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Difference Between Types of Lip Lift Surgery?

What's the difference between an Italian lip lift and a Bullhorn lip lift? What are the pros and cons of each type of lip lift procedure?

Thank You!!

Doctor Answers (4)

A brief review of lip lift options


Italian Lip Lift: Two separate incisions beneath each nostril. Skin is removed and the right and then the left lip are each separately lifted by closing the wound and reducing the distance bewteen the lip and nose.

Bull-Horn (subnasal) Lip lift: A single bull horn shaped excision of skin immediately beneath both nostrils shaped like a mini moustache. Closing the wound lifts the right, central, and left portions of the upper lip

Gull-wing (direct) lip lift: A single gull wing shaped removal of skin directly above the red portion of the lip where a woman typically applies lipstick liner.

None of the above 3 lift the corners of the mouth and can actually make them appear to turn downwards even more. Therefore, the above are frequently combined with a corner lift.

Corner lip lift: a triangular or heart shaped excision of skin directly above and to the outside of the "corners" of the mouth to lift and prevent a downturning or frowning appearance.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Lip lift and lip reduction surgery in Los Angeles


A lip lift and/or lip reduction surgery has many variants. The type of lip lift performed depends on the amount of scar risk and the amount of central lip pull required. 

Raffy Karamanoukian MD FACS

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Italian vs. Bullhorn Lip Lift


Thank you for the great question. The Italian lip lift is not a commonly performed procedure, but the general idea is that this technique avoids cutting under the columella (the part of the nose that divides the nostrils). The bullhorn technique is similar but includes the central portion. In my opinion, it is easier to get a natural-appearing curvature of the upper lip with this option.

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

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Italian Lip Lift versus Bullhorn lip lift


I had not done an italian lip lift, so I looked up the article.

  It looks like a long run for a short slide, as they say in baseball. To avoid cutting under the columella (the small vertical column between the nostrils), the incisions are extended along the side of the columella, then the columella is elevated. This is what allows the central part of the lip to be excised.   Aside from wether the scar is noticeable or not, the real problem is it makes the whole angle between the lip and the columella look kind of funny, especially when viewed from the side.   I like trying new things, but that one is one I'll pass on.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.