Smile surgery to help permanent frowns

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted a Korean Plastic Surgeon who is popularizing the so called Smile surgery. MSN News also recently featured an article about smile surgery, called a “smile lipt,” – a combination of the words “lip” and “lift.” While this procedure may sound odd, there are definitely some patients who are good candidates for this procedure. I have performed this procedure, also known as the Corner lip lift in my practice in Baltimore.

What is a smile surgery?

Some people have a distinct permanent frown type expression and Smile surgery can help them because it lifts the corners of the mouth.  The procedure is performed by Plastic Surgeons and it helps change the permanent sad or angry look to a more pleasant expression. This technique is different than a traditional Lip lift procedure, as that technique focuses solely on the long space between the upper lip and the base of your nose. A Lip Lift does not address the corners of your mouth. The Smile surgery focuses exclusively on lifting the corners of your mouth.

Since I do lip lifts and mouth rejuvenation quite often, I’d like to point out a few technical details for the procedure that addresses only the corner of your mouth and helps improve your smile.

Non-surgical options

Botox logo.

Botox is a great option for those too timid to commit to a permanent procedure. This non surgical option is fairly popular. We inject Botox to the outer corner of the lower lip, where the Depressor Anguli Oris (DAO) is located. This muscle pulls the corners of your mouth down and out. When you weaken the muscle with Botox, the corner of the lip comes up naturally from the pull of the lip elevator muscles. You lose the ability to turn the corner of the mouth down for 3-6 months. It is not unusual for patients to have this procedure when they come in for Botox to the frown lines of the forehead.

Surgical options

1) DAO release

An illustration showing facial muscles surrounding lips.

This procedure divides  and cuts the DAO muscle. It is more like a permanent Botox.  I performed my first DAO release in 2008 and was pretty excited about it at the time. However, I no longer perform this technique as I think cutting the muscle introduces unnecessary risk.  I think the Corner lip lift is a much better alternative . As with the upper lip lift, I prefer not to cut muscle, so I have moved away from this technique.

2) Corner lip lift

An illustration showing a smile surgery.

This is my procedure of choice to lift the corners of the lip. The objective is to re-position, upwards, the lateral commissure (where upper and lower lips meet) as seen on the illustration marked as an upward arrow.  On the left side of the picture we see the outline of the incision made to elevate the corner of the mouth. The arrow shows the direction that the corners are moved up. This is a very subtle and tiny movement.

It is important to keep two things in mind. First, you do not want to extend the lateral commissure out unless you have a short mouth. Otherwise, you can come out looking a little bit like the Joker. Secondly, the incision line on the corner of the mouth should not be too long because you want to keep the white roll of the vermilion border as long as possible.

I prefer the corner lip lift because it does not affect lip movement, which is very important for expressing a full range of emotions. In my practice we use it less often than the lip lift, but some patients find that after a successful lip lift they still want a more “uplifted” look, more of a smile. In those instances, the corner lip lift can be the perfect solution.

Can the Lip lift and Smile surgery be done together?

Yes, as stated above, some patients not only have long spaces above their upper lips, but the corners of their mouths droop downward. When desired from the outset, I can perform both the Lip lift and the Corner lip lift during the same surgical session.

Beautiful lips are often identified by a nice cupid’s bow and the perfect amount of space between the upper lift and the base of the nose. In this video I talk about Lip lifts, Lip augmentations, and avoiding the dreaded duck lips. Check it out and, as always, feel free to ask questions about smile surgeries and corner lip lifts in the comments.

Wondering if a Lip lift is right for you?

If you feel like your upper lip covers your teeth too much and you'd like your upper lip to look fuller, contact Us to schedule your in-office or virtual consultation. Or just give us a call at 410-494-8100! Note: Virtual consults can also be used to get second opinions.

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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107 thoughts on “Smile surgery to help permanent frowns”

  • Sarah says:

    Hello, may I see some before and afters of the corner lift..? I got a central lip lift but feel like maybe I need more enhancement and am not sure if a corner lift is right for me, or maybe a little of both..? Thank you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez says:

      You would need to call the office for some pictures. There are 3 types of corner lift- skin only (for more vermillion show laterally), release of the Depressor angle oris muscle, and release of depressor angle oris + skin excision. To see what would be best for you I would need more detail. If you want further information, call 410 494-8100
    • Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez says:

      Sorry I did not see this earlier. For pricing info contact Thanks for your interest!
  • Constance says:

    Do you have pictures which show results from bullhorn/corner lift combo? I would really like to see photos over time which show the healing process. I am 62. My upper lip has always been to long, more bothersome now. I am concerned about having a downturned mouth if I only do bullhorn, but want realistic expectations re:scarring.
    • Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez says:

      Contact for pictures. You can also see a few pictures in our procedure gallery, but I don"t think we have corner lip lifts posted. Kelly or leeza can help you with pictures. You can also get a virtual consultation to see if you are a good candidate for a corner lift.
  • Birna says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez I'm very interested in the upper lip lift and maybe mouth corner lift, but do you do lower lip lift? Sometimes called V-Y plasty on the lower lip. I'm not showing upper teeth and just showing lower teeth and the lower part of my lower teeth. I hope you can help me. Best regards Birna
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Many people ask about the lower lip lift. I have told them that after having done the upper and corner lip lift, they could reevaluate. To this day NOT A SINGLE ONE has pursued lower lip surgery after the upper lip lift. The reason is that once the upper lift is done the lower lip shows up much better and is in balance.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      I use a mixture of lidocaine and marcaine mixed with epinephrine directly into the operative area. The reason is that that area bleeds a lot, obscuring the details necessary for the finesse surgery. The epinephrine clamps down the blood vessels and reduces bleeding dramatically.Hope this helps!
  • Andrew Routledge says:

    Dea Dr. Rodriguez, I am a 60-year-old male. I suffer from a bit of a frown but I also suffer from low serotonin and dopamine levels. To combat the depression and anxiety associated with low serotonin I try to practice smiling. Even a very vague semblance of a smile helps enormously. I have often wondered if a corner lip lift procedure would have the same effect as faking a smile? This is something that I am serious about. My life is wasting on depression and SSRI's make me enormously overweight.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dear Mr Routledge: The effects of surgery have very little correlation to emotional states of being. Even if I did a corner lift on you I cannot guarantee that you would think it gives you a vague semblance of a smile or that it would help with your depression. I would recommend first Bottox to the Depressor anguli muscle because that is at least reversible.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Mariam: There are 2 elements to a corner lift. the simplest one is to cut only skin at the corner of the mouth. That is for patients who want more of the red part of the lip showing at the corner of the mouth. The more involved procedure involves cutting the Depressor anguli Oris (DAO) muscle. This muscle pulls the corners of the mouth downwards and releasing it allows other muscles to pull up the corners of the mouth. This is a permanent change and looks very natural when done properly.
  • Mahaam says:

    Hi I've always been very cautious of my smile because I have alittle fat in the corners of my mouth not being able to give me the perfect smile lines. I was wondering if corner lip lift is what I need. How would I know?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Mahaam: There is no way to know from a verbal description like this. I would have to see you in static and smiling poses. Fortunately this can be done easily with a virtual consult. If interested, contact Leeza at or Kelly at to set up a virtual consult.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Melissa: I do not epicanthoplasty, sorry. You should look for a plastic surgeon who has extensive experience operating on oriental patients because they do a lot of surgery on epicentral folds.
  • Alain.Wahabi says:

    Hello, My name is Alain and live in California. i am interested in lip lift and smile surgery. please let me know when you a promotion so i can have enough money for airfare and place to stay during the recovery. Thank you very much sincerely Alain
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Alain: we usually hold specials in August. Unfortunately, lip lift is in high demand so it is unusual to do specials in this procedure. If you do a virtual consult and we get you in our system we may be able to get you in when a patient cancels surgery or other unforeseen circumstances. In those cases we may give offer incentives to book on the specific date.
  • Laverne Owens says:

