Italian Lip Lift

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The Italian lip lift is a modification of the bullhorn lip lift, creating a similar aesthetic effect but utilizing a shortened incision. By creating two shorter incisions centered directly underneath the nostril, the Italian lip lift avoids a complete incision across the nose. Skin is then removed from each side of the lip and the incisions are closed. This in effect reduces the distance between the lip and the nose.

Italian Lip Lift Overview - 703

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The Skinny


Average Recovery

10 days

Permanence

Permanent

Application

Surgical Procedure

Surgical

Yes

Cost

$3000 - $4500

The Specifics


What is an Italian lip lift?

An Italian lip lift is a modified subnasal “bull horn” lip lift (Horn lip lift). It is a surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia by a plastic surgeon. It differs from a subnasal Lip Lift in the type of incision used.

Anatomy of the Lip

Female lip anatomy infographic

In an Italian lip lift, two shorter incisions centered directly under each nostril at the base of the nose are created, excess skin is removed, and the skin is sutured within the nostrils. This procedure reduces the space between the upper lip and the nose, and increases the curve of the cupid’s bow. In a Subnasal lip lift, one continuous incision is made from nostril to nostril. An Italian lip lift is less invasive, has less change of noticeable scarring, and produces more subtle changes when compared to the subnasal lip lift.

What cosmetic concerns does an Italian lip lift procedure treat?

  1. Lip Shape: The Italian lip lift specifically alters the upper lip for a more youthful, full shape and position.
  2. Lip Size: An Italian lip lift creates the illusion of augmented lip size by rolling up and out the red lip (pink part of the lip).
  3. Lip Ptosis: Lip lift techniques that target the outer corners of the mouth and alter the shape and positioning of the upper lip can correct a droopy appearance.

Who is the ideal candidate for an Italian lip lift procedure?

Ideal candidates for an Italian lip lift include both older patients and younger patients who have an elongated upper lip or white lip, or those with a height mismatch between the white and red lip. Additionally, those with an overly pronounced cupid’s bow may benefit from an Italian lip lift. Lip lifts are not recommended for those with infections in and around the mouth, smokers unwilling to quit around the time of the procedure, and those with certain chronic conditions.

What is the average recovery associated with an Italian lip lift procedure?

Most Italian lip lift candidates resume normal activities within a day or two. Modifications to diet and strenuous activities may last up to two weeks. Most swelling and bruising will resolve within two weeks.

What are the potential side effects of an Italian lip lift procedure?

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

What can someone expect from the results of an Italian lip lift procedure?

An Italian lip lift will provide immediate and permanent results. Swelling and wound healing will resolve over a few weeks.

What is the average cost of an Italian 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.

thumbs-upPros

  • Permanent
  • Hidden Scar
  • Smaller Scar

thumbs-downCons

  • Noticeable Scar
  • External Scar

Invasiveness Score

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1
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10

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

What to Expect


The Italian lip lift is a modification of the bullhorn lip lift which utilizes smaller incisions. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after an Italian lip lift.

The Takeaway


An Italian lip lift, like a subnasal “bull horn” lip lift, targets the upper lip to create a fuller, more youthful, and symmetrical appearance. An Italian lip lift is less invasive and causes less scarring than its subnasal counterpart.

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Source List

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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. Maloney, BP. “Cosmetic Surgery of the Lips.” Facial Plast Surg, vol. 12, no. 3, 1996, pp. 265–278.
  2. Paul K Holden, Ahmed S Sufyan, Stephen W Perkins Long-term analysis of surgical correction of the senile upper lip pubmed.gov; 2011-09-01
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