens the philtrum and decreases space between the bottom of the nostrils and the top of the upper lip–rolling out the upper lip, making it more prominent and appear fuller. Not only does this create a naturally fuller upper lip, it also balances the facial ratios making the face more aesthetically pleasing. This is a permanent procedure done without the use of fillers, making touch-ups and maintenance unnecessary.

How is a bullhorn lip lift done?

A bullhorn lip lift is done under local anesthetic and takes about 1 hour.. The philtrum is shortened by removing a strip of skin just below and along the sides of the nostrils–the procedure takes its name from the bullhorn-shape of the tissue removed. The resulting gap is then sutured closed, rolling the lip upward. The upper lip will appear fuller and the space between the lip and nose will be narrower. The incision is made in such a way that the scar will be mostly hidden under the nose, giving you natural-looking results. Depending on the width of the “bullhorn” excised, the results can be subtle creating a natural better-balanced lip or can be aggressive creating a more pouty look. This can be decided based on the patient’s preference during the preoperative planning.

How long does a bullhorn lip lift last?

A bullhorn lip lift is considered a permanent procedure with results lasting up to, and often longer than, a decade. It is important to remember that your face will continue to age, so though a lip lift is considered permanent, your optimum results will not last forever.

A bigger pout can also be achieved using soft tissue fillers however, regular touch-up injections are required.

Lip Lift vs Filler:

If you’re trying to decide whether to get filler or a lip lift, it can be a tough decision as there are pros to both. Filler is temporary, giving you the option to change your look if you want to. However, if you opt for filler, you will need to visit your injector every few months to have it re-injected. Though the initial cost of fillers is less than a surgical lip lift, over time the cost will add up as you continue to maintain your look. A surgical lip lift can last longer than a decade and will cost more upfront but will be more cost-effective in the long run. Which procedure is right for you also depends on the overall look you’re going for. At your consultation, Dr. Amadi will advise you on which route will be most beneficial for your desired outcome.

Who should get a bullhorn lip lift?

If you’re looking to shorten your philtrum, define your cupid’s bow or simply make your upper lip appear larger, a bullhorn lip lift could be for you. This procedure can be performed on older patients whose upper lip has thinned with age, or younger patients who have never had the full lips they’ve always wanted. Patients with a longer space (more than 20 mm) between their lips and nose, little or no tooth show, and those with smaller mouths are good candidates for this procedure.

You shouldn’t get a bullhorn lip lift if…

If you get cold sores or have a condition that makes it difficult for your blood to clot, it is not usually recommended that you undergo a lip lift. If you are a habitual smoker, this may also not be the procedure for you as you will not be able to smoke for at least four weeks pre and post-surgery.

When you have your consultation with Dr. Amadi, it is very important for you to be honest and upfront about any conditions you have or medication you are taking.

Possible risks and complications:

Though generally considered safe and effective, like all surgical procedures, a bullhorn lip lift does come with some risks. The most common risks are:


After your procedure, you will have sutures present underneath your nose; they will be removed at your follow-up appointment 5 to 7 days after your surgery. You will experience some swelling and minimal bruising for about 7-10 days. You may be prescribed pain meds for the first couple of days and will be advised to clean your incision site and monitor it for infection. You will also be told to avoid smoking for up to four weeks both before and after your procedure. Most patients are able to return to work after one week of downtime.

Dr. Amadi will often see patients 1 month after surgery to assess the incision scar and possibly inject with anti-scar medications. Silicone creams are also recommended to accelerate the scar maturation process. The swelling should disappear completely after three months and you will be able to cover your scar with makeup as it heals and becomes less visible.

When will I see the results?

You will notice a difference immediately after your lip lift–your upper lip will appear fuller and more prominent. However, your final results may take up to three months to develop, as swelling subsides and your scar settles. Your results can last more than a decade.

Dr. AJ Amadi


Dr. AJ Amadi

Focusing on a natural and age-appropriate look, Dr. Amadi will deliver the finest personalized care, giving you the results you desire.

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