corner lip lift

Exploring Corner Lip Lift: Types, Cost, and Recovery



Lip enhancements have gained popularity in recent years, with procedures like lip injections and implants. However, there is another surgical option known as a lip lift that offers a distinct pout. In contrast to temporary lip fillers, a lip lift provides a permanent solution. This article delves into the details of corner lip lift surgery, including its types, procedure, recovery, and factors to consider when seeking a suitable candidate.

What is a Corner Lip Lift?

A corner lip lift is a surgical procedure performed in-office that focuses on enhancing the appearance of the corners of the mouth. Sometimes referred to as a “grin lift,” this procedure aims to create a more upbeat and smiling facial expression. By making small incisions at the corners of the mouth and removing a small amount of skin, a corner lip lift can contribute to achieving fuller lips and combatting downturned lips.

Types of Lip Lifts

To make an informed decision about the right lip lift procedure for you, it’s essential to be aware of the various types available. Here are the most common types of lip lifts:

1. Direct Lip Lift

Also known as a gullwing lip lift, the direct lip lift procedure emphasizes creating a more defined lip border. By removing a thin strip of skin above the upper lip and pulling the skin upwards, this technique gives the illusion of a pronounced vermillion (the pink part of the lips). It’s important to note that this procedure typically results in a visible scar on the upper lip area.

2. Subnasal Bullhorn Lip Lift

Among the more popular lip lift procedures, the subnasal bullhorn technique involves making an incision along the base of the nose, where it remains inconspicuous. The incision is typically shaped like a bullhorn, and the center, right, and left areas of the lip are lifted towards the nose.

3. Central Lip Lift

Similar to the subnasal bullhorn lift, the central lip lift also aims to reduce the space between the nose and the lips. It involves making an incision at the lower nose, resulting in a shortened distance.

4. Corner Lip Lift

The corner lip lift, or “grin lift,” focuses on enhancing the corners of the mouth to achieve a more smiling appearance. This procedure entails making two small incisions at both corners of the mouth and removing a small amount of skin. Some individuals choose to combine this procedure with other lip lift techniques to attain fuller lips.

5. Italian Lip Lift

The Italian lip lift involves creating two incisions below each nostril. Apart from this detail, the Italian lip lift technique closely resembles the bullhorn lift. Notably, it typically results in a less noticeable scar.

Candidates for a Corner Lip Lift

A corner lip lift can benefit individuals who desire to address downturned lips and achieve a more cheerful appearance. It is particularly suitable for older individuals seeking to reduce the space between the lips and nose, as aging often leads to an increase in this distance, making the lips appear thinner. Moreover, younger individuals who have not obtained their desired lip appearance with fillers or find that fillers result in an unnatural or excessively plump look may consider a corner lip lift. Furthermore, as a permanent solution, it appeals to those who prefer a long-lasting alternative to fillers.

It’s important to consider the following factors when determining suitability for a corner lip lift:

  • Adequate space between the base of the nose and the top of the lip (typically about 1.5 centimeters)
  • Willingness to quit smoking for the healing period after surgery (approximately 2 to 4 weeks)
  • Absence of conditions that affect blood clotting or oral herpes

Individuals with diabetes or other conditions impacting blood clotting should consult their surgeon for personalized advice.

The Procedure and Recovery Process

To ensure a successful outcome, certain steps should be taken before and after a corner lip lift surgery. Here’s an overview of what to expect:

Before Surgery

  • Refrain from eating or drinking for at least 6 hours prior to the surgery.
  • Your doctor may advise you to quit smoking in the weeks leading up to and following the procedure, as smoking can impact anesthesia.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol 48 hours before the surgery, as it can interfere with anesthesia.
  • Discontinue the use of aspirin and blood-thinning medications up to 2 weeks before the surgery.
  • The lip lift procedure is typically performed in a surgeon’s office under local anesthesia to manage pain. During the surgery, a small piece of skin will be removed between the nose and mouth, with the specific location dependent on the type of lip lift chosen. Sutures will be applied and remain in place for up to a week.

After Surgery

  • Allow yourself 24 hours of rest immediately after the procedure.
  • Refrain from strenuous exercise and smoking in the weeks following the surgery.
  • Avoid sleeping on your face or opening your mouth too wide.
  • Practice careful brushing with a small toothbrush.
  • Keep your lips moisturized.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for cleaning the incisions.

Potential Complications

As with any surgical procedure, a corner lip lift carries potential risks and complications. To minimize these risks, it is crucial to select a board-certified plastic surgeon. Complications associated with plastic surgery can include scarring, poor wound healing, blood loss, nerve damage, and allergic reactions to anesthesia. Consultation with a qualified surgeon will help address any concerns and provide a comprehensive understanding of the procedure’s potential risks.

Cost of a Corner Lip Lift

Since lip lifts are elective cosmetic procedures, they are generally not covered by insurance. The cost of a corner lip lift varies based on factors such as the surgeon performing the procedure and the geographical location. On average, the cost falls between $2,000 and $5,000. It is worth noting that combining a corner lip lift with other lip lift techniques may result in higher costs.

Finding a Qualified Surgeon

When considering a lip lift, it is essential to choose a reputable and board-certified plastic surgeon. While a corner lip lift is a relatively quick procedure performed under local anesthesia, it is crucial to ensure that your surgeon is properly trained to ensure safety and sanitation. Utilizing online resources and tools can assist in finding a reputable plastic surgeon in your area.


A corner lip lift is a surgical procedure that focuses on enhancing the appearance of the corners of the mouth, resulting in a more cheerful and smiling expression. By familiarizing yourself with the different types of lip lifts, understanding candidacy requirements, and considering the associated costs and potential complications, you can make an informed decision about pursuing this procedure. Remember to consult a reputable plastic surgeon and diligently follow pre- and post-operative instructions to optimize your corner lip lift experience and achieve your desired results.

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