    Do you recommend a plastic surgeon in Georgia? I would like to send you a picture to ask what you would recommend for my lips.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      I cannot recommend anybody in Georgia as I do not know how they perform the surgery. I do a lot of out of town patients and since the surgery is done under local anesthesia it is very easy to organize. If you are interested we can set up a virtual consultation with Skype or FaceTime. Thanks!
  • Dominic Thibault says:

    Hi, I consulted the CORNER LIP LIFTS section and I wondered which procedures would you recommend to me if my only goal is to raise the corners of my mouth to get a straight center line, without having visible scars. Thanks Dominic Thibault
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dominic: It is really hard to give an opinion without knowing what you look like now. As for the visible scars, no scars ever disappear, some fade, some are placed in well camouflaged areas. The corner lip lift scars are very well disguised because they are at the border of mucosa and skin, so the eye is deceived even when looking at the scar directly.
  • Colleen Carrell says:

    Hi I had a lip lift about 10 years ago and have loved the result from day one. My scar under my nose is barely visible. Now, however, I have developed somewhat chronic sores in the corners of my mouth which are caused or aggravated by the drooping there. I would love to arrange a virtual consultation. I live in the Greater Cincy area though I have family in the Baltimore area so treatment there would be easy to arrange on my end. Thank you.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Colleen: Yes, I think you may benefit from a Corner lift. If you would like to we could organize a virtual consult through Skype or FaceTime so I can see the problem in motion as you speak. Contact leeza at or Kelly at
  • Dawn says:

    I have a constant frown on my face. When i just look with no expression my lips curve down. Why? I smile and have a decent smile and look ok but straight face is a frown.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Dawn: The "frown" can be the result of 2 things. One is over activity of the Depressor anguli Oris muscle (DAO), the other is aging effects of the skin around the mouth. ou might try Botox at the corners of the lip to see if the corners of the mouth come up. Contact Leeza at for more details. Or you can call us at 410 494-8100 as we are running a special during February and March.
  • Casssndra Avila says:

    Im having a serious issue with the corners of my mouth. I was wondering if I could send you a picture and see what you can do to help me. Thank you!!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Casssndra: We have a process for that and it's "Virtual consult" Kelly at will get in contact with you to arrange it. Thanks for asking!
  • Steven says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, What is the difference between your corner lip lift compared to South Korea's Dr. Kwon Taek Keun who uses the Smile Lipt technique? Thank You
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Steven: I am not familiar with te details of his technique. I know that I divide the Depressor anguli oris. I resect a wedge of tissue on the corner of the upper lip. I do not extend the wedge beyond the lateral border of the lip, as I think it it looks a little "off". People are not smiling all the time. If you want, Kelly at can try to get you a patient to talk to.
  • Carole Compton says:

    I would love to have a Consultation with you Doctor~ My job, is with the public and I always want to look my best~As I am aging, my mouth / lips and Corners of my mouth, are all drooping downward~and I need Surgery to correct the drooping~ I would feel SO much happier~hoping to see you Doctor~ Sincerely~Carole Compton
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Carole: I have given Kelly at your contact info. We have also edited your phone numbers off because the comment appears on the blog. Looking forward to hearing from you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Lorraine: The best place to look is at There you will see not only surgeon's names but also reviews on them
  • Corinne Archer says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, I, unfortunately, did not have my lip lift with you and my nostrils and tip are pulled down. Some of my natural sills were also cut out. I also have a lot of scar tissue on the side underneath the nostril, where the incision was. Is there any way that you can fix this? I'm also interested in your corner lip lift. Thank you so much!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Corinne: I do several corrections a year from other surgeons. I will need a virtual consult with you so I can see what happened directly and give you a better idea of what I can do. The corner lift will be no problem, and I can improve the nose and lip a lot, but how much I have to evaluate by looking at you (Skype or FaceTime can do) I will give Kelly at your info so we can talk.
  • Sara says:

