What is a Lip Flip?
A lip flip is a procedure that involves the injection of a muscle relaxant into your lips to soften the action of the upper lip muscle. This technique creates the illusion that the upper lip flips outwards, resulting in more prominent lips. While the procedure does not increase the size of your lips, it can reduce the appearance of a gummy smile or excessive gum display.
Unlike dermal fillers which increase your lip size, a lip flip only makes your lips appear larger but does not add lip volume. In addition, a lip flip has a shorter lasting effect than dermal fillers. In general, the effects of the treatment usually last about 2 months. After such time, you may need to undergo another treatment session to maintain the appearance of your lips.
The effects of lip flipping vary from person to person and depend on several factors such as your skincare regimen, lifestyle, and lip condition. Results of a lip flip take about a week to become noticeable, while dermal fillers produce immediate results.
Benefits of a Lip Flip
Lip flip treatment offers the following benefits:
- Fuller lips
- Little to no discomfort
- Minimal downtime
- More Natural results than filler
- A Non-surgical treatment
The treatment enhances the existing shape of your upper lip by allowing it to flip outwards, creating the illusion of fuller lips.
A gummy smile is characterised by an excessive show or display of your gumline especially when you smile or laugh. A gummy smile can be caused by several factors such as bad bite, enlarged gums, hyperactive upper lip, improper tooth eruption, short upper lip, smaller teeth, and an upper lip that rises higher than normal.
The good news is that a lip flip helps show more teeth and reduces the appearance of excessive gum display. It does this by relaxing the upper lip muscle via inhibition of signal transmission. This in turn causes your upper lip to flip outwards, creating the illusion of a fuller lip.
Are you a suitable candidate for Lip Flip?
During your consultation, you will first undergo a health assessment to determine your condition and expectations. This allows the creation of a treatment plan that will suit your specific needs. In general, you are an ideal candidate for lip flipping treatment if:
- You want to achieve fuller lips
- Your upper lip disappears when you smile
- You have a gummy smile (excessive gum display when you smile)
- You have fine lines and wrinkles in your lip area
- You have a positive outlook and realistic expectations
- You don’t smoke
- You don’t have any bleeding or clotting disorders
- You are committed to following aftercare instructions
How is the Lip Flip Procedure Done?
Lip flipping is a simple procedure that involves the injection of muscle relaxant toxin into the muscle of your upper lip (orbicularis muscle). This muscle is responsible for flattening your upper lip when you smile or pout. The substance inhibits the transmission of signals going to this muscle, thus, relaxing it and causing your upper lip to flip outwards, creating the illusion of a fuller lip. In addition, the treatment also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the lip area.
During the procedure, the injector will inject the substance into the centre of your upper lip known as the Cupid’s bow. It will also be injected into the corners of your mouth. Depending on your lip condition, the entire process can last about 10 to 20 minutes.
What’s the difference between a lip flip and fillers?
Unlike dermal fillers which increase your lip size, a lip flip only makes your lips appear larger but does not add volume. Flipping your lip involves the injection of a special substance into the muscle of your upper lip to relax the muscle via inhibition of signal transmission. By relaxing the muscle, it causes your upper lip to flip outwards, creating the illusion of a fuller lip. Moreover, Lip flipping also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in the upper and lower lip area. With regards to results, a lip flip produces a shorter effect than dermal fillers and takes about a week to become noticeable.
Dermal fillers, on the other hand, make use of a material that is composed of a naturally-occurring substance in your body. This substance helps retain water in your skin by locking in moisture. When injected into your skin, dermal fillers literally fill in the sunken areas to provide more volume and fullness. The results of dermal fillers last about 6 to 12 months depending on the type of filler and your skincare regimen. After injection of the filler, you will immediately see an improvement in the appearance of the treated area.
Recovery after a Lip Flip
After the treatment, it is normal to have a small bump and bruising at the injection site. After a few days, they will just resolve without the need for any medical intervention. The results of a lip flip usually appear over a few days. During this time, the muscle of your upper lip relaxes, causing your upper lip to flip outwards. After a week, you will begin to notice the full results of the treatment.
