Lip Lift vs. Lip Fillers: Understanding the Key Differences

When it comes to enhancing the appearance of your lips, there are two popular options: lip lift surgery and lip fillers. These procedures offer different benefits and are suited for different candidates, and understanding the key differences between a lip lift and lip fillers can help you make an informed decision about which treatment is right for you


Woman showing her beautiful lips after a lip lift

About Lip Lift Surgery

By shortening lip length and increasing tooth show, the effects of aging on the mouth caused by maxillary bone loss can be improved. A lip lift is a surgical procedure that aims to enhance the overall appearance of the lips and mouth. This long-term solution for full, defined lips can balance facial features and counteract the lax skin and loss of volume in the face, which can cause the upper lip to appear elongated.

Sub-nasal Lip Lift Technique

One common lip lift technique is the sub-nasal lip lift, which involves excising a small section of tissue under the nose and columella. During this technique, the lip is lifted, exposing more top teeth and enhancing the Cupid’s Bow, lip length, and lip borders for a youthful look.

Benefits of a Lip Lift

Some of the benefits of a lip lift include:

  • Adding definition to the Cupid’s Bow
  • Increasing lip volume
  • Lifting the corners of the mouth
  • Increasing tooth show
  • Creating facial harmony
  • Decreasing the skin between the nose and mouth

Ideal Candidates for Lip Lift

Ideal candidates for a lip lift are individuals in good overall health, who are non-smokers, who understand the procedure, and who have realistic expectations. A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is essential to assess medical history, lip and facial tissues, and discuss treatment options.

The Lip Lift Procedure and Recovery

Usually taking an hour or less, the lip lift procedure is performed using local anesthesia with IV sedation or general anesthesia. The recovery process lasts about a week, with slight swelling, bruising, and tenderness resolving in 5-7 days. Non-dissolvable sutures are removed in 5-7 days, and most patients return to work in 2-3 days. While the benefits of a lip lift are long-lasting, the skin will continue to age, potentially changing results over time.

Potential Complications of Lip Lift Surgery

As with any surgical procedure, there are potential complications associated with lip lift surgery. These may include bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, asymmetry, loss of sensation, and visible scarring. It is crucial to discuss these risks with your plastic surgeon during the consultation process.

About Lip Fillers

Lip fillers, also known as dermal fillers, are injectable treatments that add volume to the upper and lower lips. The procedure involves injecting hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body, to enhance the lips’ fullness and shape. Hyaluronic acid has become the most popular kind of injectable filler and is used to treat areas of the face that have lost volume, smooth wrinkles, soften facial creases, and restore facial balance.

Benefits of Lip Fillers

Lip fillers offer a variety of benefits which include:

  • Adding volume and fullness to the lips
  • Smoothing wrinkles and lines around the mouth
  • Restoring facial volume that may have been lost due to aging.

This non-surgical procedure provides natural-looking results and can be customized to achieve the desired level of enhancement.

Ideal Candidates for Lip Fillers

Ideal candidates for lip fillers are individuals who desire fuller, plumper lips or want to address signs of aging around the mouth. Good candidates should be in overall good health, have realistic expectations about the results, and be willing to maintain their filler treatments as needed.

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The Lip Filler Procedure and Recovery

The lip filler procedure is quick and minimally invasive, typically taking less than an hour to complete. A topical numbing cream may be applied to the treatment area to ensure minimal discomfort during the injections. The dermal filler is then carefully injected into the lips to achieve the desired level of volume and fullness.

Recovery from dermal filler injections is relatively quick, with most patients experiencing only mild swelling or bruising for a few days. It is important to follow your provider’s aftercare instructions to ensure optimal results and minimize any potential side effects.

Comparing Lip Lift and Lip Fillers: Procedure, Recovery, and Results

When comparing a lip lift and lip fillers, there are several key differences to consider:

  • Procedure: A lip lift is a surgical procedure that requires incisions and sutures, while dermal fillers involve non-surgical injections.
  • Recovery time: Lip lift surgery typically requires a longer recovery period, with most patients returning to work in 2-3 days and full healing taking several weeks. In contrast, the recovery from injectable dermal fillers is much quicker, with most patients resuming normal activities within a day or two.
  • Results: By permanently reducing the space between the lip and nose, lip lift surgery can reveal more pink tissue and enhance the overall appearance of the lips. Lip fillers, on the other hand, provide temporary volume and fullness that will gradually dissolve over time.
  • Cost: The cost of a lip lift and lip fillers can vary depending on various factors such as the geographic location, the provider’s expertise, and the individual’s specific requirements. While it’s challenging to provide an exact cost, it is important to note that surgical lip lift is a one-time expense, as it provides long-lasting results, unlike lip fillers, which requires ongoing maintenance. It is advisable to consult with a qualified professional to get an accurate cost estimate tailored to your unique situation.

Consultation for Lip Lift or Lip Fillers

Before deciding on a surgical lip lift or dermal filler injections, it is crucial to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon or qualified provider, like Dr. Vitenas. During the consultation, the provider will assess your medical history, lip and facial tissues, and discuss your aesthetic goals. They will then recommend the most appropriate treatment option for you, whether that is a lip lift, lip fillers, or a combination of both.

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Frequently Asked Questions