    Hi Could i ask if u offer any online consultations? I have kinda weired lips my upper lip is smaller and thiner than the lower lip and I need a professional dr like ur self to decide how to fix it
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sara: Yes we do offer online consultations. I will give your information to Kelly at I will be happy to talk to you, and we can use FaceTime or Skype.
  • Laura Delrieu says:

    I see before and after photos for the lip lift procedure but don't see any specifically for the corners of the mouth. Do you have any available? Thank you - Laura
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      We have started doing the corner life 3 years ago and post op result pictures are taken 4 months later. We just have not updated our website. Kelly will be happy to send you some pictures. One caveat, a lot of our patients are from out of town so some of our post op pictures may be harder to get. Here's Kelly's email
  • Miriam says:

    Hello, I just started researching what I can do about a permanent frown. I call it the family curse because it's evident in my immediate family and cousins. People always think I'm mean, evil, angry. I am now 55 and I don't even like looking at myself in the mirror because I see it and I hate it. It affects relationships in that people are reluctant to approach me. I've had men, come up and after a couple of minutes looking at me intently, they walk away. One guy even came back and did a double take. At the end of my first year of college, people either wrote in my year book or said, when I first saw you, I thought you were mean, but you're not mean at all. I've had people in new situations come up and started talking to me and again, I get that intent look like they're trying to figure me out. I good thing is that we all have beautiful smiles when we smile. Recently, my Pastor said to me, you just need to smile more. While, I don't wanna go walking around grinning like a chess cat. Have no idea what that means, LOL Please direct me onto the right path. Sincerely, Miriam
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Miriam: I can help you. The procedure is called a "Corner Lip Lift". The way the permanent frown is established is by constant pull on the Depressor anguli oris muscle (DAO). The abnormal "Chessire cat grin" look comes from surgeons who used to do a skin based surgery where they tried to widen the corners of the mouth or turn them up too much. The way I do the corner lip lift only cuts out a tiny wedge of skin. That gives me access to the DAO muscle, which I weaken or divide depending on the patient. You will not walk around with a permanent grin because the skin of the lip is not changed. you will only grin if you actually pull on the muscles that cause the grin. At rest, since the DAO is not pulling, the corners of the lip rest at a neutral position rather than at the frown position. Contact Kelly at We'd love to hear from you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Amber: I'll pass this along to Kelly at She can give you pricing info as well as a lot of other info. Looking forward to hearing from you!
  • Julie says:

    I have a ' roll ' under my lower lip that is prominent when I smile. Is there any procedure that would help to correct this?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Julie: Without looking at pictures it is difficult to know what you mean. I suspect Botox may help but it would take a detailed examination. My suggestion is you schedule an appointment with a surgeon near you or arrange a Skype or Facetime virtual consult with us so I can see your face in motion. If you want a virtual consult contact Kelly at
  • Jeannie says:

    Hello Doctor: My downward (resting) smile ages me at least 10 years! When I smile, I literally look 10 years younger, but walking around with a permanent smile will probably get me locked up in the loony bin. Help! I live in Alberta, Canada. Can you recommend a specialist here? Thank you! :)
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jeannie: Unfortunately I do not know anybody in Australia, much less able to differentiate who is good technically and who isn't. I have had many Canadian patients come here for surgery, which is easy because it is a surgery done under local anesthesia and recovery is very quick. If you are interested you can contact Kelly at
  • Sasha Willard says:

    I was wondering when a person smiles can you get the whole outline from your lips to your eyes as a surgery?
  • cathryn westlund says:

    I am a 53 year old white women who has a severe case of turned down lip corners. They are long deep and the same on both sides. I never use to have this. Maybe clenching did it? Had a few awful years of stress. Can you use me as a case subject for start to finish photos, study? I can not afford the procedure. Please help me or ask your colleagues in Florida to help me. Thank you, Cathryn
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Cathryn: Many University Medical Centers have clinics where residents perform surgery under the supervision of their faculty. I suggest you enquire at one of these Medical centers. Florida has many surgical centers with Plastic Surgery training programs so I know you will find something if you try hard.
  • Barbara says:

