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Lip Lift Surgery Overview

Shapely, well-defined lips are a facial feature many women desire. Some women want fuller, plumper lips, while others dream of having a unique, pretty lip shape. For the latter, a lip lift may be the answer.

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What is a Lip Lift?

As women age, it is natural for facial features to change. This is certainly the case with lips, and a lip lift in Houston, TX with Dr. Lapuerta can completely reshape the appearance of the lips, giving patients the lips of their dreams.

A lip lift reshapes the “Cupid’s bow and redefines the distance between the base of the nose and the top of the lips. Many cosmetic surgeons believe the ideal length for this vertical space is between 12-15 millimeters. A lip lift creates a younger, shapelier mouth. Dr. Lapuerta’s decades of experience means patients can expect the surgical procedure will result in natural-looking, beautiful lips.

What is the Cupid's Bow?

“Cupid’s bow” is the term used to refer to the double curve in the upper lip directly below the nose. The curve is called the Cupid’s bow because it is said to resemble the bow of the Roman god of love. With age, the Cupid’s bow can become less defined and visible, and a lip lift can reshape the area to create a more clearly defined Cupid’s bow.

What are the Benefits of Lip Surgery?

Lip lift surgery has a number of benefits, providing patients with a wide range of potential outcomes. Depending on the specific needs of the patient, the surgeon can resolve a number of aesthetic lip issues. Some common benefits of the surgery include less space between the mouth and nose, poutier lips, a more clearly defined Cupid’s Bow, more visible teeth, and a fuller upper lip. Lip augmentation can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, as well as reduce the need for any dermal fillers in the lips.

Lip Lift Surgical Technique

There are two primary lip lift surgery techniques that an experienced plastic surgeon can choose from. Depending on the desired outcome for the patient, a plastic surgeon will determine which of the following two surgical techniques will best accomplish these goals.

The Gull-Wing Lip Lift

Many surgeons use the gull-wing lip lift to increase the prominence of the vermillion,  the area on both the upper and lower lips that show the pink skin near the lip. During this procedure, skin and nearby tissue are removed using a small incision. The area of skin removed will be taken from or above the white line of skin that borders the vermilion. By removing this tissue, the shape of the lip is altered from both peaks of the Cupid’s bow. This same process can be done to the lower lip.

Subnasal Lip Lift

The subnasal lip lift (also referred to as a bull-horn lip lift) is one of the more commonly performed procedures. This technique reshapes the Cupid’s bow by removing a portion of skin and tissue from under the nose. Once the small piece of tissue is removed, the lip is lifted and raised. The lift is secured by tight sutures so a small section of teeth can be exposed when the mouth is at rest. This process exposes a large portion of the upper lip vermilion and visually increases the volume of the pink area of the lip.

What to Expect During Lip Lift Surgery

Lip lift surgery is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure at an accredited surgical facility. Dr. Lapuerta has over 20 years of performing lip lift surgery at his accredited on-site operating room and surgical facility, and it is this expertise and experience that has led to a nearly flawless reputation in the Houston area. The surgery generally takes 1-2 hours to complete, and once the surgery is complete, patients are able to safely return home to begin the healing process.

After Lip Lift Surgery

During the first few days after surgery, there will be some swelling and moderate pain, but these side effects should go away fairly quickly. If the pain becomes too much to manage, patients will be given medication to help treat the discomfort. After about two to four days of rest, patients will be able to return to work as long as their job does not involve strenuous physical activity. These kinds of strenuous activities and working out should be avoided for at least a few weeks.

The results will be visible almost immediately, with a noticeable difference in the shape and appearance of the lips. However, it can take several months for the final look of the enhanced lip to take full effect. In the meantime, to make sure the lips heal as naturally as possible, try to avoid widely opening the mouth for at least one week after the procedure.

Expected Cost of a Lip Lift

The cost for a lip lift procedure will vary, but the average cost will range between $2,500-$3,500. The overall fee could increase if an augmentation technique is performed at the same time (if a silicone lip implant is also used). In order to get an accurate quote for the cost of a lip lift in Houston, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lapuerta today.


  • Recovery Time
  • 2-3 Days
  • Average Procedure Time
  • 1-2 Hours
  • Post-op Follow-up
  • 1-2 Days
  • Procedure Recovery Location
  • Outpatient


Lip lifts are performed to create subtle, natural results. The fear of having “duck lips” can be put to rest if a qualified surgeon performs the surgery. Most individuals who end up with pouty, duck lips were likely fitted with implants in a lip that would have received more benefit from a lift.
Lip lift surgery leaves a very minimal, inconspicuous scar. The incision is tightly closed deep within the inner lip using nylon sutures to help relieve stress on the incision. Most patients can barely notice where the incision was placed.
Some women feel lip augmentation (with either implants or fillers) will make their lips more beautiful. However, this can often result in the “duck lip” appearance we recognize in the actresses on TV. In these cases, augmentation was not the answer. Augmenting a flat, undefined lip will only create an outward, pouty lip rather than accentuate the shape and design of the mouth. A skilled plastic surgeon will be able to determine if lip augmentation or a lip lift would be a better fit in order to achieve the aesthetic results.
Leo Lapuerta Plastic Surgery