Bullhorn Lip Lift Surgery – Melbourne

What is a Bullhorn Lip Lift Surgery? (Lip Augmentation and Lip Lift Surgery)

There are several procedures available to change the shape or volume of the upper lip. The “Bullhorn lip lift” can change and enhance the size and shape of your lips, without the need for repeated lip filler injections. It works by slightly reducing the length of the philtrum, the skin between your nostrils and your upper lift.  A philtrum reduction can help improve your overall facial proportions or reduce the signs of ageing above your lip.

This cosmetic surgical procedure also helps reveal your upper teeth to improve your smile.  This rejuvenating facial enhancement surgery is available from the highly respected Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Richard Sackelariou (FRACS). He operates in accredited hospitals in Melbourne and we can help you book your consultation to see if you’re a good candidate for this procedure.

Who benefits most from a Lip Lift Surgery?

  • It is most appropriate for men and women whose teeth appear hidden by a lengthened or sagging upper lip area – known as an ‘elongated philtrum’ (the philtrum is the area of skin covering the distance between your nostrils and the edge of your upper lip).
  • If you have a philtrum that seems to be elongated, and if your upper teeth barely show and you look ‘long in the face’ between your nose and chin, then a lip lift may be the right solution for you – but only an in-person consultation in our consulting rooms can affirm your suitability for this procedure.

Open the BLOG on the Upper Lip Lift procedure in a new tab, and read below for details including benefits and recovery times.

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Main benefits of a Bullhorn Lip Lift – what does a lip lift procedure help?

  • The main benefits of having an upper lift lip are an improved smile and a more harmonious facial proportion between the upper lip and your nose.
  • If the skin just below your nostrils has started to sag or has a very wrinkled or ‘bag’ appearance, reduction of the philtrum by an upper lip lift may help reduce the ageing appearance of that area of the face.
  • It can help reduce a ‘bottom teeth’ prominent smile IF the reason your lower teeth appear to protrude is that your philtrum is elongated.
  • The lip lift procedure CANNOT compensate for orthodontic or dental problems that lead to a lower-teeth prominent smile, but is more a cosmetic skin reduction procedure above the upper lip that suits certain patients who are concerned about their upper teeth being hidden by their philtrum.

Can a lip lift remedy an awkward looking or toothy-looking smile? It depends.


For some patients, the lip lift is a great solution – but it may not be suitable for everyone and as a cosmetic surgery procedure, you need to understand the process, risks, costs and recovery times.

Also, some patients may be better served with lip augmentation or alternative lip enhancement treatments.

 Lip Lift Surgery options with Dr Sackelariou

Your smile can be rejuvenated – or your face harmonised – with specific procedures designed to improve the aesthetic balance of your overall facial appearance.  This is one of the reasons so many people investigate their options for a lip lift.

Next to the eyes, the smile is a central feature of the face, followed by the nose.

  • If any of these features appear out of balance with the rest of the face, they can distract from the aesthetic appearance of the face or smile.
  • If your philtrum is very elongated, it may give your face a bit of a ‘hang dog sagging’ or aged appearance; or it can leave your bottom teeth looking like they protrude.
  • Not because your lower teeth actually DO protrude, but because your upper teeth are hidden by your upper lip (they are not visible when you smile or speak, because you have an elongated philtrum above your lip).
  • An upper lip lift can help remedy smiles where the upper teeth are hidden by an elongated philtrum.
  • It can also reduce the sagging appearance of the skin between the nose and upper lip (but ask your Surgeon what to expect).
  • For facial rejuvenation, it may be good to combine a lip lift with other rejuvenation procedures such as deep skin peels, a facelift, eyelid lift or laser treatments to refine the skin and reduce lines, folds and wrinkles in other areas of the face.

An elongated philtrum or lower-tooth-prominent smile can lead to a lack of aesthetic balance. A bullhorn lip lift can help improve the appearance of the lip area and smile.

  • Not all patients may be suitable for a lip lift.
  • But for those who are, it can lead to a dramatic improvement in the appearance of the above-lip area and smile.
  • Women and men who have an elongated philtrum are the best candidates for a lip lift procedure.
  • However, if you need orthodontic work instead of a lip lift, you may not be a suitable candidate for this surgical procedure.
  • We offer a no-obligation consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon to help you assess your suitability for the bullhorn lip lift.
  • Phone 1300 264 811 to schedule your appointment with Specialist Plastic Surgeon, Dr Richard Sackelariou, who has expertise in performing lip lift surgeries as well as Rhinoplasty Surgery and other procedures.

What impact does an elongated Philtrum have (long area of skin above the lip)?

  • Some people feel that having an elongated philtrum leaves them looking a bit sad or ‘downtrodden.’
  • Others find too much of their lower teeth show but not enough of their upper teeth, leading to a bottom-tooth-heavy smile.

But every patient is unique, so your lip area or philtrum appearance concerns may relate to other aspects of your facial appearance or smile.

What causes an elongated philtrum that hides your upper teeth when you smile or talk?

lip-lift-upper-lip-surgery in Melbourne by Dr Sackelariou

Your elongated philtrum appearance may have been inherited – or it may be the result of ageing skin.

