Bullhorn Lip Lift


Procedure Time: 1 Hr

Recovery Time: 1-3 Days


Cosmetic procedures like lip fillers and lip implants are some of the most sought after of the decade. Plump, perfectly shaped lips have become a desire for both men and women. Not only can this provide an attractive pout, the lips serve as an important factor in facial symmetry. In addition to lip augmentation surgery, lip lift surgery has grown in popularity. Many lip lift techniques exist, but the bullhorn method provides the best results. The plastic surgeons at Seattle Plastic Surgery offer the bullhorn lip lift to Seattle and Tacoma.


The bullhorn lip lift surgery, also known as a subnasal lip lift, consists of shortening the distance between the bottom of the nose and upper lip. This area is also known as the philtrum. This brings the upper lip and nose closer together. It also increases the amount of the pink upper lip that is visible. As well as can treat a myriad of concerns with the lips like: lack of tooth show, thin upper lip, overly long lips, lip sagging, lipstick lines, and asymmetry. 

In the past, lip lifts were performed mostly on older patients who experienced lip sagging due to aging. However, in recent years, the procedure has grown in popularity for all age groups to enhance the look of the lips. As lip fillers became popular, many patients desired a longer lasting solution that did not require refreshment injections. 

The bullhorn lip lift can achieve the same goals as lip fillers with results that last much longer than filler. Of course, patients can continue using lip fillers after a bullhorn lip lift to further enhance their lips. However, most cases of thin lips can benefit from a lip lift in Seattle.  

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    When it comes to facial anatomy, the ideal length of the philtrum for women ranges between 11 and 13 millimeters. While for men it ranges between 13 and 15 millimeters. When it comes to an elongated philtrum, there are many considerations that can come into play. 

    The most common cause of a long philtrum is genetics. Most people with elongated philtrum are born with it. However, it is possible to experience lengthening of the philtrum due to many outside factors. A few of these factors can include:

    • Aging
    • Medical Conditions, especially those present at birth
    • Craniofacial deformities
    • Smoking

    Most of the time, an elongated philtrum does not have a concerning, underlying cause. Additionally, a long philtrum should not cause health problems. Genetics and aging are the most common causes of a long philtrum. This is easily treated with a subnasal lip lift in Tacoma.

    Who Are The Best Lip Lift Candidates?

    The best candidates for a bullhorn lip lift are those looking for a long term solution to enhance their lips. Lip lift patients vary widely in age and between men and women. In general, you should be in good health and managing any health conditions. 

    Certain medical concerns, previous surgeries, or other circumstances may make bullhorn lip lift surgery not viable for you. During a consultation at Seattle Plastic Surgery, your plastic surgeon can determine if you are a candidate for a bullhorn lip lift in Seattle.


    There are many steps to achieving your cosmetic goals and the lips you desire. From making the decision to undergo a Tacoma lip lift to recovery, Seattle Plastic Surgery serves patients through comprehensive patient education, state-of-the-art cosmetic procedures, and customized recovery plans.


    Your consultation with a Seattle plastic surgeon will begin with a conversation to understand your concerns, goals, and medical history. After this, they will physically examine your lips and face to determine if a bullhorn lip lift will benefit you.

    Consultations give you the opportunity to ask questions and fully understand the lip lift surgery. It will also allow you to explore complementary procedures. At the end of consultation, you will receive a customized price quote based on what your bullhorn lip lift will entail. Additionally, we encourage follow up consultations if you remain undecided or have more questions. 

    Around three weeks before your Tacoma bullhorn lip lift surgery, you will come in for your pre-operative appointment. Here, instructions for before surgery and the day of surgery are given.


    On surgery day, you will check in at our state-of-the-art surgical center. Your Seattle cosmetic surgeon may make marks for surgery and basic vitals will be taken. Once cleared for surgery, a licensed anesthesiologist will place you under anesthesia.

    Once sedated, your plastic surgeon will make the bullhorn shaped incision following the length of your nose. Following the natural crease where the nose and philtrum meet, your cosmetic surgeon will use advanced methods to minimize scarring. After the incision is made, they will remove the required amount of excess skin.

