Last updated date: 03-May-2023

Medically Reviewed By

Written by

Dr. Anas Walid Shehada

Originally Written in English

Philtrum Reduction


    The philtrum is a beautiful area of the face, and an elongated lip can make a person appear less confident. Upper lip lift surgery is the procedure of lowering and sculpting your lips to improve their appearance. It also contributes to an individual's particular identity. When the philtrum is longer than normal, it is more difficult to reveal the teeth when smiling, giving the appearance of senility and making the center of the face appear overly lengthy.


    What is Philtrum Reduction?

    Philtrum Reduction

    The philtrum is located between the nose and upper lip, from the bottom of the columella to the upper margin of the procheilon, and its length varies depending on the shape of the individual's face. An extremely long philtrum, with the physiological functions of connecting the nose and upper lip, is prone to exposing the defects of upper palate prominence or upper lip droopiness and is unable to expose teeth or tooth crevices on smiling, making people appear serious or senile.

    A lengthy philtrum even impacts the midface proportion and resulting in an abnormally long midface, hence philtrum reduction is explored. There are numerous causes of a long philtrum, including congenital upper palate prominence (mouth protrusion), excess development of the midface skeleton, retracted or too short columella, and philtrum skin laxity as a result of orthognathic surgery. However, not all long philtrums can be corrected by philtrum reduction, and patients should consult with their doctor about the cause and likelihood of improvement before undergoing the procedure.

    The procedure is also known as an upper lip lift since it not only shortens the philtrum but also lifts the upper lip angle to create a youthful appearance of a modestly projecting lip. An incision is created between the alar border and the columellar bottom, and suitable skin is removed (typically around 0.5-0.8cm). The distal skin of the resection is then advanced upward and sewn to the ala nasi and columellar base.

    As a result, the upper lip, including the mouth corner, can be pulled upward, successfully shortening the philtrum while simultaneously sculpting the projecting lip and concealing the scar at the bottom of the nose. Nonetheless, the surgical incision is rather lengthy and causes scarring thereafter, and both ends of the stitches might be stretched by stress from speaking or squeezing, affecting the columellar angle and, in extreme situations, causing nostril exposure or alar deformity.

    As a result, the patient's nose shape should be considered during the preoperative examination. Patients with a hereditary snub nose or nostril exposure should first have rhinoplasty or alar reduction before philtrum reduction, which covers the scar at the nasal base's shadow.


    Indications for Philtrum Reduction surgery

    The reason for the reduction of the philtrum:

    • To improve the appearance of the face
    • Help raise the corner of the upper lip to give a prominent lip
    • Midfacial hepatic insufficiency without orthopedic surgery
    • Reduces the complications of sagging skin in the upper lip
    • It acts as a visual solution to any lip asymmetry
    • It is used in addition to other treatments


    Who is eligible?

    Eligible patient

    Includes people who can undergo philtrum reduction:

    • People who have a philtrum longer than 2 cm.
    • People with the drooping upper lip.
    • People with loose upper lip skin due to reconstructive surgery.
    • Those who have a long middle face.
    • Those with dental and palate complications. 
    • Congenital protrusion of the upper palate.
    • Inflammatory diseases that cause mouth ulcers should avoid reducing phlegm as it may increase the chances of infection.


    Surgery preparations and procedures

    Surgery preparations and procedures

    Before Surgery

    When preparing to reduce the philtrum, certain preparations must be observed:

    • Avoid alcohol and smoking for at least a month before cutting
    • Limit activities that make you open your mouth wide or often
    • Bring your medical reports to check your medical history


    During Surgery

    • Anesthesia is given first
    • A horizontal incision is then made in the pink inner part of the lip to reduce the scar
    • Then the excess fat is removed from the lip and the place is covered with stitches.


    After Surgery

    You will be transferred to the critical care unit to recover and will be given medicines to help you manage your discomfort. You may be allowed to go that day, but if your surgeon believes otherwise, you may be required to stay in the hospital for several days until you can be closely monitored.


    Complications of Philtrum Reduction

    Just like every surgery, potential complications lead to philtrum reduction include:

    • Blood loss
    • Slow wound healing
    • Reactions from anesthesia
    • Scarring
    • Possible nerve damage.