To prevent complications and achieve the best clinical outcome:
- Apply an ice compress on the treated area
- Avoid extreme temperatures such as steam rooms or saunas
- Avoid flying on a plane as air pressure can worsen bruising and swelling
- Avoid passionate kissing
- Avoid lipstick for 24 hours
- Avoid salty and spicy foods as they can irritate your lips
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for 24 to 48 hours
- Do not engage in contact sports
- Do not massage or apply pressure to the treated area
- Do not drink alcohol
Real Patient Results for Lip Enhancement Surgery
The outcomes shown are only relevant for this patient and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience, as results may vary due to many factors including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise.
Lip Flip Cost Sydney - How much does Lip flip cost in Sydney NSW? Prices & Fees
The cost of lip flipping procedure depends on multiple factors find out more about the fees of plastic surgery on our non-surgical procedures price list page.
Alternatively, you can call Dr Hunt’s team today to get a cost estimate for your procedure. Make sure to also check our Surgical Costs page.
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Lip Flip FAQs - Considering Lip Flip Treatment?
Does a lip flip affect kissing?
For the first two days after treatment, you should avoid passionate kissing. This is because it can put pressure on your lips which can negatively impact the results of the treatment. A lip flip itself will not affect your ability to kiss. Make sure to allow your lips to heal before doing so.
Does a lip flip shorten the philtrum?
No. The lip flipping treatment allows more of your upper lip to show at rest and when you smile. However, the treatment does not shorten the distance of the philtrum, the midline groove located in your upper lip that runs from the top of your lip to your nose. If you want to shorten the distance of the philtrum, you may need surgery.
Can I eat after the lip treatment?
In most cases, eating and drinking are allowed after lip flipping. However, if a numbing cream was applied to your lip area before the treatment, it is recommended to wait before eating or drinking anything. You will need to wait at least an hour for the effect of the numbing cream to wear off. If you developed a small bump at the site of injection, this is normal and will not affect your eating ability.
Can you kiss after a lip flip?
For the first two days after treatment, you should avoid passionate kissing. This is because it can put pressure on your lips which can affect the final results.
How often should you get a lip enhancement treatment?
To maintain the fuller appearance of your lips, you will need to get a lip treatment every 3 to 4 months. But this will depend on the current condition of your lips and skincare regimen.
How many units does it take to flip your lip?
To achieve your desired results, you need 10-20 units. However, this will greatly depend on a number of factors such as the following:
- The amount of fat in your cheeks
- The location of the injections
- The strength of the muscles in your face
- The condition of your lips
- The preferences of the practitioner
During your consultation, you will undergo an assessment to determine how many units will be needed to produce the best clinical outcome.
Does lip flipping hurt?
The sensation felt during the treatment can be compared to a rubber band snapping against your skin or a stinging sensation. This is usually tolerable but a numbing cream or ice compress can be used if you have low pain tolerance.
What should you avoid after a lip enhancement injections?
The results of a lip flip usually become noticeable after a few days. During this time, there are certain things that you need to avoid to allow your upper lip to adjust to its new shape. These include the following:
- Contact sports
- Drinking through a straw
- Flying on a plane
- Massaging your lips
- Passionate kissing
- Salty and spicy foods
- Sleeping on your chest
How should I prepare for lip flipping treatment?
Before the treatment, you should:
- Avoid prolonged sun exposure.
- Inform the practitioner if you have any active skin infection.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol.
- Stop taking medications or supplements that can increase your risk of bruising or bleeding.
What are the limitations of a lip flip?
The treatment has the following limitations:
- It cannot produce dramatic results.
- It has a shorter effect than dermal fillers.
- It only makes your lips appear larger but does not add volume.
- You will need to wait for a few days for the results to become noticeable.
- You will need touch-up treatments to maintain the results.
What are Risks and Complications of Lip Flip?
Like any injectable treatment, lip flip has risks and complications. These include the following:
- Bruising at the injection site
- Crooked smile
- Droopy eyelid or cockeyed eyebrows
- Excessive tearing
- Eye dryness
- Flu-like symptoms
- Muscle weakness
- Trouble speaking or swallowing
- Vision problems
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About Dr Jeremy Hunt
Dr Hunt has worked with thousands of patients across his 20-year career. This is reflected in his role as Spokesperson for the ASPS – Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. Dr Hunt is also a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and Supervisor of Plastic Surgery Training at Sydney Children’s Hospital.
Dr Hunt has a strong interest in helping his patients achieve their desired results by employing the most appropriate practices for each individual patient.