Lip Reduction

What is lip reduction surgery?

While many people seek to increase the size of their lips via lip enhancement procedures such as lip fillers, lip lifting, or lip augmentation via fat transfer, some individuals seek the opposite: a lip reduction. Often due to genetic or ethnic factors, or sometimes even a ‘botched’ lip augmentation by an unskilled provider, an individual may feel that one or both of their lips are too large and out of proportion with their other facial features. In such cases, a lip reduction is the ideal solution.

The artistry of lip reduction surgery.

The key to success of lip reduction surgery — and almost any plastic surgery for that matter — is a plastic surgeon who possesses not only the training and technical ability to perform the procedure but one with a keen artistic eye and appreciation of how the lips ‘sit’ amongst other facial features. As the lips are reduced will they still enhance the chin, the cheeks, and the nose? These are all critical features to think about when considering lip reduction.

Are you an ideal candidate for lip reduction?

If you are of relatively good health and you feel that one or both of your lips needs reducing you will probably be a good candidate for lip reduction. Typically, individuals who seek this procedure have…

  • Disproportionate or overly-protruding lower or upper lips, or both.
  • Naturally thick or protruding lips due to ethnic or genetic background.
  • Congenitally deformed lips (e.g. cleft lip or palate).
  • Lip injury due to accident or illness.
  • Previously botched lip augmentation procedure that has caused the lips to appear too full or overly “puffy” and in need of correction.

How is lip reduction surgery performed?

Lip reduction surgery as a stand-alone procedure is typically performed under a local plus general anesthetic over the course of 60 minutes. However, lip reduction can also be performed within a cluster of plastic surgeries in the perioral area (around the mouth), and lower half of the face. For example, lip reduction surgery may complement an upper lip lift, overall perioral rejuvenation, chin reduction surgery, or even a rhinoplasty.

During the actual procedure a small strip of skin is cut out horizontally across the inside of the lip — just beyond the “wet line” of the lip — the invisible “line” where your lips start to feel wet on the boundary between the inside and outside of the mouth. The outside of the lip is then turned inwards to the inside of the mouth and the incision is then sutured closed. The procedure may be performed on both the upper and lower lips in the same session.

How long is the recover period for lip reduction?

Typically, the lips recover quite quickly. Initially after surgery your lips may feel swollen and sensitive. You may feel some moderate pain or discomfort, but nothing that cannot be treated with over-the-counter pain killers. You may also have some moderate bruising but this should subside within 5-10 days.

You will need to eat soft foods for about a week and avoid any overly acidic foods such as oranges or tomatoes which may cause irritation to the wound. You will be instructed to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash several times a day to ensure the surgical area is kept clean.

Your stitches will remain in place for 7-10 days after which they will dissolve on their own.