Central Lip Lift as Aesthetic and Physiognomic Plastic Surgery: The Effect on Lower Facial Profile

Aesthet Surg J. 2015 Aug;35(6):698-707. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjv068. Epub 2015 Jun 2.


Background: A central lip lift was introduced to Westerners in 1980s. However, no studies have been conducted on the facial aesthetic and physiognomic perspectives of a central lip lift in the Asian population.

Objectives: The authors presented the central lip lift as aesthetic and physiognomic treatment in Asians and explained its effect on lower facial profile.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed in 202 cases of asians. The authors analyzed patient age, cause of long philtrum, purpose of the treatment, and postoperative satisfaction. The authors then performed an anthropometric assessment and a photographic analysis.

Results: The vertical disproportion of the lower face was improved after the treatment, and there was significant shortening of the philtrum length (P < .001) and an increase in a visible upper vermilion (P < .001). In Westerners, a long philtrum was mainly caused by the aging process. Aging patients (range, 40-59 years) underwent the central lip lift for upper lip rejuvenation. In contrast, in Asia, a long philtrum was primarily caused by bone retraction after an orthognathic surgery or orthodontic procedure. Young patients (range, 20-39 years old) underwent the central lip lift to correct a relatively lengthened philtrum after 2-jaw surgery. Furthermore, about half of the patients (52.0%) underwent the central lip lift for facial physiognomic improvement.

Conclusions: In today's multiracial society, plastic surgeons planning a central lip lift in Asian patients should consider both aesthetic and physiognomic perspectives. Regardless of the aesthetic outcome, the surgeon should strive to maximize patient satisfaction.

Level of evidence: 4 Therapeutic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian People
  • Esthetics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lip / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Photography
  • Republic of Korea
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhytidoplasty / adverse effects
  • Rhytidoplasty / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult