Nonsurgical Botox Lip Flip vs. Lift Lip Surgery

A lip lift is a common surgical procedure that permanently elevates and turns outward the top lip to make it appear fuller by showing more of the “vermillion border” (redness) around the lips. A non-surgical lip flip uses the injection of a muscle relaxer such as Botox to temporarily loosen the upper lip so that it “flips” outward and appears fuller.

Both are safe and highly effective aesthetic treatments that can enhance the look of the lips, making them look fuller, more proportionate to the face, and taking years off of the patient’s appearance.

In this article renowned Detroit area plastic surgeon Dr. Ali explains the differences between lip flip surgery and a non-surgical Botox lip flip – to help you determine which is right for your aesthetic goals.

Non-Surgical Lip Flip

A non-surgical lip flip is achieved with the injection of Botox, or a similar muscle relaxer, into the muscle above the top lip (orbicularis oris). This causes it to relax slightly, rolling the upper lip outward, giving the appearance of more volume.

While effective, this option is temporary, typically lasting approximately a few month. Since only a few units of Botox is required, the treatment is very fast – usually less than 15 minutes.

The results are natural looking and appear gradually over the next five to ten days. And there is absolutely no downtime after a Botox lip flip – so patients can resume their normal activities.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that while the lip flip makes the top lip appear fuller by showing more red (“vermillion border”) it does not actually add volume to the lips. However, dermal fillers like Juvéderm can be used in conjunction with a muscle relaxing Botox lip flip, if more “plumpness” is desired in the top or bottom lips.

Lip Lift Surgery

Lip lift surgery differs from lip flip injections in several way. While the Botox lip lift relaxes the muscles around the upper lip, while lip lift surgery shortens the distance between the upper lip and the nose (philtrum). Both procedures cause the upper lip to ‘flip’ outward more, making it appear fuller and more youthful.

But while Botox is an excellent temporary solution, a surgical lip lift yields permanent results.

A surgical lip lift is performed under local anesthesia by a skilled plastic surgeon. The small incision is made by the plastic surgeon under the nostrils, where it can be cleverly concealed. Next, a small amount of excess skin removed from the area just below the nose, which causes the upper lip to move upwards as well as turn outward slightly – revealing more of the vermillion border—the line where the reddish tissue of the lip meets the surrounding skin.

By reducing the distance between the nose and the lip and pulling the top lip slightly outward, the end result is a fuller and more youthful appearance.

Lip lift surgery typically takes under an hour in our Detroit area medical office.  Following the lip lift surgery, the area is kept covered with antibiotic ointment for about a week, at which time the stitches will be removed at a follow-up appointment. Swelling and tenderness as the incision heals is a normal part of healing – so most patients take a week or so off of work.

Exercise and physical activity should be avoided for the initial healing period which is around two weeks. And complete results should take a couple months – at which time the swelling and tenderness has typically subsided and the complete, beautiful results can be seen.

Lift Flip vs Lip Lift Surgery Costs

Lip lift surgery performed by a skilled and experienced plastic surgeon costs about $3,000 in the Detroit area at the time of this article (2021) – while Botox currently only costs about $13/unit and requires roughly 6 units of Botox.  But – though more expensive than Botox – lip lift surgery can actually sometimes be cheaper in the long run because it is a permanent solution. When compared to the expense of Botox and/or lip filler injections a few times a year over a decade or more, a “one-and-done” lip lift surgery may actually costs less.

Botox Lift Flips & Lip Lift Surgery | Birmingham, MI

The best procedure for enhancing your lips is a very personal decision. If you live in the greater Detroit area there are several advantages to visiting AMAE Plastic Surgery and Med Spa for a lip enhancement consultation.

To begin with we offer lip lift surgery, and Botox lip flips, as well as a wide array of lip fillers. So we can help you compare all of the available lip enhancement treatments to decide which is best for your lifestyle and appearance goals. Additionally, AMAE is one of only a few providers in the entire Detroit area to offer Vectra three-dimensional computerized imaging of the patient’s face – so that Dr. Ali can show you your options and the expected outcomes before your cosmetic surgery or aesthetic procedure.

Botox Lift Flips & Lip Lift Surgery | Birmingham, MI: 248.335.7200