Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift

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A lip lift simultaneously reduces the space between the upper lip and nostrils while also augmenting the size of the lips. By raising the skin, the subnasal or “bull-horn” lip lift increases the amount of lip show by exposing and rolling up the lip. This method, known for the bull-horn shaped incision directly under the nose, can also address innate lip asymmetries and give patients an overall refreshed, younger appearance.

Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift Overview - 702

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The Skinny


Average Recovery

10 days

Permanence

Permanent

Application

Surgical Procedure

Surgical

Yes

Cost

$3000 - $4500

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Before & After Images by Provider

Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift Before, Female 54 - 2370Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift After, Female 54 - 2370
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Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift Before, Female 40 - 1934Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift After, Female 40 - 1934
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Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift Before, Female 35 - 2371Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift After, Female 35 - 2371
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Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift Before, Female 42 - 2369Subnasal 'Bullhorn' Lip Lift After, Female 42 - 2369
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The Specifics


What is a subnasal lip lift?

A subnasal 'bullhorn' lip lift is a surgical lip lift procedure performed under local anesthesia by a plastic surgeon. The procedure is named for the bull horn shaped segment of skin that is removed from the base of the nose and nostril area. The incision used in a subnasal lip lift is a continuous cut nostril to nostril.

Anatomy of the Lip

Female lip anatomy infographic

The procedure is considered an upper lip lift, and moves the upper lip into a more youthful position, while simultaneously making the pink part of the upper lip appear larger and fuller. The subnasal lip lift targets candidates with long upper lips, and can also enhance the smile by exposing more of the upper teeth.

What cosmetic concerns does a subnasal lip lift procedure treat?

  1. Lip Shape: The subnasal lip lift specifically targets the upper lip for a more youthful fuller shape and position.
  2. Lip Size: A subnasal lip lift creates the illusion of increased lip size by rolling up and out the red potion 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 a subnasal lip lift procedure?

Ideal candidates for a subnasal lip lift include those with an elongated upper lip or white lip or those with a height mismatch between the white and red lip. 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 a subnasal lip lift procedure?

Most subnasal 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 a subnasal lip lift procedure?

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

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

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

What is the average cost of a subnasal 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), so it will not be covered by insurance.

thumbs-upPros

  • Permanent
  • Scar Is Hidden
  • Improved Lip Fullness

thumbs-downCons

  • Noticeable Scar
  • External Scar

Invasiveness Score

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

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

What to Expect


The subnasal lip lift increases the amount of lip show by exposing and rolling up the lip. This method is known for its bull-horn shaped incision directly under the nose. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a subnasal lip lift.

The Takeaway


A subnasal 'bullhorn' lip lift is a surgical procedure targeting candidates with an elongated upper lip or height mismatch between the white and red lip. A subnasal lip lift will refine the upper lip shape, and create the illusion of augmented size by rolling out the red portion (pink part) of the top lip. A bullhorn lip lift may also benefit the smile by exposing more of the upper teeth.

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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. 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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