Lip Lift

A subnasal lift (or lip lift) transforms a thin, sometimes nearly absent upper lip into a feminine, attractive, full lip with a natural shape. It is a simple procedure that consists of removing some skin between the lip and the nose, and lifting it to expose the pink portion of the upper lip where lipstick is applied. It’s also called “lip augmentation” by our Montreal, Quebec, patients.

Good candidates for this procedure are women, and some men whose upper lip is thin and lacking volume or patients who have a large space between the nose and the lip, which can confer an aged look.

In some patients, genetics are such that the upper lip is rather thin. For most, filler injections, performed in the office are effective at providing more volume and body to the upper lip. However, some may wish for a more permanent solution, which can be achieved with this simple lip lift procedure.

Some other patients have an anatomy where the upper lip is positioned such that very little of it shows. In those patients even fillers may not yield the desired result. Although fillers will add volume, there is so little lip showing that it gets larger but remains “hidden” inside the mouth. A lip lift becomes the only way to reposition and expose the pink lip.

More mature ladies are also frequently excellent candidates for a lip lift. With age, the pink portion of the lip becomes thinner and less everted (less pouted outward). Therefore, for many mature ladies, a lip lift is a very effective procedure to restore the youthful look of the lip, allowing the application of lipstick, which further rejuvenates the upper lip. For these patients, the procedure is often performed in conjunction with a facelift or other procedure as part of an overall rejuvenation, although it can certainly be performed alone.

Lip lift by Dr. Samaha:
Noticeable results, imperceptible scar

Patient One

Patient with scar above lip

This photo of a male patient is taken from below to highlight the scar. Despite the angle, it is difficult to detect the scar.


Patient Two

Patient with scar below lip

This photo of a female patient is taken from below to highlight the scar. Despite the angle, it is difficult to detect the scar.

Another use for the procedure is to shorten the distance between the mouth and the nose. Indeed, for some women, this distance is long, creating an imbalance or lack of harmony between the nose, upper lip, and mouth. This in turn confers an aged look. Indeed, a long upper lip is a sign of aging that is often not recognized. A lip lift can shorten this distance, restoring harmonious proportions and rejuvenating the lip into a more youthful appearance.

Patients who are not good candidates for a lip lift are those with a very short distance between the lip and nose. In those patients alternate options, such as fillers are often recommended and will usually yield satisfying results.

Dr. Mark Samaha

Meet Dr. Mark Samaha

A double board-certified otolaryngologist whose practice focuses exclusively on facial plastic surgery, Dr. Samaha is highly qualified in facial aesthetics. Learn more about our physician and how he's carefully refined his skills to sculpt your beautiful face.

Meet Dr. Samaha Doctor credentials

The Day of the Surgery

The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia alone or with a mild sedative to help the patient relax and sleep, depending on the patient’s preference. After drawing markings on the upper lip, Dr. Samaha numbs the area and the procedure is then performed. Sutures and a special band-aid are applied once the surgery is completed.

The length of the procedure is approximately 30 minutes and recovery lasts 5-7 days, with usually no pain or bruising.

Three women smiling

Maximum Results, Minimum Recovery

Dr. Samaha is constantly striving to perfect his surgical techniques to provide the best possible results for his patients. In addition, since the start of his surgical practice, he has also taken a keen interest in developing techniques and methods to minimize swelling and bruising after surgery for his patients and therefore shorten their recovery. This has culminated in his Maximum Results Minimum Recovery system.

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Following Surgery

In the first 3-4 days, the upper lip seems quite large, mainly due to swelling. However, this quickly subsides to give way to a youthful, natural looking and feminine upper lip. The lip feels a little stiff in the first few days but this does not interfere with eating and chewing. Sutures are removed at the patient’s follow-up appointment, 5-7 days after the surgery after which the patient is able to resume normal activities.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the restrictions after the surgery?

The main restriction is to avoid strenuous physical activity for one week. This includes vigorous exercise and heavy lifting. Anything that causes the patient to strain is not recommended, including bending forward.

Will I have a scar?

The scar is usually very well concealed in the creases between the nostrils and the face as well as inside the nostrils themselves. Initially, a small amount of make-up is sufficient to conceal it. In time, as the scar heals further, it gradually becomes a very thin, imperceptible line, hidden in the creases and shadows of the nostrils.

What about smiling, eating, and talking?

None of these functions are affected. Due to the initial swelling, the upper lip may be a little stiff. While this does not affect eating and drinking, speaking and smiling may feel slightly unusual. This subsides within a few days following the procedure.

How long is the recovery?

In 5-7 days, the swelling has largely resolved, the lip has assumed its normal position, and the sutures have been removed. Patients can return to normal daily activities at that point.

Will I have a lot of bruising?

There is seldom any bruising associated with a lip lift procedure.

Will I need another procedure a few years later?

The procedure is generally performed once and it is quite rare to need another procedure, even years later.

Learn more about sculpting your smile with lip lift. Request your consultation online or call us at (514) 731-2525 to get started.

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