    Your Seattle plastic surgeon will then stitch the skin to shorten the philtrum and expose more of the pink upper lip. The procedure takes between one and two hours depending on the amount of skin removal.  


    A Tacoma lip lift is performed as an outpatient surgery and patients go home the same day. Before going home, the Seattle Plastic Surgery team will ensure you wake up and respond well to surgery. Most patients leave within one to two hours of their lip lift surgery in Seattle. 

    You will require a caregiver to drive you home and stay with you for 24 hours. Immediately after surgery you will see some difference in the length of your philtrum. However, final results will take time to reveal themselves as swelling goes down. Other side effects you may experience include localized pain, tightness, redness, and numbness. Most side effects should subside on their own within a week. Swelling can last for a month or two, but generally becomes unnoticeable or easy to hide after a week.

    Normally, lip lift patients require around 48 hours of downtime and should stick to soft foods. Otherwise, patients should use caution and stay in contact with their Seattle cosmetic surgeon. They will provide instructions on when to resume work and exercise. Lip lift patients typically return to work about a week.


    Seattle Plastic Surgery–conveniently located on First Hill–has served the Seattle and Tacoma areas for nearly two decades. Providing premier cosmetic and plastic surgery, dermal fillers, and BOTOX, we want to aid you in achieving your cosmetic goals. Expert injectors, plastic surgeons, and master estheticians collaborate to provide all your aesthetic needs. 

    Dr. Craig Jonov specializes in cosmetic surgery of the face, body, and breast. He routinely performs facelifts, breast augmentation, and tummy tuck surgeries. He also commonly injects dermal fillers like lip and tear trough fillers. Dr. Jonov is the best lip lift surgeon in Seattle because he understands facial symmetry and advanced, non-invasive surgical techniques.

    Our office offers on-site parking and amenities like hot coffee, tea, juice, and freshly baked cookies. To schedule a consultation at Seattle Plastic Surgery, call us at 206-324-1120 or contact us online.


    Can A Lip Lift Change Lip Shape?

    A bullhorn lip lift can enhance the shape of a Cupid’s bow. However, compared to the changes seen in fullness and projection, the shape enhancements are normally more subtle. Other procedures like lip augmentation or lip fillers may help achieve the shape alterations you want to see.

    How Much Skin Is Removed?

    The amount of skin removed during a subnasal lip lift in Seattle depends on your anatomy. Based on the ideal measurements and your goals, your plastic surgeon will measure and make a recommendation on the amount of skin removal necessary. 

    Some patients require only one or two millimeters of skin removed while others may need four to six millimeters. This is determined at your consultation.

    What Are The Risks Of A Bullhorn Lift Lift?

    Like any surgical procedure, a bullhorn lip lift carries some inherent risks. As a non-invasive procedure with a relatively short operating time, this procedure is safe. Especially when you choose Seattle Plastic Surgery’s board-certified cosmetic surgeons.

    Lip lift surgery risks include: infection, loss of sensation, visible scarring, risks associated with anesthesia, and an unwanted result. At Seattle Plastic Surgery, we take every precaution to minimize risk and ensure every patient is a good candidate for surgery.

    Will It Address The Corners Of My Lips?

    A Tacoma bullhorn lip lift may have some effect on the corners of your upper lip. Yet, if you want to address the corners of your lip specifically, a bullhorn lip lift will not do so. Depending on your concerns, certain injectables like BOTOX or Restylane may better serve your needs. Or, a different surgical procedure that focuses on the corners of your mouth.

    Other Types Of Lip Lift?

    There are other surgical lip lift techniques such as a gullwing lip lift, Italian lip lift, and corner lip lift. A corner lip lift, it refers to lifting the corners of the lips. When it comes to the gullwing and Italian lip lifts, they use different incisions, although similarly along the nose.

    At Seattle Plastic Surgery, we primarily perform the bullhorn, or subnasal, technique because it allows for the most dramatic lip enhancement. Additionally, it is more versatile than other lip lift techniques and usually offers better results.


    Give us a call at 206-324-1120.Or, chat by clicking the icon in the lower left hand corner of your screen. Additionally, you can contact us by filling out the form above.