  • Having an elongated philtrum may result in a slightly elongated facial appearance, contrasted to the facial proportion ratios that beauty research indicates have been aesthetically pleasing across time and cultures. That noted, surgery is serious business and you should never take plastic surgery lightly, even though cosmetic procedures are increasingly popular. Find out more about what to expect, during a confidential consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
  • Be sure you understand that every patient is unique.
  • Recognise that results can vary significantly from patient to patient.
  • Understand there are risks to having cosmetic plastic surgery procedures but there are ways you can minimise some of the risks, such as by never smoking and by following your Surgeon’s instructions carefully before and after surgery.
  • Find out what YOU can do to optimise your lip lift surgery results and minimise your risks – ask our Patient Care Consultants for details on 1300 264 811
  • We strongly recommend you know the difference between Specialist Plastic Surgeons (FRACS) and Cosmetic Surgeons.
  • Having your lip lift operation in a hospital is also likely to be safer and more sterile than in a clinic backroom, due to quality monitoring requirements at Australian certified Private Hospitals.

Harmony of Facial Proportions – how a Lip Lift Can Help Rejuvenate the Face or Enhance a Smile

For many patients, however, facial harmony can be restored through surgical procedures – but it’s important you understand the process, procedure, risks, costs and recovery times.  These will be covered in detail during a no-obligation consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon at our Clinic in Hawthorn East (Melbourne).

The appearance of the smile can be a give away on ageing faces.

  • As time goes on, the philtrum – the area between your nose and the edge of your upper lip – can elongated or sag.
  • Some people are genetically predisposed to having an elongated philtrum.
  • Elongated philtrums often cover teeth and can result in a less attractive smile, as the teeth are either
    • not showing at all, or
    • only the lower teeth are showing
    • giving an appearance of a forward lower jaw or of protruding lower teeth even if they are actually even, only because the upper lip is covering your upper teeth

As we age, our lips lose their plumpness and begin to descend, just like the skin on our face. The white portion of our lips begins to get larger as the red portion becomes thinner. Some people notice their upper lip hangs over the front white teeth both with and without smiling. Fuller lips in better proportion to the face will make you look younger, give you a more “pouty” lip, and give you a more appealing smile.

How does a Bullhorn Lip Lift help improve the facial appearance or reduce ageing?

  • reduce ageing
  • improves smile
  • shows upper teeth better
  • can balance out the middle, lower and upper face (improving facial harmony or facial proportions)
  • may help smooth out the skin above the lip and help reduces lines or skin folds in that area
  • can minimise the appearance of a sagging face in that area of the face (ask your Surgeon to what extent this is possible)

Who is a good candidate for a bullhorn lip lift?

You are a good candidate for a bullhorn lip lift if:

  • Your teeth do not show when you smile OR
  • Only your bottom teeth show when you smile OR
  • You have a long space (greater than 1.5 cm) between the nose and upper lip
  • You have thin, flat lips
  • Your lips are too short or otherwise are not good candidates for lip fillers
  • You want to enhance your upper lip with a “pout” look

Though typically older patients are interested in lip lifts, younger patients also opt for lip lifts the preemptively pump up their lips and give their face a more balanced and beautiful look.

Bullhorn Lip Lift – Surgery Cost, Recovery and Results

lip-lift-surgery-risks-costs- Melbourne Sydney Plastic Surgery Lip Augmentation and Lip Lift options

Cost of a Lip Lift Procedure

  • The cost of a bullhorn lip varies depending on what you need, specifically.
  • If you phone us, we are happy to give you a general estimate of the plastic surgery cost range for lip procedures.
  • Attending a confidential consultation is better, however, as it gives you a more precise cost of having the procedure performed by a genuine Specialist Plastic Surgeon (rather than just a GP or just a cosmetic surgeon or skin disease doctor).
  • Book a consultation to get a custom surgery quote for the procedure performed by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in an Australian Private Hospital.

A surgical procedure, a bullhorn lip lift shortens the amount of space between the bottom of the nose and top of the lip.

  • A portion of skin is removed from below the nose to raise the upper lip.
  • The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes to 90 minutes.
  • The initial recovery time is typically 5-7 days.
  • Sometimes swelling occurs or bruising, and this tends to resolve within 2 to 3 weeks for most patients.

Virtually undetectable for most patients, the incision line is placed just beneath the nose. The incision lines follow the shape of the nose area, essentially the shape of a bullhorn, hence the name.

A bullhorn lip lift is more common than a corner lip lift, but sometimes the two may be performed together.

Non-Surgical Alternatives to a lip lift procedure DO exist and our Surgeons can help you understand which option will meet your surgery needs or augmentation and refinement desires for facial rejuvenation or facial feature balancing.

  • Sometimes, lip filler injections or lip augmentation can have the desired effect – but often, when the philtrum is elongated, they cannot achieve what patients really want – a more natural looking smile that reveals some of their upper teeth rather than hiding them.
  • If the space above your upper lip is too long, filler will push the lips out instead of up, resulting in ‘duck lips.”
  • So it really depends on patient assessment and treatment selection.
  • We will give you honest advice about what might be best for your facial appearance in terms of reducing an elongated philtrum.

Surgery locations for Lip Lift Surgery by Dr Sackelariou:  Melbourne (Hawthorn East)

Phone us today on 1300 264 811 and we’ll help you make a consultation appointment with expert lip lift surgeon, Dr Richard Sackelariou, a highly regarded Specialist Plastic Surgeon for facial rejuvenation including neck lift and rhinoplasty surgery.

If you’re thinking about plumping and volumizing your lips or shortening the space between the upper lip and nose using plastic surgery methods or cosmetic procedures including injectables, we can direct you to our top facial Plastic Surgeons at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery (Melbourne).

Just send an enquiry form and one of our caring Patient Care Coordinators will contact you to help you schedule a confidential consultation with one of our leading Surgeons or alternatively phone one of our Patient Care Advisor on 1300 264 811


Do you know the difference between a Cosmetic Surgeon versus a Specialist Plastic Surgeon?

Find out what they are.