The Corner Lip Lift is Trending: Here's What You Need to Know

What to know about 2022’s buzziest lip procedure.

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woman's lips corner lip lift

Enhancing your lips at the plastic surgeon’s office is nothing new. Lip fillers have been popular for years, and so too has a procedure called a lip flip, in which Botox is used to make the top lip appear slightly larger. Changing the shape and size of your mouth can have a profound yet subtle impact on your entire face, which accounts for the popularity of lip procedures. But if you’re looking for something a bit longer lasting and more dramatic, it might be time to consider a corner lip lift.

The treatment has become increasingly trendy in 2022, with plastic surgeons reporting significantly more patients requesting the procedure. In a nutshell, the corner lip lift takes any downward drooping at the corner of your mouth — which can be due to the natural aging process, among other factors — and reverses it, giving the corner of your lips a lifted look that can brighten your entire face. The results are simultaneously subtle yet dramatic, providing the exact sort of profound tweak that many people look for when deciding to undergo a surgical procedure. And what’s more, unlike fillers and other injectable options, the results from a corner lip lift last much longer.

If you’re curious to find out whether or not the procedure is the right fit for you, read on for all the important details about the corner lip lift.

Who Is A Suitable Candidate For A Corner Lip Lift?

“There are two types of people who are very good candidates for a corner lip lift,” says Dr. Miguel Mascaró, board-certified facial plastic surgeon in south Floria. “The first is a classic patient who has a downturn oral commissure, in which the corners of the mouth where the upper and lower lip meet are pointing downward. The second patient is whom may have a flat or even upturned oral commissure, however the side of the upper lip itself is sinking inside and preventing a good upper lip aesthetic contour.”

The benefits from a corner lip lift don’t always stop with just the appearance of the lips and smile — people with prominent lip lines might also find that the procedure can help. “The treatment also improves and slows the progression of perioral rhytids, also known as ‘smoker’s lines,’ although you don’t have to smoke to develop them,” says Dr. Corey L. Hartman, Founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama.

And often, people who have experienced great results with less permanent lip treatments, like filler, find themselves eventually exploring corner lip lifts since they are longer lasting, explains Nurse Tara Adashev APRN at Neinstein Plastic Surgery.

How Do You Prep For A Corner Lip Lift?

A thorough vetting and consult with your provider is essential when considering a corner lip lift, says Dr. Michele Koo, board certified plastic surgeon and founder of skin care line Private Practice by Dr Koo. “You should meet with the surgeon in person and ask them to show you their credentials,” she says. “They should answer all of your questions and address any concerns that you may have about the lip lift procedure.” During this consultation, the doctor should go over your medical history and perform a physical examination.

Once you find a surgeon that you like, you’ll schedule the procedure and prep a few days prior to that date. Says Dr. Lara Devgan, an award-winning board certified plastic surgeon, “We recommend that you avoid alcohol and blood thinners a day or two beforehand, as this can increase your chance of bruising or swelling.” She also suggests drinking plenty of water and eating leafy green vegetables to help ease your recovery.

And for those who are particularly concerned about potential bruising post-surgery, Dr. Mascaró has some recommendations. “Stay away from fish oil and vitamin E, as well as garlic supplements, since all of these can thin your blood and increase your likelihood of bruising,” he says.

What Happens During A Corner Lip Lift Procedure?

“During lip lift surgery, incisions are made at the corners of the mouth or in the upper part of your lip,” says Nurse Tara. “The length and location of the incision depend on how much skin needs to come off. In general, a small lip lift surgery will require about two small incisions, while a larger procedure may require an incision along the entire length following the inferior aspect of the nose and the top of the philtral columns [at the top of the mouth].” She adds that after removing the excess skin, the surgeon will close the incision using deep and superficial sutures (which will eventually need to be removed). You will be under local anesthesia during the procedure.

As for how much time you’ll need to spend at the doctors office getting your corner lip lift done? “The procedure takes about 45 minutes to perform,” Dr. Mascaró says. “I normally joke with patients and tell them this is very much like going to the airport, so just because your flight is 45 minutes doesn’t mean the whole trip is 45 minutes. In this case the surgical flight is 45 minutes but you will spend about two hours in the office.”

What Is Corner Lip Lift Aftercare?

“Just like any surgery, downtime is to be expected,” Dr. Devgan says. Luckily, there are precautions that patients can take to minimize pain and discomfort. Says Dr. Devgan, “Mild swelling is not uncommon the first day or two after surgery and can be lessened by using ice compresses. Patients will receive some pain medication, but our patients tend to not even need any except Tylenol afterwards. [Waiting] 48 hours [to bathe] is recommended, as we want our patients to make sure to keep the incisions as dry as possible.”

She adds that the stitches will remain in place for about a week and the scar should fade within a year. “You may need one to two weeks off from your social calendar, but any scarring can be covered with foundation within two weeks of your operation.”

“Keep the area free of makeup and lotions for two weeks,” Dr. Koo says. “Stay out of the sun. And steer clear of exercise which elevates your blood pressure for two weeks.” This can pose a risk to some patients who already have high blood pressure.

Dr. Mascaró has a few more tips for aftercare. “Most importantly keep the incision nice and clean as well as lubricated with antibiotic ointments,” he says. He also recommends avoiding UV exposure, which can lead to unwanted pigment along the incision that takes a long time to go away. Also, avoid excessive mouth movement and over-stretching that can lead to scarring.

What Are The Side Effects & Risks For A Corner Lip Lift?

“Like any surgery there is a risk of infection or bleeding at the incisions site,” Dr. Koo says. “If you have an infection, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to clear it up. Other issues can include prolonged swelling or bruising and nerve damage or numbness. If any of these issues occur, you [should] contact your surgeon immediately.”

And while this may all sound like a fair bit of risk, Dr. Devgan qualifies that although like other surgical procedures, lip lifts do come with the potential for bleeding, infection, and undesirable scarring, and the risk for these adverse outcomes need not be high. “With careful care and techniques, those are a very low likelihood,” she says. As with all plastic surgery, this means that you’ll want to make sure that you’re seeing a board-certified surgeon with lots of experience performing the procedure.

How Much Does A Corner Lip Lift Cost?

The cost of a corner lip lift often ranges by the city in which it is performed, but is typically between $3,500 on the low end and $6,500 on the high end, with cities like New York and Los Angeles typically having higher prices. The total cost can also be influenced by the type of anesthesia used, along with the surgeon’s fees and facility fees.

How Long Does A Corner Lip Lift Last?

A huge benefit of corner lip lifts is that the results tend to be very long-lasting, about a decade or more. Longevity may depend in part on skin elasticity. “Your lips will continue to age along with the rest of your face,” Dr. Koo cautions. “You may find that you lose volume over time, which can be remedied with lip fillers, fat transfer, or lip implants.”

The amount of elasticity a patient has may influence when they look to get the treatment, as younger patients with more elasticity left may see longer-lasting results.

In all, a corner lip lift is a great option for patients who want to lift and brighten their faces by turning up the edges of their mouth. The very long lasting results make it ultimately a low- maintenance option that is only set to grow in popularity in the coming years.