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Page Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Philtrum surgery is a cosmetic procedure performed on and around the philtrum. Philtrum lip lift can target both the philtrum length and shape.  A new and innovative type of surgery known as philtrum contouring surgery is performed at City Facial Plastics in Midtown, Manhattan under the management of a top-rated plastic surgeon, Dr. Linkov. Philtrum cosmetic surgery can be combined with an upper lip lift to help define the philtrum.

What Is the Philtrum?

The philtrum is the vertical space from the base of your nose to the middle of the top of your upper lip. This natural contour may already be narrow or flat before your Elelyft procedure, but the lip lift will most likely intensify those negative features. Many patients, especially women, are looking for a pronounced “V-shape” at the top middle of their upper lip where the philtrum ends.

As the connection between the nose and the lips, the philtrum plays a major role in one’s appearance. While it may seem like a small structure compared to other facial features, the philtrum serves as a centerpiece to the face, unifying the upper and lower parts. Many people are unhappy with the length or shape of their philtrum, and both of these aspects can be enhanced with philtrum cosmetic surgery.

How Can Philtrum Contouring Make Me Look Younger?

You will not need to exaggerate the contour of your upper lip with excessive makeup after philtrum contouring with Dr. Gary Linkov in UES, Manhattan. While you are undergoing an Elelyft lip lift procedure, the revolutionary new philtrum contouring can be added on to help give you that feminine, upper lip contour you desire.

The plump upper lip result of the combined lip lift and philtrum contouring helps to create a much younger appearance, especially a younger smile.

How Is This Contouring Done?

Philtrum contouring can only be done at the same time as an Elelyft lip lift, because of the exposure Dr. Linkov will need to manipulate the muscle of the upper lip. With precision contouring of the upper lip, not only will you see a younger smile in the mirror, but you will also enjoy that classic contour in the upper lip that many women desire and most lip lift procedures tend to blend away.

What Is the Philtrum Anatomy?

The philtrum is the space between the central aspect of the base of the nose to the central aspect of the vermillion border of the upper lip. There are two key features of the philtrum that contribute to a well-balanced and beautiful appearance to the face: the philtrum length and the philtrum contour.

Philtrum length

The philtrum length refers to the measurement of the vertical line from the center of the nasal base to the center of the vermillion border of the upper lip. Research studies suggest an ideal philtrum length of 11-13mm for females and 13-15mm for males to offer the most proportionate, youthful appearance to the face. This measurement, however, may vary based on race, ethnicity, and measurements of important facial structures. Given the increase in cosmetic lip surgery, other indices such as the philtral labial score (PLS) are used to help determine the ideal philtrum length.

Philtrum length over time

As we age, the philtrum becomes longer. Reasons for philtrum elongation with time include:

  • Effect of gravitational pull downward
  • Weakening of facial muscles and ligaments
  • Increased elasticity of the skin

As such, an elongated philtrum is a sign of aging and shortening the philtrum can result in a more youthful and freshened look. Further, people who are born with a long philtrum often appear older than their actual age, so reducing the philtrum length can create a more harmonious appearance.

Philtrum shape

Alongside the philtrum are two elevated vertical columns of tissue that help define the philtrum and give it shape. In recent years, with the trend of facial contouring with makeup on the rise, a more defined philtrum has become increasingly desirable to achieve a more feminine and youthful appearance.

What Is the Essence of Philtrum Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery performed on and around the philtrum can target both the philtrum length and the shape of the philtrum. Certain types of upper lip lift surgery can reduce the length of the philtrum. A new and innovative type of surgery known as philtrum contouring surgery can be combined with an upper lip lift to help define the philtrum.

Upper lip lift surgery

Upper lip lift surgery in Manhattan, NY involves the removal of a small piece of skin from either right below the base of the nose or immediately above the vermillion border of the upper lip. The remaining skin is then sutured back together. Removal of this skin reduces the philtrum length. The amount of skin removed is individualized based on the current length of your philtrum, other facial structures, and your desired result.

