Lip lift surgery, a cosmetic procedure offered by Pittsburgh plastic surgeon, Dr. James Fernau, is a corrective surgery that reshapes the upper lip and improves the natural position of the lip and the smile. Unlike an augmentation procedure where volume is the primary concern, a lip lift redefines the lip by surgically recreating a new contour. This procedure focuses on reshaping the “Cupid’s bow” (the two distinct peaks on the upper lip), or it may focus on the corners of the mouth if they begin to turn down due to the natural aging process. Dr. Fernau will assess the lips and provide a thorough treatment plan that will create gorgeous results. In addition to surgery, he may also recommend the use of an injectable filler to add volume.
"If you want to be treated like family and get world class treatment at a very very reasonable cost this is the place to be. Thanks a lot doctor, and you wonderful staff. The best experience I have had at any doctor's office."- P.G. / Facebook / Sep 02, 2015
"Very caring, listens well and does what’s best for you and if he doesn’t think you should do something he will let you know. It’s not all about money it’s about doing whats best for the person. I’d highly recommend him and would use him again in a heartbeat."- K.S. / Facebook / Feb 13, 2018
"Extremely thorough and knowledgeable - Dr Fernau, Shelia and the rest of the staff really care about what they do. Dr. Fernau was very thorough going over all details of my surgery. Excellent patient service as well as amazing work!! The best decision! Highly recommend!!"- M. / RealSelf / Feb 08, 2018
"I had a wonderful experience with Dr. Fernau and his staff! From the moment I walked in, I felt comfortable and excited for my procedure. The front office lady, Michelle, was very kind, and clear in explaining the procedure and everything I needed to know. Sharon, the office manager, was very welcoming as well! The waiting room was very relaxing and I didn't even have to wait long at all. Dr. Fernau was amazing, patient, and genuine - he explained everything about the procedu...re, everything I needed to know about my recovery, and I was out of there within 45 minutes! I felt very cared for in this office and can't wait to go back for more work!! I really appreciated how everyone there made sure to educate me on the recovery process. I would recommend this as one of the top offices in Pittsburgh, as I had such a great experience there. I'm very happy with the results of my procedure. My skin is healing quickly and I'm so glad I made the decision to go see Dr. Fernau. I feel more confident now that I had my procedure!! Thank you so much to Dr. Fernau and your incredible staff for making me feel so comfortable!"- A.M. / Facebook / Feb 01, 2018
"Fantastic surgeon - Dr. Fernau is a fantastic surgeon. Very patient oriented. He is also very safety oriented which helped to ease any worries that I had. I am extremely satisfied with the results of my breast augmentation and would highly recommend him."- K. / RealSelf / Jan 28, 2018
The technique used will be customized to match the patient’s condition and preference. Listed below are two of the most common techniques implemented by plastic surgeons:
The Gull-Wing Lip Lift
The gull-wing lip lift addresses the vermillion on the lips. This is the part of the upper and lower lips that have the pinkish skin. Surgeons usually advise patients to consider the gull-wing lip lift to increase the display of the vermillion. With this procedure, a tiny incision is made to remove skin and nearby tissue from or above the white line of the skin that has the vermilion. Because some tissues are removed, the shape of the lips will change from both peaks of the Cupid’s bow. This process can also be done on the lower lip.
Sub-Nasal Lip Lift
Another type of lip lift is the sub-nasal lip lift or “bullhorn lip lift”. This is also a very popular type of lip lift. Firstly, it removes a portion of the skin from under the nose, and then gently lifts the skin to reshape the Cupid’s bow and provided a lifted appearance. This effect produces a result where a small part of the teeth can be seen even when the mouth is closed. The results using this method are immediate. One disadvantage of this technique is that slight scarring may be noticeable under the nose. However, a qualified surgeon will produce an outcome that limits scarring as much as possible.
A lip lift is performed using general anesthesia in an accredited surgical facility. The outpatient procedure usually takes up to 2 hours to be completed. Results after the first few days of the surgery will already be visible with a bit of swelling and minimal pain. Full effect should take a few months to have the final look the patient wanted.
The average cost of a lip lift procedure will range between $2,500 to $3,500. If the lip lift is done in combination with another procedure, the cost further increases.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $2,500 - $3,500
- Recovery Time
- 1-2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1-2 Days
- Procedure Recovery Location
Lip Lift FAQs
Puckered Duck Lips?
Having “duck lips” is the result of a surgeon augmenting a lip that probably should have been lifted instead. What the lip lift does is improve the placement and overall shape of the lips. This procedure is made to create natural, subtle and youthful results.
Will There Be Scars?
Minimal scarring may be visible with this procedure. The sutures will be finely done and the doctor will make every effort to minimize the effects of scarring. Incisions are barely visible after the procedure.
Lift vs. Augmentation?
Lip augmentation produces fuller lips while a lip lift improves the lip position and shape. Having either a lift or augmentation depends on the shape of the lips an individual has and what the ultimate aesthetic goal is. If a person has a flat and undefined lip, a lip augmentation may result in an outward pouty lip rather than a shapelier and well-designed mouth. Therefore, lip augmentation is not always the solution. A skilled surgeon can determine what kind of lip surgery would be appropriate to have in order to achieve the patient’s desired goals.