Ottawa Lip-Augmentation (Lip Lift)

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Second only to the eyes, the peri-oral area including the lips, teeth, and mouth are one of the first areas where we look at others. Our eyes are drawn to this area as soon as we begin conversation with another person. So it’s no wonder that so many people seek to optimize this area both through improvement in diminishing lines and wrinkles, but also the shape and fullness of the lips and let’s not forget to outline a beautiful smile.

An upper lip lift is a surgical procedure that aims to shorten the length of skin between the nose and the upper lip as well as to lift the upper part of the red lip for a more volumized and pouted appearance. There are many names for this procedure such as upper lip shortening, sub-nasale lift, or bullhorn upper lip lift.

When we think of the upper lip, we tend to think of the red part of the lip. In medical terms however, the upper lip refers to the whole area between the base of the nose (subnasale) and the bottom of the red lip at the opening of the mouth. The part that is not red is called the “white lip”. The ideal measurement of the “white lip” is said to be 12- 15 millimeters. If this measurement is much longer, in certain individuals it may translate to an unpleasing appearance to the upper lip. Furthermore, a long white lip can make the red part of the upper lip rolled down/inwards and non-prominent and it can hide the upper teeth during smiling. If the upper lip is excessively long, it can drape over the upper teeth and decrease the amount of teeth seen during a smile. This is often referred to as insufficient incisor show, which is a frequent indication for upper lip lift procedures.

Mistakenly many cosmetic practitioners try to address these issues with volumization of the upper lip (often with fillers), however, this can create a weighing down effect causing this problem to worsen both in the short and long term. This is something that should be recognized by the aesthetic practitioner and addressed appropriately taking in mind each individual’s goals.

Lip Lift Procedure

Lip lift surgery is most often done with local anesthetic, unless it is done in combination with other facial surgery for which general anesthesia is being used. An incision is skillfully concealed in the crease under the base of the nose. Once the excess amount of skin has been measured, it is carefully removed. The upper lip is then lifted by suturing the cut edges together. The excised area is re-approximated in layers ensuring the muscle layers are re-approximated to maintain the strength and appropriate shape of the upper lip. Finally, skin edges are meticulously aligned with very fine sutures to give the incision line minimal visibility. The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. Lip lift surgery is performed in day surgery and patients go home after we ensure it is safe to do so. Dr. Javidnia performs Lip Lift surgery at our onsite state of the art private surgical facility.


Lip lift surgery usually involves minimal post-operative pain. Bruising and puffiness around the Lips are at their worst the day after surgery and can continue for five to seven days. Stiffness and numbness of the upper lip may last for about 2-4 months. We recommend regular application of cold compresses and keeping your head elevated as much as possible. Sutures are typically removed between 5-7 days after surgery. It can be normal to have a degree of wound eversion, meaning the incision looks raised up slightly like a ridge. Most symptoms and bruising usually disappear within one week after surgery and work and regular daily activities can be resumed at this point. As with all surgical procedures, the final outcome can take months to develop, however patients usually look publicly presentable by one week post-op.

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