For detailed information on types of lip lift surgery, goals, risks, and complications you can visit Dr. Linkov’s comprehensive guide to the lip lift here.

Philtrum contouring surgery

Dr. Linkov is one of the first and only plastic surgeons in the United States to perform philtrum contouring surgery. Similar to upper lip lift surgery, an incision is made below the nasal base. The muscles of the philtrum are then manipulated and sutured in such a way that the vertical columns of tissue alongside the philtrum become more prominent, and the philtrum deepens.

How long do the results of philtrum contouring surgery last?

For the majority of patients, changes in the appearance of the philtrum are felt to be permanent after philtrum of lip surgery. If performed on a young patient, there may be a reduction in the amount of contour over time given age-related changes in the lip musculature and skin elasticity.

What are the risks of philtrum contouring surgery?

The risks of philtrum cosmetic surgery are felt to be similar to other minor cosmetic procedures. Risks are minimal and include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Poor scarring
  • Undesirable aesthetic result

However, compared to upper lip lift surgery alone, there is a longer recovery period when philtrum contouring is added, due to increased swelling. There is also a small risk of functional changes, as the muscles are manipulated.

Can I get a philtrum of lip surgery?

If you are tired of applying makeup to your upper lip to achieve a contoured philtrum and desire a more permanent result, philtrum of lip surgery or short philtrum surgery may be right for you. To learn more about whether or not you are a candidate for philtrum surgery, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Linkov in NYC to discuss your individual goals today.

What Are the Risks Involved?

The risks involved with the Elelyft procedure and philtrum of lip are no more than with any other minor surgery. This is a safe and effective surgery with wonderful results. Patients may see a little more swelling due to the additional manipulation of the lip muscle along with the lip lift, but other minor surgical side effects are common and usually disappear quickly.

The best way to learn more about this new procedure, the first of its kind in the U.S., is to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Gary Linkov in New York City. He can explain the procedure in detail as well as share what results you should expect to see. To schedule this consultation, contact City Facial Plastics in Manhattan’s Upper East Side today. We can’t wait to see what we can do for you.

Philtrum Surgery Before and After


If you have any questions for the best-in-class facial plastic surgeon in New York, Dr. Gary Linkov, or would like to make a philtrum cosmetic surgery consultation, please feel free to contact our City Facial Plastics office, located in Manhattan, NYC.

City Facial Plastics: Dr. Gary Linkov
635 Madison Ave #1402E
New York NY 10022
(212) 439-5177

Page Updated on Dec 22, 2020 by Dr. Gary Linkov (Facial Plastic Surgeon) of City Facial Plastics in New York

What Dr. Linkov's Patients Say
City Facial Plastics

5.0 / 5.0

Based on 47 reviews

Alla K.

Dr. Linkov is really good and so easy to talk to, thank you!

Tyler D.

Thank you so much for your time, Dr. Linkov, appreciate the extra attention!

Elizabeth G.

Everything you would want in a physician - extremely thorough, thoughtful, intelligent, a great listener, and pays extreme attention to detail.

Carolina F.

Dr. Linkov is the best!!! He is extremely professional and knowledgeable!!! I recommend Dr. Linkov 100%.

Alex S.

Dr. Gary is a true professional with great eye and bedside manner. He’s the one I refer my family, patients and friends to.

Suzy S.

Highly recommend! Dr. Gary helped me with painful lip scar tissue after an accidental fall a year earlier. I’ve known Gary for 20 years and since the first day knowing him he’s grown as a medical professional with an innate sense of detail and kind demeanor. Excellent client follow up and post treatment care.

Marina S.

Dr. Gary is a fantastic NYC plastic surgeon who treats me and to whom I would recommend all my friends and family. He has a very conservative approach to fillers and I was extremely impressed with the way he filled my nasolabial lines that had been bothering me for years. It was painless, and I did not experience any bruising at all. Getting this done gave me so much confidence - I wish I worked with him years ago!

Rachel G.

Wow is all I can say! Fantastic doctor that gives you an extremely pleasant, professional, and realistic experience. Would highly recommend and give 6 stars if I could.