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Lip Lift

A lip lift is a lip augmentation procedure that allows men and women to shorten the “philtrum,” which is the area between the bottom of the nose and top of the upper lip. Lip lifting is a minimally invasive in-office cosmetic surgery that is ideal for patients looking to add height and/or volume to their lips without the use of lip fillers. Dr. Sarah Mess is proud to offer lip lift surgeries to patients seeking a permanent solution for natural-looking lip enhancement in Columbia, Maryland.

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Surgical Lip Lift in Columbia, Maryland

Lip lift surgery, also known as a subnasal lip lift, helps patients gain a more aesthetically pleasing distance of less than 20 mm between the philtrum and vermilion border, as well as an increase of incisal edge, or “tooth show” of the upper teeth when the face is in repose. This procedure also helps to achieve fuller, more youthful lips and can even add subtle lift to the corners of the mouth. Lip lift surgery is typically a quick procedure that is performed with IV or general anesthesia.

For this surgical procedure, Dr. Mess uses the indicated incision pattern that resembles a bullhorn, gull wing, or mustache at the base of the nose. This incision is larger in the center and tapers at the lateral edges for superior blending with the surrounding tissue. The “red lip” portion of the upper lip is then pulled up and into a favorable new position in relation to the top of the vermilion border, sometimes referred to as the “cupid’s bow”.Because lip lift sutures are placed along the nostril floor and in the folds of the ala—the area just beneath the pointest part or tip of the nose—any scarring is well-hidden.1

Dr. Sarah Mess is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has honed her expertise in facial rejuvenation procedures like the lip lift, as well as facelift, neck lift, and eyelid lift over the last 15 years. Patients desiring stunning lip transformations come from all over the East Coast to seek out her surgical expertise in these types of procedures.

Best Candidates for CoolSculpting ®

Benefits of Lip Lift Surgery

Usually, lip enhancement to add volume to the lips is done using injectable dermal fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane. But for a number of patients, a lip lift is actually the ideal cosmetic procedure to achieve the perfect pout.

If you desire more incisal edge or “tooth show,” and/or a shorter distance between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip, lip lift surgery is an optimal procedure that provides benefits, such as:

  • + Enhances Lips

A lip lift procedure makes it possible for men and women to achieve fuller, more voluminous lips without injecting synthetic dermal fillers and balance the upper and lower lips.

  • + Better Facial Proportions

Generally, a length greater than 20mm between the philtrum and the vermillion border is considered excessive. A face with ideal proportions has less than 20mm between the philtrum and the vermilion and also shows several millimeters of incisal edge in repose, and several millimeters of gums when smiling.

  • + A More Youthful Appearance

A lip lift procedure can provide a more youthful appearance in several ways; first and foremost by shortening the length of the upper lip. People usually associate shorter lips, plumper lips with a youthful aesthetic, while lost volume and elongated upper lips are associated with advancing age.2

  • + Reduced Scarring

Most patients heal with a minimal scar, however, Dr. Mess sometimes recommends a laser treatment to correct any visible scarring at approximately six weeks after the surgery.

Good Candidates For Lip Lift

The best candidates for lip lift surgery are typically those with a long upper lip length and a short upper lip height. Many older patients find that the upper lip lengthens with age, but some younger patients may have this facial characteristic due to genetics. You may be a good candidate for lip lift if you want to shorten the distance between the bottom of your nose and the top of your upper lip, want to reduce upper lip thinness, and/or want more height on the top lip.

Your Lip Lift Consultation

Lip lift surgery with Dr. Sarah Mess can shorten your top lip while simultaneously increasing volume and creating a more youthful-looking appearance. During your consultation with Dr. Mess, you can discuss your cosmetic concerns as well as your goals and she will gladly review all the options available to you.

Using VECTRA® 3D Imaging, Dr. Mess will transfer photos of your face to our advanced computer system, which will generate a three-dimensional rendering of your expected lip lift outcome. We use this tool to provide you with a realistic idea of the results you can achieve after your lip lift surgery, allowing you to make the best decision about your treatment plan.

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Recovery After Lip Lift Surgery

Lip lift recovery takes approximately 6-8 weeks to completely heal and requires one week of downtime. Some patients experience tightness in the surgical site area for several months following their procedure. Results from lip lift should be long-lasting and for most are permanent.

Immediately After

Immediately following lip lift surgery, some patients experience minimal discomfort due to swelling and tightness in the affected area. Swelling should subside within four weeks. Patients recovering from a lip lift procedure should keep this timeline in mind:

  • 1 Week

    Most patients can return to work and light activities after the first week. After one week, the swelling should have dissipated considerably.

  • 3 Weeks

    Patients can resume normal activity and light exercise. By the third week, almost all swelling should have subsided.

  • 6-8 Weeks

    After six to eight weeks, all of the swelling should be gone. Patients can enjoy activity and exercise without restrictions. At this time, patients seeking to reduce scarring can opt to have laser treatment, however, full scar resolution can take up to eight months.3

Best Candidates for CoolSculpting ®

How Much Does Lip Lift Surgery Cost?

We believe it is important to practice transparency in every way with our plastic surgery patients, and this includes being candid about procedures and the costs associated with them.

Lip lift procedures take roughly one hour and are performed in our state-of-the-art surgical center. The average cost of lip lift surgery depends on several different factors, and variations in cost are due to different methods of performing the surgery, as well as any ancillary procedures that are included in your treatment plan, such as the insertion of a silicone lip implant or corner lip lift.

Final costs of this procedure can be determined during your consultation with Dr. Mess, however, we are happy to provide the following basic price range for lip lift surgery:

    • All appointments before and after your procedure
    • Surgeon’s fee
    • Operating room fees and supply charges
    • Anesthesia fees

Price Range for lip lift surgery- $3000- $4000

(Each patient’s surgical plan is unique. Your costs may fall outside of this range.)

Schedule A Consultation For Lip Lift Surgery

To learn more about how you can enhance your lips and create facial harmony with lip lift surgery, please contact us at your convenience to schedule your private consultation with Dr. Mess. Located in Columbia, Maryland, our practice is conveniently close to Washington, D.C. as well as Baltimore.



1 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Ideas and Innovations: The Lip Lift. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Citation/1986/06000/The_Lip_Lift.24.aspx. Accessed June 25, 2020.
2 Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Ideas and Innovations: The Lip Lift. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Citation/1986/06000/The_Lip_Lift.24.aspx. Accessed June 25, 2020.
3 British Journal of Plastic Surgery. Lip lifting. Leo Rozner and Graham W. Isaacs. Available at: https://www.jprasurg.com/article/0007-1226(81)90063-1/pdf. Accessed June 25, 2020.

Get In Touch

If you have any questions, please call us at (410) 910-2350 or fill out our contact form and someone will contact you as soon as possible.

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Dr Sarah Mess
9821 Broken Land Pkwy #102
Columbia, MD 21046
Monday-Friday 9:00AM - 5:00PM

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