Lip Flip: The Popular Procedure for a Prettier Pout

A popular surgical treatment for that poutier look

By Dr. Sean Rice, MD, FRCSC

One of the latest trends in lip enhancement is the lip flip procedure—a technique that allows the upper lip to roll outwards and upwards creating a fuller and poutier look. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about this procedure.

What is lip flip surgery?

Lip flip, or lip-shortening surgery, is a procedure performed under local anesthetic where a small ellipse of skin is removed from under the nose leaving the lip muscle intact. The skin is then sutured back into place so that the scars are hidden under the nose. This causes the upper lip to rotate upwards, giving a fuller appearance. The added bonus is that the distance between the nose and the upper lip becomes shortened so the Cupid’s bow appears more defined and the upper teeth can become visible when smiling, adding to the aesthetic result.

What is the recovery time from a lip flip surgery?

The surgery takes about 45 minutes to complete and the stitches are removed in approximately five days. The lips can stay swollen for two to three weeks after the procedure.

What is the cost for lip flip surgery?

The cost varies, but usually is between $3,000 to $4,000.

Do I still need fillers after lip flip surgery?

Depending on how much volume your lips have now and what aesthetic results you are looking to achieve, you may still require a small amount of filler after the procedure.

Can a lip flip be achieved with a neurotoxin injection alone?

Depending on the structure of your lip, injecting a small amount of neurotoxin (such as Botox/Dysport or Xeomin) can cause
the superficial muscles of the upper lip to relax, allowing the remaining muscles to take over. This causes the upper lip to rotate upwards, giving a more pronounced pout. The results can take up to two weeks to become visible. This procedure can enhance the look of the lips but does not add any volume.

What is the cost for lip flip with neurotoxin alone and   how long does it last?

The procedure generally costs about $100. The amount of “flip” to the upper lip varies between individuals and is less than what can be achieved with surgery. Because the lips are always moving, the neurotoxin generally lasts about six to eight weeks.

Can a lip flip be achieved with injectable fillers?

If your lips have enough volume to start with, sometimes flipping the upper lip can be achieved with fillers alone. Fillers are made of hyaluronic acid—a substance found naturally in the body.

Generally, the results last eight to 12 months and cost between $650 and $750.

Can you combine fillers and neurotoxins to achieve a lip flip?

Yes, by combining lip fillers and a neurotoxin at the same time, the results can look even better: you can add volume with the filler and enhance the turning up of the lip with the neurotoxin.


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About the Author

Dr. Sean Rice

Dr. Sean Rice

Dr. Sean Rice, B.A.(Hons), M.D.,M.Sc.,F.R.C.S.C., is a renowned plastic and cosmetic surgeon, a leading authority on age management and is widely recognized for his published articles in Canadian and international medical journals. Dr. Rice is frequently called upon to share his expertise as he trains other surgeons in cutting-edge techniques as well being invited to […]

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