    I have a natural frown when my face is at rest. Is there a procedure using botox which would allow me to smile lifting my lips into more pleasing look and then be injected which would then prevent me from frowning? Thank you.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Barbara: Yes there are 2 specific things you can do with Botox. The injection of Botox between the eyebrows and at the top of your nose between the brows will take care of your frown. The injection at the corners of the lower lip will help your smile. We do this quite a bit.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Paulina: I'll put you in touch with Kelly and she will be happy to help you. She can be reached at Thanks!
  • Joyce DelMonte says:

    Dear Doctor Rodriguez: What is your ballpark price to have both the smile and lip lift surgery? I like your ideas of it being like permanent botox and not cutting muscle. Thank you and regards! ~Joyce
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Joyce: All questions regarding price are handled by Kelly at I will forward her your request. BTW, we do separate the muscle from the corner of the lip to allow it to "turn the corner", but the bulk of the muscle stays intact. Thanks for your interest!
  • Cai says:

    Hello! I have always had a problem with the sides of my mouth being uneven. Whether I'm smiling, talking, or not moving my lips at all, the left side has always had a nice, slightly-upward curve while the right side points directly down (people tend to think I'm smirking when I'm smiling!). I've tried to look in the mirror and contort my facial muscles to make my lips look even, but no matter what I do, it never looks right. Would the lip lift and/or the corner lip lift help me? Like, could I get it just on the right side of my lips or something? If not, is there any procedure you could suggest for me, or will I just have to deal with it? Thanks!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Cai: First of all, everybody has a degree of asymmetry (unevenness) in every single aspect of their face and body. As far as your case is concerned, I think I would need to know a lot more about your history and see your lip in motion before I could make any recommendations. For something reversible, you could try botox on the right corner of the mouth to deactivate the depressor muscle on that side. Contact Kelly at if you are interested in a virtual consult.
  • Alexandra says:

    Hi from Texas! I am hoping that you know of another qualified Plastic Surgeon in the Houston area who is doing the Corner Lip Lift Proceedure. I have called a few, but, they were not familiar with the actual Corner Technique. My entire life, people constantly ask me, 'Are you mad at me', or 'Come on, smile! Things can't be that bad!'. I am always in a great mood, thanking The Lord for all His blessings, especially since I was not suppose to be alive right now!! I really want the outside world to see how wonderful life really is, no matter what problems you face (I'd like to do it smiling more). If you know anyone in the Houston area, even if they can only give me a place to start, that would be wonderful! Thank you! ~a
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Alexandra: Not many people do this procedure. I myself, very experienced at lip lift waited a while before starting to do corner lip lifts routinely. We do get lots of patients from out of town. Since the procedure is done under local anesthesia a lot of patients come the day before surgery and leave the day of surgery or the day after. It is a very simple process. Contact Kelly if interested
  • blanca L wilson says:

    I have a smile that seems like a frown and not very friendly! When I open my mouth and my jaw drops my bottom teeth show. I am unhappy with it because it makes me feel like I have an ugly smile and an old one at that! Can you advice me what I need because I am like to change my self up, I feel tired and need some kind of help with my smile! Thank you for your help! I would appreciate any help!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Blanca: From what you are describing it seems like you are a perfect candidate for Lip Lift and corner lift. The Lip Lift will ensure you show the upper teeth, the corner lift will turn up the corners just barely so you have a relaxed appearance. Contact Kelly at and she will be able to answer a lot of your questions and set up a virtual consultation so aI can make more specific recommendations.
  • Maria says:

    Hello Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez, I just had a lip lift AND corner lip lift done 3 days ago to allow for more teeth to show. That was my goal going in. Now when I smile none of my upper teeth show at all because my upper lip turned out super thick and won't raise all the way up. Is this normal? Is it due to the swelling? Will it change once the swelling go down? I am so upset because now when I smile trying to show teeth my upper lip just covers them completely. Thank you for your time, Maria
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Maria: You are probably swollen. At three days after a lip lift most patients are still very swollen and stiff. Talk to your surgeon because depending on what surgical technique he used you may take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month for all the swelling to go down.
  • Constance says:

    Just approximately (or a range) how much would a lip lift run? And is this a technique used commonly or a procedure unique to the Dr.? Thank you
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Constance: Not many surgeons do the Lip Lift. Indeed, most of the patients I get are from out of town, including some from Europe. I will let Kelly at know of your interest, and she can talk to you about pricing. Thanks for your interest!
  • Julie Cherry says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, Plastic surgery is something I have never considered before, but now at the age of 48 I am almost suicidal over my non-existent smile. Not that it bothers me, it's my face and I'm used to it, but every day I get people telling me to smile and stop being so grumpy, and it has finally broken my spirit. After doing some internet research on the different forms of 'smile-lift' available I like your solution the best. However I live in Australia and would never be able to come to you. Hence this you have colleagues over here, or would you know how I could find a reputable surgeon who could do this surgery for me here in Melbourne, Australia. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Julie: I do not know any surgeons in Australia. We do have a major international clientele here and have operated on several Australian, Singapore, etc. patients. You may start by trying out Botox in the corners of the mouth.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Vivian: I will let Kelly know of your interest so she can answer more questions and if you want you can send pictures for us to evaluate.
  • Jennifer Ross says:

    I will be 65 on march 2 2015 and have a frowning face. 13 years ago Dr Edward Trupman of MiamI did the refresher surgery on my face and when a teen I had nose reconstructive surgery thanks to a breathing problem by Dr Ralph Millard of Miami. I now live in Ft. Pierce, Florida as a retired Kindergarten/First Grade teacher of the Gifted/ESL Can you help me smile, again, when I awaken and can it be there throughout the days of my life until I am called home? That would be awesome!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jenifer: Happy Birthday!!!! There's a range of things we could to from a lip lift, to a corner lift, etc. but to really get a good idea we would need to see pictures. Contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg and she can give you details so we can set up a Skype or phone conversation. We're looking forward to hearing from you, and envious of the fact that you are in Florida! God bless the sun!
  • Elizabeth williams says:

    I have the left side of my mouth goes up when I smile but my right side don't move I would like to know if you could help me to smile right please let me know something I would like to smile pretty before I leave this earth
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Elizabeth: How long have you had this problem? Is it relatively recent? Is it the result of an accident? In any case your condition would need to be carefully evaluated before we knew what the best solution is. If you are interested, we could set up a virtual consult so I can evaluate pictures or do Skype so I can see. Contact Kelly at if you are interested
  • Carlos says:

    I am male 27 yrs old and I am doing ortho work (yeah late in the game) I am now concerned with the way I smile. My smile as much as I try always looks like a frown. I was told by ortho that it was due to my upper jaw being further out than most people. What I dont understand is what that has to do with lips. Can an ugly smile really be turned into a great smile? Los Angeles CA.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Carlos: There are several factors here including the "ortho work". Is it jaw bone work or tooth work? BTW, both can affect the smile. To give you an educated opinion I would need a lot more information. In any case, if you are interested, contact Kelly at and she can tell you what you would need to set up a virtual consult.
  • Linda McAmmond says:

    I am having a lower facelift on Dec. 16 2014. After that, maybe within 6 mos. I intend to have a lip lift done in your least that's the plan now. I live in Victoria B.C. on Vancouver Island, above Washington State. Over 10 years ago, CBC TV said we were the most physically fit city in Canada. I used to hike all over our beautiful island. I want to do it again. Too much botox or say, lip surgery is eschewed here by the people with whom I associate. The '70's icon Katharine Ross has the subtle corner lip lift that looks so natural that if I did the same it would be accepted by my people......... Could you achieve that same natural look? The corners of her mouth look extended into a slight, very slight in my imagination I don't see the width of her mouth shortened to make the little sort of curve.....but I really don't know what I am talking about when it comes to surgery.... Thanks for any reply sincerely, Linda
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Linda: You live in a beautiful part of the world. I went once to Vancouver once and was utterly charmed by the city. I am waiting for the next plastic surgery meeting scheduled there to go again. We do a lot of lip lifting and corner lip lift is a subtle thing that people are usually very happy with because the scar is almost invisible and the effect is very pleasant and nobody will think you had anything done. I will have Kelly at contact you for more details.
  • Barbara carr says:

    Dr Rodriguez, I had fat injections to the folds running from the nose down to my mouth and some around the mouth and now my mouth has this permanent frown with lines coming from both corners of my mouth. Would the corner lift take care of these lines? I look older now than before the fat injections. I'm very self concious about it Thank you for your help Barb
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Barbara: I think the corner lift helps a lot of people, and possibly also you of course. To get a better idea of what we could possibly do with you, I think we need photographs to evaluate what the fat grafts did. Anyways, I'll let Kelly at know so she can give you more info. Thanks for contacting us!
  • Mj says:

    Hello Dr. Rodriguez, I have downturned lip corners. I never noticed this until I turned 40, after a Botox injection of the masetter muscle about a year ago. I have not gotten any more botox since then as I did not like my lip corners turned downward. I thought I have downturned lip corners because of skin laxity in the buccal area. Is corner lip lift also a good option for facial rejuvenation? I wasn't born with downturned lips. Thank you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      MJ: I cannot say for sure if the downturned lips are from Botox to the masseter. The masseter muscle is not related to the muscles of expression and is in the back of the jaw right in front of the lobule of the ear. Something else may have happened or what was injected was not the masseter. The cause of down turned lips is complex. Of course aging is the biggest factor, but fat atrophy in the area around the lip is also a factor. In any case, it seems you are a good candidate for "corner lip lift". The corner lip lift will not rejuvenate your entire face, it only affects the corner of the mouth but it's effect is noticeable. I have not seen you in pictures, and you may want a virtual consult, but a lip lift may also help and that has a more general effect, especially when combined with the corner lip lift. I'll have Kelly at contact you for any more questions you might have.
  • Sara says:

    Thank you Dr. Rodriguez. That makes sense (lower lip looks fine after upper lip lifted). I will contact Kelly for more questions or appointment. Thank you for your comment. Look forward to seeing you soon.
  • Sara says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, I am thinking about getting a lip lift (along with corner lift and botox for DOA release). I also would like to improve my lower lip. I am wondering if you perform a V-Y plasty on lower lip? I know the filler is the option but I'm looking for something permanent without putting anything foreign to my lips. Thank you,
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Sara: Although practically every patient that has a lip lift asks for something to be done to a lower lip, I find that once the upper lip is lifted the lower lip looks fine. I offer patients to do a corner lift or something for the lower lip later, but the truth is only a few ask for a corner lip lift after the upper lip lift has been done and nobody to date has asked for something to the lower lip. I will let Kelly at so she can give you more info.
  • Ms.E says:

    I would love to see actual photos of your corner lip lift. Have you done a Valentine anguloplasty perfected by Dr.Flowers, & currently done by Dr. Cedeli? I equate the smile lipt popular with Asians, which I don't want. I just want to rid my frown. Thank you. Ms.E
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Ms. E Everybody gives names to their procedures as a way to make them easier to remember by patients. I do anguloplasties frequently. The most important thing is not to extend the length of the lip which is what I think a lot of surgeons do when they do a corner lift. I think that creates too much of "smile" and looks unnatural. I agree with you, the only objective is to eliminate the downward turn.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Ms. E Everybody gives names to their procedures as a way to make them easier to remember by patients. I do anguloplasties frequently. The most important thing is not to extend the length of the lip which is what I think a lot of surgeons do when they do a corner lift. I think that creates too much of "smile" and looks unnatural. I agree with you, the only objective is to eliminate the downward turn. Contact Kelly at kelly@cosmeticsurg if you are interested in more info.
  • Allison Foster says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, I have been researching lip lifts for quite a while now as I am very interested in having one done and in all my searching it seems that all arrows point to you when it comes to the best surgeon for the job! I would love an upper lip lift to help with a long upper lip and no tooth show or natural parting of the lips when mouth is at rest. My question however is regarding the corner lip. One side of my mouth pulls downward when I smile and speak and it really bothers me! It's not noticeable when my mouth is at rest however. What would you recommend for this? I so wish I was closer to your location!!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Allison: We get a lot of patients from out of town. We have several from Europe, including patients who knew about me but decided to stay nearer to home and get the procedure done but were not satisfied with the results. As far as the corner of the mouth it may be the way you move your muscles when you speak. Try to adjust the way you speak while standing in front of a mirror. You will be surprised at you much you can accomplish. Actors train themselves to imitate facial mannerisms and facial quirks, so you can do it too. If you are interested, we can set up a virtual consult.
  • Jacinthe says:

