Upper Lip Lift Surgery – Bullhorn Lip Lift in London UK by Mr Mark Gittos Plastic Surgeon

  • Is Your Upper Lip making you look old?
  • Want to show more of your front teeth when you smile?
  • Tired of using filler to plump your lips?

What is a Lip Lift Procedure?

Lip Lift Mr Mark Gittos Plastic Surgeon Specialist UK

Lip Lift Procedure or Upper Lip Lift is a surgical procedure that can help reduce the distance or length of tissue between your nose and lips, more commonly known as the philtrum, A lip lift or bullhorn lip lift can give your lips a plumper, more youthful look. A lip lift surgery is a permanent lip treatment as opposed to the temporary results of using lip fillers and can even provide a better result in some cases.

It is an ideal solution for you if you want your lips to look plump and rejuvenated but do not want to undergo frequent plumping procedures with fillers. As you age, the ligaments and the skin lose their elasticity and begin to droop and sag. In places, the skin may stretch resulting in elongation of certain facial structures. The philtrum is a perfect example of such facial structure. A long philtrum can cover your upper teeth and is an early sign of ageing.

But a long philtrum is not a problem that affects the aged skin alone. Some people are born with a relatively long philtrum that makes their lips seem thin. And lip fillers will not help this situation as there is a limit to which you can increase the vertical length of your lips without them appearing like duck lips.

A lip lift procedure not only increases the amount of pink lip tissue that is exposed but also makes your central upper teeth more visible, especially while your lips are resting, hence, giving you all the components to form the perfect smile.

Book a consultation now to find out more about the procedure.

Download Mr Mark Gittos’ Guide to Facial Rejuvenation Surgery – Surgical and Non Surgical Anti-Ageing

Guide Facial Rejuvenation

Am I a good candidate for an Upper Lip Procedure?

A lip lift procedure is a cosmetic procedure that can significantly change the overall appearance of your face and how you are perceived by others. But before you decide to undergo the procedure for its various benefits, you have to meet the eligibility criteria that allow you to be considered for the procedure. You may be an ideal candidate for the lip lift procedure if:

  • You are bothered by the appearance of your elongated philtrum
  • You are bothered by the thin-looking upper lips
  • You are looking for a way to make your lips look naturally plump
  • You are physically and mentally healthy
  • You are a non-smoker
  • You have realistic expectations and goals from the procedure
  • You are undergoing this procedure for yourself and not to meet an unrealistic beauty standard

Unlike most cosmetic surgery procedures, the lip lift procedure not only has strict eligibility criteria but also strict ineligibility criteria. If you have the following features, you, unfortunately, cannot undergo the lip lift procedure:

  • The space between your upper lip and base of the nose is not long enough, usually less than 1.5 centimeters.
  • You are a smoker with the inability to quit at least two weeks to four weeks prior to the surgery.

Apart from these features, having oral herpes and diabetes mellitus can be relative contraindications for the procedure. You should speak to your doctor if you have these medical conditions and want to undergo a lip lift procedure. Book an appointment now!

Benefits of Lip Lift Procedure

Lip Lift Procedure Dr Mark Gittos

The lip lift procedure has several physical and psychological benefits as it improves the physical appearance of your lips which then improves your self-image and self-esteem, along with your mental health. The improved and youthful appearance of your lips is bound to knock some years off your face. That coupled with shortening of the philtrum is guaranteed to make you look significantly younger.

The benefits of the lip lift procedure are not held back by age groups. Of course, it works wonders on aged skin and makes you look way younger than you are but philtrum length is also an issue for the youth. If you are young and have a long philtrum, then a lip lift procedure will reduce the size of the philtrum and give some volume to your relatively thin lips.

Steps of Lip Lift Procedure

The lip lift procedure is a surgical procedure that can take up to an hour but usually lasts only for twenty minutes to thirty minutes. The procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure meaning that you will be allowed to go home a couple of hours after the surgery.

The procedure begins with the administration of anesthesia and mostly, local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is used over general anesthesia. Your surgeon will let you know of the best option for you. After you have been anesthetized, your surgeon will make the first incision and begin the surgical process. Based on the type of incision, the lip lift procedure is divided into different types, all of which are mentioned below:

• Direct Lip Lift

For this procedure, your surgeon will make the first incision just above the upper lip. Also known as gullwing lip lift, this procedure results in a more defined upper lip as the skin directly above the upper lip is pulled making the pink part of the upper lip look more prominent. The upper border of the lip is enhanced as well, and as the name describes, it looks like a gullwing.

  • Bullhorn Lip Lift
    This procedure includes an incision at the base of your nose and excess skin of the philtrum is removed. This pulls the upper lip upwards and gives it a naturally enhanced and ample appearance. The incision for this procedure, as the name aptly describes it, is shaped like a bullhorn and hidden in the natural creases at the base of the nose.
  • Central Lip Lift
    A central lip lift technique is similar to the subnasal bullhorn lip lift procedure except that the incision is made in the lower nose to pull the philtrum and upper lip upwards.
  • Corner Lip Lift
    Downturned lips are another issue that may be worsened by the sagging of skin with age. This lip lift technique improves the appearance and the plumpness of the lips and is often called a grin lift. For this procedure, your surgeon will place two small incisions around the corners of your lips to remove the excess skin of the philtrum.
    This procedure is often performed along with other forms of lip lift to achieve the best results.
  • Italian Lip Lift
    This is another lip lift procedure that is quite similar to the subnasal bullhorn lip lift procedure except for the fact that this procedure requires two small incisions, one under each nostril. The scar is hidden in the nasal lines and creases.

Your surgeon will discuss the different types of lip lifts and which one is the best option for you, prior to the surgery. You can choose the one that fits you with the help of your doctor.

After the incisions are made, and the philtrum skin removed resulting in improved appearance of the lip, your surgeon will suture the incisions and that marks the end of your surgical procedure. You will be able to go home the same day, or you may have to stay overnight in the hospital, it will depend on your personal health factors and your general condition post-surgery.

Recovery from Upper Lip Procedure

Lip Lift Recovery Mr Mark Gittos Plastic Surgeon Specialist UK

The recovery phase of the lip lift procedure is not as intensive as the recovery period of most cosmetic procedures. The sutures from the procedure will be in place for a week, and the recovery period is generally two weeks long. Although the scars from the procedure can take up to a year to fade away.

You should rest and stay at home for at least the first couple of days of your recovery period. You should avoid any sort of strenuous exercise during this period, as it can put pressure on your incision and complicated the wound healing process. You should also abstain from smoking during this period as it can cause an infection which can negatively affect the healing process and result in prominent scarring.

You should also be careful while sleeping as to not put any pressure on your incisions by sleeping on your face. During the recovery period, it is better to avoid opening your mouth really wide when yawning and such as that also can complicate the healing process. An impaired healing process is bound to alter the results and ruin the aesthetics of the face completely.

Apart from this, your surgeon will give you a list of precautions you need to take to ensure that you heal properly. You will also be recommended to use a smaller toothbrush and to be careful while brushing your teeth. It is important for proper healing of the incisions that you follow the recommendations of your surgeon.

Risks and Complications of Lip Lift Procedure

  • Allergic reaction to the anesthesia
  • Bleeding
  • Accumulation of blood or hematoma
  • Nerve injury or damage
  • Damage to nearby structures
  • Prominent scarring
  • Poor wound healing

A lip lift procedure is a surgical procedure, and like all surgical procedures, there are a few risks and complications that are associated with it. Some of the side-effects of the lip lift procedure are mentioned below:

Most of these risks and complications can be reduced by choosing to undergo the lip lift procedure under the care of a board-certified specialist plastic surgeon. Moreover, you should discuss the potential risks in detail, with your surgeon prior to the surgery, so that you can weigh in the pros and cons of the surgery and see if it is the right fit for you. Book a consultation now to speak to our extensively trained and highly skilled plastic and cosmetic surgeons.

Your Lip Lift Journey

Lip Lift Journey Mr Mark Gittos Plastic Surgeon Specialist UK


This is the first step of your lip lift procedure journey. During this period, you should be candid with your surgeon about your expectations and goals for the procedure so that the surgeon can recommend the best way for you to achieve these goals. Also, it is during this phase that your surgeon will assess you to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria.


The lip lift procedure can take anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour and is usually performed under local anesthesia. For the procedure, your surgeon will choose one of the six incision techniques depending on your lower face structure and your expectations. After the first incision is made, your surgeon will remove excess philtrum, pulling the upper lip upwards in the process. This step ends with your surgeon suturing the incisions.


The recovery period lasts only for a couple of weeks, although the scars can take a year to fade away. During this period, you should abstain from putting any pressure on the incision by either sleeping on your face, performing strenuous activities, or smoking. Any extra pressure can ruin the results of the procedure and should be avoided completely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Lip Lift FAQs Mr Mark Gittos Plastic Surgeon Specialist UK

Will I have a scar?

  • The lip lift procedure can be performed using one of the six possible techniques and based on which technique is used, the location of the incision will change. However, most surgeons will try their best to hide the incisions in the natural contours of the face. And if that is not possible, they try to make small and unnoticeable incisions to ensure that there is no visible scar. You should talk to your surgeon about the location of the incision and the potential scarring.

Is a lip lift procedure worth it?

  • If you are bothered by the thin appearance of your lips and the long length of the philtrum but do not want to undergo frequent lip filler treatments, then a lip lift procedure is the only permanent solution for you. The risks from the procedure are manageable by choosing a skilled surgeon alone making the risks minimal compared to the benefits. This makes the lip lift procedure totally worth it. Book a consultation now to find out more.

Why Choose Dr. Mark Gittos?

Dr. Mark Gittos is a board-certified specialist plastic surgeon who values patient satisfaction and overall health over everything else. He has received training from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Being a well-trained and highly-skilled surgeon, he can help your desired results from a procedure are achieved. His caring and nurturing nature will put you at ease and make you feel comfortable.

Further Medical Reading

About Mr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – London Plastic Surgeons 

Practice locations in London & Essex, UK and Auckland, New Zealand.

Mr Mark Gittos offers high quality, natural-looking cosmetic surgery results and is highly experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4000 Surgeries in the last 26 years. 

With world-wide expertise Mr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women. 

Mr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in London UK and Auckland New Zealand. His practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.

Naturally, before any treatment is begun, we will explain clearly the advantages and risk factors; so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision that is best for you. Visit the practice to find out more.


Do your Research

  • Read the Website and Blogs relevant to your procedure
  • Browse our Frequently Asked Questions including how to choose a Surgeon for your procedure
  • Download the Guides to Surgery

What to Bring to your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
  • Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

Book your Initial Surgery Consultation

  • A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
  • Email us or Call in London on 07557 858156  to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment.
  • Secure your consultation with Mr Gittos by paying the Consultation Fee in advance
  • A consultation with Dr Gittos is £195.

Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.

Send an enquiry form today or UK phone 07557 858156 during Clinic Hours