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A lip lift (also called an upper lip reduction or bullhorn philtrum shortening) is a minor surgical procedure designed to raise the position of the upper lip. The procedure may be an option for people who wish to shorten the length of their philtrum or create a more upturned lip appearance.

The space between the nose and the upper lip is called the philtrum. By shortening the length of the philtrum, Dr Bish can lift the lip in accordance with the patient’s desired appearance and in proportion with their other facial features. Dr Bish takes each patient’s individual features and desired outcomes into account when developing a surgical plan for an upper lip reduction.

Upper Lip ReductionWho is a good candidate?

This procedure is suitable for both men and women seeking to correct a low or thin upper lip. While the surgery is most common for women in their 20s and 30s, it can also be an option for men and mature aged individuals who want to address signs of ageing. If you are seeking to raise or enhance the appearance of your upper lip without relying on fillers, you may be a good candidate. The surgery can alter the shape, size, or position of your upper lip according to your aesthetic ideals.

Good candidates for this procedure are typically in good physical health, non-smokers, and have a positive outlook. We will discuss your suitability for a lip lift (upper lip reduction) during your initial consultation.

Upper lip reductionBenefits of surgery

Signs of ageing often appear on the upper lip due to the gradual lengthening of the philtrum. Over time, the lips can become thinner, and sometimes vertical lines can appear. Additionally, some people find that their top teeth become hidden by a low upper lip caused by a long philtrum. Upper lip reduction can address these concerns in both men and women. People may seek the procedure address:

  • A down-turned lip (under-lip)
  • Concerns about naturally small lip appearance
  • Concerns about dental show
  • A long upper lip
  • A desire for altered facial proportions

Each lip lift (upper lip reduction) surgery is tailored to the patient, which means not every patient will get the same results.

Your personal consultation

Before your procedure, get personalised guidance from highly skilled Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Bish Soliman. With years of experience, he will tailor your treatment for your body, health, and ideal outcomes. Book your personal consultation to receive:

  • In-depth information about your desired procedure
  • Personalised advice from Dr Soliman
  • A customised treatment plan tailored to your needs

Upper lip reductionThe procedure

The surgery can be performed under either local or general anaesthesia and typically takes less than an hour to complete.

A Bull-Horn pattern incision will be made under the nose, following the curve of the philtrum. A pre-marked section of the skin is carefully removed and the skin is pulled upwards. Dr Bish will manipulate the shape of the excision to achieve subtle changes in the shape or elevation of the lip. This means the surgery can have subtle or dramatic results according to the patient’s facial proportions and preferences.

Once the excess portion of skin is removed, the incision is closed in two layers, leaving a small incision line at the lower border of the nose. As the scar fades, the incision line will become less visible.

Upper Lip ReductionAftercare and risks

After your lip lift (upper lip reduction) procedure, Dr Bish will place light dressings on the incision site and provide personalised aftercare instructions. It is important to follow these instructions in order to reduce risks and help your skin heal properly. For example, you will need to take adequate time to rest and recover during the period, as well as minimise exertive physical activity. It is common to experience some swelling or bruising after surgery, but this will fade as the area heals.

Like every surgical procedure, an upper lip reduction comes with certain risks. You should be aware of the risks associated in order to help you make an informed decision. Potential risks can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Slow healing
  • Poor scarring
  • Damage to underlying tissues
  • Anaesthesia reactions
  • Unwanted results

You will return to the clinic at around 5 days for removal of sutures.

Avoid excessive mouth movement for one week (such as excessive chewing, smiling etc). A soft, non-chew diet is recommended for one week.

Learn More About Dr Bish Soliman

Dr Bish Soliman is a Sydney based Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon specialising in complex microsurgical reconstruction including breast reconstruction, aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body as well as skin cancer surgery.

Learn More

Upper lip reduction FAQ

Will I have scarring after a lip lift (upper lip reduction)?

How can I avoid swelling?

How much time should I take off work?

When will I see the results?

About Dr Bish Soliman

Dr Bish Soliman - Sydney Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, about us 01 2x
Specialist Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon
FRACS (Plas), MS (Plas), MBBS (Hons 1), BCom

AHPRA Registered Medical Practitioner MED 0001679053 Specialist Registration in Plastic Surgery

Dr Bish Soliman is a Sydney-based Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who performs aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body as well as skin cancer surgery.

He currently holds two consultant microsurgery positions in major Sydney hospitals performing complex microsurgical reconstruction including DIEP breast reconstruction.

After graduating from The King’s School, Dr Bish completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Sydney. After working briefly at a major Sydney finance firm, he decided to pursue his passion and long-term goal of a career in medicine. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame at the top of his class, receiving First class honours and the prestigious Bower and Sherrard medal. He then went on to complete his junior medical training at Westmead Hospital during which time he was awarded Junior Medical Officer (JMO) of the Year, as well as a finalist for NSW Doctor of the Year.


Next Steps

Do your Research

  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read the risks and complications page
  • Visit our procedure pages and Blogs to learn more about your intended procedure

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Bish
  • Take notes during the consultation and review all the documents provided
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider your options
  • You may need to undress for a physical exam so wear comfortable clothes

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

  • Call us to find out more about surgery pricing and how you can pay for your surgery
  • Request more information about your procedure – call or contact us.

How to Book Your Consultation

  • A GP Medical Referral is now essential to see Dr Bish Soliman for any type of surgery.
  • You can book your consultation with Dr Bish Soliman by paying the consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

Contact Dr Bish Soliman’s team

We look forward to hearing from you soon

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