Lip Lift

  • Procedure Time: 1 hour
  • Recovery Time: 2-3 weeks
  • Surgery Type: Outpatient

What is a Lip Lift?

A lip lift is a simple procedure that aims to rejuvenate, restore balance or reshape the upper lip. Although it is a small procedure, the results can be stunningly transformative. As we age, the white upper lip stretches andlengthens with gravity. This causes the red lip to invert or “roll” into the mouth, leaving a person with thin lips. Additionally, many people will notice that their upper teeth gradually become hidden by their upper lip, making their mouth appear older. All these factors contribute to an overall aged appearance to the face. Recently, there has been a lot of excitement about filler and its ability to restore shape to the lips. In the right patient, filler can be a great tool. However, if the lip is heavy and droopy, filler is not the solution and can exacerbate the problem by adding weight to an already heavy lip. In these cases, Dr. Gadaleta prefers to perform a lip lift, which restores the upper lip anatomy to a more youthful position. Unlike filler, a lip lift result provides a permanent benefit to the shape of the upper lip.

How is it Performed?

Dr. Gadaleta performs to most innovative procedure currently available for lip lifting: the modified, deep-plane lip lift. The first step is determining the correct amount of skin to take. This is carefully determined duringconsultation by using precise measurements. After the markings are made, the lip is numbed using local anesthetic (just like you get at the dentist). From there, a small amount of skin is taken right below the nose. This keeps the final incision very well hidden in the natural boundary where the nose meets the upper lip. The incision is closed with meticulous care using sutures. The entire procedure takes about an hour from start to finish and there is no need for general anesthesia.

Who is a Good Candidate?

You may be a good candidate for lip lift surgery if you have noticed increased distance between your nose and your lips, or if your lips are starting to look thin. Many of Dr. Gadaleta’s patients have had an unsatisfactory experience previously with lip filler, as it made their lips feel even more heavy and long instead of plumped and rejuvenated.


The recovery largely depends on how much skin is required to be removed. The average patient will recover in approximately 2 to 3 weeks, with continued improvement to the result in 2-3 months. The lips themselves tend to swell with the procedure, however, most of the swelling will resolve by 3 weeks. If a more aggressive lift is desired, the swelling can take longer to resolve completely. Many patients feel uncomfortable the first few days following surgery; however, severe pain is uncommon.The sutures are removed between day 5-7. By 3 weeks, most patients feel comfortable returning to social engagements.As with any incision, a scar will form and then break down gradually over the course of a year. At 3 weeks, makeup can be used over the scar to conceal it as it continues to heal and fade.

Lip Lift Before & After Photos

Schedule a Lip Lift Consultation

Reach out today to schedule a Lip Lift consultation in Menlo Park, Palo Alto, or San Mateo with Dr. Dominick Gadaleta. As a board-certified Menlo Park facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Gadaleta’s practice focuses exclusively on surgery of the face and neck. Please contact us using the form below, or call the office most convenient to you.

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