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
"Love the procedure, will go back again and again, will not let anyone touch my face but him. Couldn't be happier. Krisa"- Anonymous / RateMDs / Dec 16, 2019
"I just finished day seven of my post-surgery checkup with Dr Fernau, and here’s my personal experience. Upon arrival of my consultation, I was greeted by the friendliest staff. Every one of them helped in my progression, aided in my treatments, calmed my anxiety, and exceeded my expectations. Scheduling surgery and getting the medications for the operation were straightforward. As for the surgery, the instructions were clear, the procedure explained, and questions answered. The results were beyond what I expected. Dr Fernau is exceptionally passionate about his work and cares for his patients. The open communication that Dr Fernau has with his staff is what creates such a successful business model and positive outcomes for his patients. After surgery I had difficulty walking, and one of the staff members helped my wife with taking me home. The compassion, dedication, and excellence that I experienced with Dr Fernau and his staff give me the pleasure of providing the highest of recommendations."- C.M. / Google / Nov 24, 2019
"I highly recommend Dr. Fernau! If you are looking for a surgeon who cares about his patients and pays attention to detail, look no further. He is extremely talented and precise in everything he does. He is a leader in patient safety and recovery. He takes every measure to assure a good experience from start to finish. He is up to date on the techniques, technology and the latest developments in this field. He is meticulous and treats his patients like family. After my initial consultation with Dr. Fernau I knew he would be the one I would trust for my own care, and after the ensuing experience with him and his staff I was convinced he is the only one I would also trust to care for my family."- A.B. / Google / Nov 13, 2019
"I was very nervous about having any type of surgery let alone plastic surgery. I researched several doctors and had 3 consults. I am so very pleased with my results and with the entire process. Dr. Fernau was amazing. He explained everything and took the time to answer my questions. He has an eye for detail and strives for perfection. Highly, highly recommend. I felt safe and secure with him as my surgeon. Follow up with so easy and timely. Overall the procedure had very little pain or down time. Would do it again."- S.W. / Google / Oct 10, 2019
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.