    Hi Dr. Rodriguez, I live in Montreal and I am interested in having a lip augmentation volume and lifting. Could you please tell me how we can arrange a consultation? Thank you!
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Jacinthe: Ça va? We get many patients from Canada (y compris beaucoup de francophones!) Kelly, at will be happy to help you arrange a virtual consult. We can use Skype or FaceTime, and I'd be delighted to speak to you. À Bientôt!
  • chehrazed says:

    my name is chehrazed, i am from Montreal,i want to now the price of Mouth corner lift/ thank you
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Chehrazed: Is this a Persian name? I have forwarded your email to Kelly, she will be able to help you out. Looking forward to hearing from you.
  • Another Rebecca says:

    While doing self portrait drawings in an art class we were learning about facial proportions and shapes of facial features. My art teacher pointed out in class that student XYZ always looks like he is smiling because the corners of his mouth naturally turn up, while if you'll look at Rebecca's mouth, it looks like she is frowning because the corners of her mouth naturally turn down. That statement and realization has haunted me ever since and I was very interested in this article as there may be hope to correct my infinite frown, which has never been a true reflection of my feelings or mood.
  • Cristina McGill says:

    I would like to do the corner lip lift, I don't live in Baltimore but will trave there to do it, can you tell me more or lest the price of this procedure. Thanks in advance, and please let me know what are the times available to see the doctor perhaps next week, and can I see the dr and have the procedure the same day? Thanks Cristina
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Cristina: Sorry for the delay, I have been in a medical mission trip to Armenia and just got back. We do get lots of out of town patients. Some see me the day before, some the day of surgery. We'd love to chat with you, contact Kelly at and she will give you details about pricing, travel, etc. Ideally, we could Skype or FaceTime (if you have iPhone or Mac) to get a better idea of your goals. Looking forward to hearing from you!
  • Laura says:

    Hi, I am happy with the shape of my lips but would like to shorten the distance between the nose and top lip, would this procedure work well for that? Would it change th shape of the lip dramatically?
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Hello Laura! Sorry I did not get to this before, I was in a medical mission trip to Armenia and just got back. This procedure achieves precisely what you are looking for. I would look at my previous posts on this one on technique, and others that you can find here Contact Kelly at and she'll be more than glad to send you info and set up a Skype session if you are interested.
  • Rebecca says:

    Thank u so much for replying! I honestly can't wait to get them done. Ill be seeing you soon i guess :)
  • Rebecca says:

    i'm really interested in getting the corner lip lift done along with the upper lip lift Dr Rodriguez. Can you tell me if either of them leave any obvious scarring? Will anyone be able to tell i had these surgeries done? Thank you R.
    • Dr. Ricardo L Rodriguez says:

      Rebecca: The scarring under the nose for the main lip lift is almost invisible and on some patients you literally have to get up inches away from the face and stretch the skin to see the scar. On practically every single patient that comes for a 4 month post op visit, if I have not seen the chart I cannot tell I did a lip lift unless I look at the pre op photos. The corner lift is a subtle scar because it is at the corner of the lip. A trained eye can see it but I doubt anybody else will. I am doing the corner lift more and more, but it is definitely less common than the conventional lip lift. The short answer to your question is that people close to you will know you look different but will not be able to pinpoint what it is. Call Kelly! She'll be happy to help you at