Lip augmentation, making the lip bigger, is most commonly and successfully done with injectable fillers. Regardless of the injectable filler used, its instantaneous result is very satisfying in most cases. The use of injectable fillers in the lip, however, is predicated on one important concept…that there is enough vermilion (pink part of the lip ) to expand. For that is what fillers so, expand the soft tissue of the lip.

There are some people, however, that do not have or show a lot of lip vermilion. Trying to expand these thin vermilions with filling agents can create a ‘duck lip’ appearance, which creates more horizontal projection rather than a vertical increase in exposed vermilion which creates a bigger lip.

For these types of thin lips, the only way to really increase the size of the lips is to physically move the vermilion. These two surgical options for lip lifting are the vermilion advancement (lip advancement ) and the subnasal lip lift. (bullhorn or gullwing lift) Both are simple operations but they differ in location on the lip where they are performed and in what they can achieve. They are very similar in that both result in scars.

The vermilion advancement is the removal of a strip of skin to allow the vermilion to move up (in the upper lip) or move down. (in the lower lip) This simple but powerful procedure directly results in more vermilion exposure by the amount of skin removed. In the upper lip, the shape and accent of the cupid’s bow can be designed as part of the cut out. While this does leave a fine line scar at the junction of the vermilion and skin, this procedure affects the entire length of the lip from corner to corner. And its result is permanent.