    You may have to see your doctor if symptoms persist after two weeks.


    Recovery rate

    The usual recovery period is one to two weeks. During this time, the sutures will naturally come out. You may have swelling and redness in the region, but this location has the lowest recovery period when compared to other cosmetic operations.


    When can I see results from Philtrum reduction surgery?

    Philtrum reduction surgery

    Swelling and bruising from philtrum reduction surgery can continue up to three weeks, with fairly accurate results showing after one month. The final outcomes will be seen in 6 to 12 months.

    You may find it difficult to eat during the first two days following surgery, but you will be OK after that. Just don't open your lips too wide till it heals completely. Pursing your lips (pushing your lips together) is also harmful to the healing process. Take notice that the success of your philtrum surgery is determined not only by your surgeon but also by how well you recover following surgery.


    Alternatives to philtrum reduction surgery

    Lip fillers are the sole option to philtrum surgery, but they have little impact. Because there is a limit to how much thicker or plumper your lips can be with lip fillers. It does not genuinely fix your philtrum height; instead, it seems to be lowered owing to bigger lips. Most of the time, it is ineffective. Lip fillers are also not permanent and generally last 6 to 8 months. Because you use your lips so frequently, fillers tend to lose their effectiveness (if any) faster.


    What other lip surgery complements philtrum reduction surgery?

    Lip surgeries can be done together, in one surgery, so you don’t have to undergo a second surgery!

    Lip surgery

       1. Smile lift surgery

    As previously stated, philtrum reduction surgery and smile lift surgery are the most effective ways to correct a long philtrum and create a beautiful smile on your face.

       2. Cupid’s bow surgery

    Philtrum surgery generally results in slightly poutier lips. If that isn't enough, cupid bow's surgery will give you the pout you've always wanted!

       3. Lip enhancement surgery

    Philtrum surgery typically makes your lips fuller, but if you have extremely thin lips, you may want to combine it with lip enhancement surgery for better results.

       4. Lip valley surgery

    A slight groove in the middle of your lower lips gives your lips a puckered appearance and is actually sexy! I'm sure you had no idea. Learn more about lip valley surgery to add a sexy touch.

       5. Lip reduction surgery

    If you have lips that are too thick, you might wish to consider a lip reduction surgery. Unless you are going for crazy thick lips.


    The cost of philtrum reduction

    Lip augmentation costs vary by nation and are determined by the professionals and hospitals involved. There is no estimated total cost for philtrum reduction, but hospitals and surgeons in the country where you want to have this surgery can assist you in making estimates if you contact them.



    1. What does philtrum mean?

    The philtrum refers to the vertical depression in the central region of the upper lip.

        2. What is the ideal length of the philtrum?

    The ideal mulching range for females is 11-13mm and 13-15mm for males. The length of the philtrum is equal to the length of the iris, so it can be measured using the length of the iris.

        3. Does veltum length increase with age?

    The length of the philtrum grows with age. The lengthening of the philtrum can be used to detect aging. As one ages, the tip of the nose falls off and the chin recedes.

        4. What does the shape of my philtrum indicate?

    The Chinese used the philtrum to express wealth and knowledge of reproductive system health in ancient times. Philtrum can refer to a variety of things, including:

    1. The width and depth of the philtrum can reflect the health of the reproductive system and organs.
    2. the sex of your offspring
    3. A sudden rash on the philtrum may show complications in the reproductive system.
    4. A female infected with myxomatosis may experience problems with childbirth and infection during childbirth
    5. The flank tends to flatten in females when the uterus is removed.

        5. Is the philtrum attractive?

    In comparison to the long philtrum, the shorter philtrum is more attractive and enhances the appearance of the face.



    A long philtrum lengthens and ages your face. As a result, phrases like "grandma's lips," "horse face," and "monkey face" are widely used to mock persons with lengthy philtrums. Fortunately, philtrum reduction surgery can correct these issues. The most common philtrum surgery combo is bullhorn lip lift and lateral philtrum reduction as well as smile lift surgery. The end effect is really stunning but, like with other lip procedures, there will be some scarring. Scarring, on the other hand, may be kept to a minimum if you find a reputable lip surgeon that specializes in lip procedures!