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About lip injections

The lips are central focus points of the face, and movement of the lips is part of what gives us expression in our interactions with others. Unfortunately, our lips inevitably age along with the rest of our faces. As we age, we lose volume in our lips and the upper lip droops, contributing to a flat or unhappy appearance. An option for reversing this lip fillers in Scottsdale.

Aging of the lips can occur in multiple ways. The philtrum (vertical groove in upper lip) can elongate, leading to an upper lip that is flattened and less perky. Also, the lips themselves can thin as they lose volume. Finally, the corners of the lips can descend, leading to a flat or displeased facial appearance.

For an elongated philtrum, Dr. Starkman uses a minor procedure called a lip lift to lift the upper lip and give the lip an upturned, youthful appearance. For depressed corners of the mouth, a “corner of mouth” lift can be performed to deliver a more engaged and pleased facial appearance. Autologous fillers such as Juvederm or Restylane are options for patients with volume loss in their lips. Schedule a consultation to learn more about some of the best Lip injections Scottsdale has to offer. 

A pioneer in Lip Lift Surgery

Although lip lift surgery is a minor procedure that is typically performed under local anesthesia, there are few procedures that are as technically demanding. Mastery of facial anatomy and precise surgical skill are required to achieve repeatedly excellent results. Everything from pre-operative measurements to careful stitching along the incision lines are critical for natural results without noticeable scarring. Dr. Starkman is a board-certified head & neck surgeon with subspecialized Fellowship training in Facial Plastic Surgery. He has refined traditional lip lift techniques to ensure that the results reflect the symmetry and natural appearance that his patients desire.

Lip Fillers Scottsdale
Starkman Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery

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Ideal candidates for a lip lift

Lip lift candidates are not primarily interested in having fuller lips.

Typically, they are concerned about: 

  • Lips that are symmetrical
  • Lips that are thin and unshapely
  • Lips that are spaced too close or too far from the nose
  • Lips that do not cover your upper row of teeth
  • Lips that are always in the "frown" position

During your consultation with Dr. Starkman, it is important that you discuss your specific wants and needs concerning your lips so he can determine the appropriate procedure. Some patients mistakenly think they need a total lip lift surgery when in reality, they need the gummy smile procedure.

Surgical technique during a lip lift

All lips are unique, and there is more than one approach to performing a lip lift surgery. However, the two most commonly requested techniques are:

Gull-wing lip lift

This technique focuses on the Vermilion border, also known as the Cupid's bow. The Vermilion border forms the top of the Cupid's bow (center of the top lip). During this procedure, the skin tissue is meticulously detached, and the lips are lifted to boost the appeal and definition of the lip line.

Sub-nasal lip lift

When the philtrum (space between the nose and top lip) is too long, it can upset the balance and symmetry of the face. A sub-nasal lip lift involves a tiny portion of skin from beneath the nose being removed and the skin then being sutured into a higher position. This new elevated position makes the lips appear fuller and larger while also emphasizing the Cupid's bow (Vermilion border).

What to expect following a lip lift

A lip lift can be complicated but typically offers beautiful results. Depending on the technique used, the lip lift may only take several minutes to complete or could take up to two hours. In the first two weeks after your surgery, you will likely experience some pain, swelling, and bruising as your lips and face heal and adjust.

You will see your significant, beautiful outcome once your bruising and swelling has abated. Aftercare for scarring is a crucial element of your healing, and we will provide you with detailed instructions for this and general home care for your recovery.


How much does a lift lip cost?

The cost of your lip lift will vary, depending upon the complexity of your specific surgery, as well as whether you are having any other facial procedures. During your consultation, Dr. Starkman will evaluate the appropriateness of a lip lift for you based on all of your facial features. He will then create your personalized surgery plan and be able to discuss cost estimates and payment options.

Why shouldn't I just use a dermal filler?

Injectable dermal fillers can create more fullness where it is needed in your lips. However, they are not permanent and won't address the same issues as a lip lift. A filler will only plump the lip outwardly, not lift it into a new position on your face. Plus, dermal fillers require maintenance injections to retain the results. Dr. Starkman will discuss all your options during a detailed consultation at his office in Scottsdale, AZ.

Will I have "duck lips"?

Dr. Starkman is an experienced plastic surgeon who specializes in facial procedures. He performs lip lifts to create subtle, natural results so there is no need to fear having "duck lips." Most of the individuals you see who have pouty, huge duck lips were likely given lip implants when they actually should have been advised to have a lip lift instead.

Will I have a scar?

Lip lifts do require an incision so you will have a very small scar. Dr. Starkman places a very inconspicuous incision at the bottom of the nose (in a crease). Your sutures will be inside the inner lip where they will not be noticed or seen by anyone who does not know you've had a procedure. With proper scar aftercare, your lip lift incision mark can ultimately be nearly invisible.

Why have a lip lift if it won't plump my lips?

Lip lifts are all about the placement of the lips on the face. A lip lift is not intended to plump your upper lip. It will redefine the shape and position of the lip to address sagging or an undesirable Vermilion border shape. Many patients see Dr. Starkman to create a more distinct Cupid's bow or shorten the space between the top lip and the base of the nose (for the best aesthetic results, the space should be 12 – 15 mm in height). If you want fuller lips, you can ask Dr. Starkman about dermal fillers.

Lip definition and balance

Although lip surgeries can be quite intricate and sensitive, they can yield stunning results. Dr. Starkman is a facial surgery specialist so there is no need to worry about "duck lips" or lips that have been obviously enhanced. Dr. Starkman performs lip lift procedures with gorgeous, natural-looking outcomes that increase the overall balance and aesthetics of your face. If you are considering a lip lift, please contact Starkman Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ to make an appointment.


View Update Virtual Consultation


We are excited to announce that we have resumed seeing patients on a limited basis for select visits and procedures. The majority of our new patient consultations and follow-up checks will be done via telemedicine to minimize patient traffic to the office.

Patient safety has always been our number one priority, and we are implementing the following policies to meet and exceed safety standards for our patients. We greatly appreciate your compliance and understanding.

  1. Dr. Starkman and all clinical staff will wear N95 masks and eye protection for the entirety of each patient’s visit.
  2. Patient appointment confirmation must be completed 24 hours prior to the appointment.
  3. Patient screening will consist of a screening questionnaire and a temperature check. Any patient with risk factors or a fever will be rescheduled.
  4. We are instituting a “No Waiting in the Waiting Room” Policy. Patients will be immediately screened and escorted to their private exam room.
  5. Surgical-grade air recirculators have been installed in each patient room to recycle each room’s air every 4 minutes.
  6. Guests, children, or visitors other than the patient will be limited.
  7. Pre-operative COVID-19 testing will be obtained 4-5 days prior to any scheduled procedure.
  8. Patients will enter our main entrance and exit out of our side exit. The one-way flow of traffic will allow for a comprehensive cleaning of the waiting room prior to the next patient.

We appreciate the understanding and patience of all of you. We can’t wait to see you all again. Dr. Starkman and Staff

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