Can The Philtrum Of The Upper Lip Be Shortened By Augmenting The Nose?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I’m interested in changing the appearance of my nose. However, I understand that the typical nose job is a subtractive procedure and that patient’s potential outcomes are limited to some degree by the nose’s original dimension and position.

I’ve always wanted to correct my long philtrum, which in conjunction with my short nose, leaves a large unappealing blank space above my lip. Similar to Stephen King, although not so extreme.

As far as I’ve researched, the only procedures that exist to reduce the philtrum involve altering the upper lip, which I don’t want to do: I like my lips the way they are.

My question is, is it possible to shorten the philtrum by augmenting the nose, not the lip? Is it feasible to create a longer nose that would extend further down into my philtrum, either through use of an implant or other method?

A: The short answer is ….no. You can only change the vertical distance between the base of the nose and the upper lip (along philtrum) by removing skin. Trying to push down the base of the columella or base of the nose by any method will only exaggerate or magnify the the long upper lip.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana