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Modified Lip Lift

The modified lip lift method targets the upper lip regions of the mouth. It creates in effect a broader, more attractive smile by exposing the upper regions of the teeth at rest. This region of the mouth tends to become covered during the natural aging process, therefore the result of a modified lip lift is a more youthful appearance.

Modified Lip Lift

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The Skinny

Average Recovery

10 days




Surgical Procedure




$3000 - $4500

The Specifics

What is a modified lip lift?

A modified lip lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon on the upper lip. This lip lift is designed to enhance the smile by altering the upper lip to expose the upper teeth more at rest and create a more youthful appearance, while also augmenting the red upper lip (pink part).

Anatomy of the Lip

Female lip anatomy infographic

Like the subnasal “bull horn” lip lift, a modified lip lift decreases the space between the upper lip and the base of the nose. The scar is placed deeper than in the subnasal lip lift to avoid the scarring seen in the subnasal lip lift.

What cosmetic concerns does a modified lip lift procedure treat?

  1. Lip Shape: The modified lip lift reduces the size between the base of the nose and the upper lip, and enhances the shape of the red lip (pink part) for a more youthful appearance.

Who is the ideal candidate for a modified lip lift procedure?

Ideal candidates for a modified lip lift include older patients and younger patients who have an elongated white upper lip or height mismatch between the white lip and red lip (pink part) of the upper lip. Lip lifts are not recommended for those with infections in and around the mouth or on the upper lip or lower lip, smokers unwilling to quit around the time of the procedure, and those with certain chronic conditions.

What is the average recovery associated with a modified lip lift procedure?

Most modified lip lift patients resume normal activities within 24 hours. Modifications to a soft diet and limitations on strenuous activities may last up to two weeks. Patients should limit excessive movement of their upper lip and lower lip. Most swelling and bruising will resolve within one to two weeks.

What are the potential side effects of a modified lip lift procedure?

Possible side effects from a modified lip lift procedure include bruising, bleeding, swelling, numbness, scarring, and fluid accumulation (seroma).

What can someone expect from the results of a modified lip lift procedure?

A modified lip lift will provide immediate and permanent results. Swelling and wound healing will resolve over about two weeks.

What is the average cost of a modified lip lift procedure?

This is a one time permanent surgical procedure that can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,500. The actual cost of the procedure is dependent upon location, surgeon, and length and involvement of the surgery. Remember this is a cosmetic surgery (not a reconstructive surgery), and so it will not be covered by insurance.


permanentscar is hiddenimproved lip fullness


noticeable scarexternal scar

Invasiveness Score


Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect

The modified lip lift offers patients a subtle lift with more discreet scarring within the nostrils. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a modified lip lift.

The Takeaway

A modified lip lift is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon under local anesthesia. This lip lift reduces the distance between the upper lip and the base of the nose to enhance the appearance of the mouth and smile. A modified lip lift increases the exposure of the upper teeth and augments the red lip (pink part) of the upper lip. Unlike in a subnasal lip lift, the incision is deeper in the nostrils to reduce visible scarring risk.

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Source List


AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. BC Rubens, RA West Ptosis of the chin and lip incompetence: consequences of lost mentalis muscle support PubMed.gov; 1989-04-01
  2. Johnston, MC, Millicovsky G. “Normal and Abnormal Development of the Lip and Palate.” Clin Plast Surg. 1985 Oct;12(4):521-32.; 1985-10-01


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