Lip Lift

A lip lift is an effective way to give the face a youthful appearance by creating a fuller-looking lip and hiding the ageing appearance of your mouth.

Several types of lip lifts are available, depending on the desired look. Most procedures are carried out under a local anaesthesia. The great thing about a lip lift is that it has minimal downtime.  It takes around an hour. Recovery is much quicker than a more complex procedure. Plus, you'll see the results within two weeks.

With ageing, loss of collagen and gum loss or receding gums can give the mouth a flat look, and in some cases, lips can look thin. These situations can make the area between the mouth and the base of the nose look longer. A lip lift can create a more rejuvenated look by reducing the length between the bottom of the nostril and the upper lip. The procedure helps to achieve a refreshed younger appearance.

It is best to discuss what you want to achieve with our specialist facial plastic surgeon. There are several options to consider, such as a modified version or Italian lip lift for those who are after a more discrete look. Our plastic surgeons will advise on the best option for your face so that it looks in proportion. 

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Lip Lift - Key Information

Procedure length

45m to 75m


Local anaesthesia or sedation

Hospital stay

Day care

Up & mobile

Same day

Sleeping position

No restriction


1 day

Sexual activity

No restriction

Back to work

1 week to 10 days


1 week to 10 days

Do lip lifts or sub nasal lip lifts look natural?

The lip lift can achieve a natural look, and it can help balance out the proportions of the face. The ideal candidates have a longer space between the base of the nose and the upper lip called the philtrum and who also want a subtle increase in the lip size. 

Who is suitable for a lip lift?

You may be suitable for a lift for the following reasons:

  • To modify and increase the lip shape (thin upper lip)
  • To increase volume of the upper lip
  • To correct the over-or under-exposure of the lower teeth that often occurs with age
  • Many want to reshape the lip because they no longer want to deal with the constant upkeep of dermal fillers. They are looking for a more permanent solution.

Most experts recommend a distance between the upper lip and nose of greater than 1.8cm. If you're unsure if this will work with your face, a consultation at Kensington Medical with our expert plastic surgeons can help you see a clearer picture of what a lip lift could do for you.

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Several lip procedures are available. The right one for you depends on your facial structure and other treatments you're having done with the lip lift. 

How does a lip lift work?

It is best to have a consultation with our expert plastic surgeons to discuss what you are looking to achieve. 

Sub nasal Bullhorn

A lip lift or bull horn lift technique creates a cut along the base of the nostril in the shape of a bull horn. The skin is lifted or moved to allow the top lip to be augmented or increased. The surgeon completes the procedure under local anaesthesia. The scars are located at the base of the nose and are not readily noticeable.

Central Lip Lift

A sub nasal bullhorn lift is comparable to a central lip lift. A cut is made at the lower nose, shortening the distance between the nose and the lips. The scar isn't visible under normal circumstances. Instead, the surgeon hides it in the area of the nose. Specifically, these cuts go where the sides of your face meet near your nose.

Corner Lip Lift

A corner lip lift is also known as a "grin lift" since it makes the face seem more pleasant. The surgeon takes a small amount of skin with two tiny incisions made at both corners of the mouth. Some patients will receive this procedure as a component of a multi-step lip lift. The scars around the mouth are hidden in the natural creases of the face.

Italian Lip Lift

Two incisions are required beneath each nostril. It is very similar to the bullhorn. Additionally, the procedure doesn't leave a visible scar.

Lip Lift Surgeons

What other treatments can complement a lip lift?

In many cases, a face lift and lip lift are combined, which helps you avoid multiple surgeries and downtime. Please ask us your plastic surgeon during your initial video consultation.

Frequently asked questions

There's a chance the upper lip lift can distort or slightly widen the nasal area. There can be a small scar at the base of the nostril usually hidden by makeup. Your surgeon can discuss any concerns about the procedure and assure you of any modifications to the treatment to reduce any nasal base distortion. Other general risks of surgery include excess bleeding and infections. Our medical team will provide you with post operative aftercare instructions to ensure your journey is a positive one.

The lip lift is a quick procedure that takes less than an hour. You may choose to be awake or have sedation. Your will have a local anaesthetic for the treatment. Swelling is noticeable for seven to ten days. You can expect a one to two week recovery. Your mouth area may feel tight during this time, which can last a few months after the treatment. Mild discomfort should not prevent you from returning to your regular routine in 3 or 4 days.

Scarring with a lip lift depends on the procedure type. For most treatments, the incision is at the base of the nose and is not seen under normal circumstances. Makeup can hide the scar.

You should start to see results after the swelling goes down about one to two weeks after the procedure.

The cost of a lip lift at Kensington Medical is £3,300 with a local anaesthetic. To find out if you are suitable for a lip lift book a consultation with our experienced lip lift plastic surgeons. 

In your consultation with your surgeon will discuss all preoperative advice. Your nurse will also ensure you are ready for the procedure. They will discuss any special preparations you may need to make, and your medical history will be completed. Before your surgery, the medical team will inform you what medicines to stop and when you can resume taking them.

At Kensington Medical, we always begin with a pre-operative medical examination one week before the operation. At this appointment, we will:

  • Ask for a medical history form from you
  • Complete blood testing
  • Check your blood pressure, height, and weight
  • Screen you for COVID-19 and MRSA

The next step to a refreshed you

At Kensington Medical, the process is a smooth journey. A consultation with your facial cosmetic surgeon starts you off by covering all your questions and what you want to achieve.

This is followed by an face to face consultation to discuss in detail the lip lift procedure and how it will work for you.

Your  specialist surgeon will discuss the best options for your face shape and will review pictures of before and after surgeries so you can see the results.

If you are in your 40’s, 50’s or 60’s your surgeon will encourage you to bring photos of yourself over the past few years. Your surgeon will create a plan based on your face type, skin condition, and muscle laxity. If you are in your 20’s or 30’s and are looking to change the shape of your lip, your surgeon will discuss the best options based on your face shape.

Medically reviewed by Mr David Gateley MA, FRCS, FRCS (Plast), GMC number 2939470 on 12 July, 2024.