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 other facial features. In such cases, a lip reduction is an ideal solution.
The key to success of lip reduction surgery — and almost any plastic surgery — is a plastic surgeon who possesses not only the training and technical ability to perform the procedure but one who has a keen artistic eye and appreciation of how the lips ‘sit’ amongst other facial features. For example, when the lips are reduced will they still positively enhance the chin, the cheeks, and the nose?
Typically, individuals who seek this procedure have:
- Disproportionate or overly-protruding lower or upper lips
- Naturally thick or protruding lips due to ethnic or genetic factors
- Congenitally deformed lips (e.g. cleft lip or palate)
- Lip injury due to accident or illness
- Previously botched lip augmentation that may have caused the lips to appear too “puffy”
During the procedure, a small strip of skin is horizontally removed from across the inside of the lip — just beyond the “wet line” of the lip. The outside of the lip is then turned inwards towards the inside of the mouth and the incision is sutured closed. The procedure may be performed on both upper and lower lips in the same session, or within a cluster of plastic surgeries in the perioral area (around the mouth) and lower half of the face. The procedure may complement an upper lip lift, overall perioral rejuvenation, chin reduction surgery, or even a rhinoplasty.
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 it should be 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.