Lip Reduction


Although it is common for people to undergo lip enlargement, a small percentage of patients desire lip reduction.

Lip Reduction is a procedure that generates some controversy. I find that many patients are self-consious about the condition but are reluctant to discuss it with their friends because of fears about being judged. Therefore, many come in secrecy without telling friends and family. They know what their friends will say and they do not want to be told they are crazy or need counseling.

Lip reduction can be performed utilizing surgical rearrangement of lip tissues.

An important part of this examination is the evaluation of the underlying dental structures. The jaw bones and teeth can have a dramatic influence on the shape of the lips. If, for example, the upper teeth have a prominent overbite this can cause the upper lip to appear large. Reduction of the upper lip would cause the upper teeth to appear large and may cause some strain or difficulty in closing the mouth at rest. A similar condition can be caused by prominence of the lower teeth. In this instance, jaw surgery may also be considered.

Surgical reduction of the lip is more achieved by utilizing incisions are placed on the inside of the lip (the moist red part) which is not ordinarily visible and completely hidden. The red part of the lip is then rolled to the inside of the mouth to make the lips appear smaller. This can be achieved with upper and/or lower lips.

In other conditions, patients may complain of an excessively long upper lip this can be reduced using an incision placed at the base of the nose thereby reducing and shortening the upper lip.

During the consultation we may determine that other procedures are better suited for your optimal outcome.

The procedure of choice is a complex decision process determined based on your desires, anatomy, practicality, and wound healing. This is usually determined at the time of the initial consultation but may need to be adjusted intra-operatively.

Surgery is about 1-2 hours and is performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure can be done in several different places (hospital, office surgical suite, or surgicenter) and the prices vary accordingly.
 Of course, there are risks to any surgical procedure. These risks can occur regardless of surgeon or technique. These include but are not limited to: infection, hematoma, discomfort, wound breakdown, hypertrophic scar formation, asymmetry, unfavorable healing, numbness, pain, adverse reaction to medications/injectables/implants, palpability, visibility, distortion with muscular contraction, need for secondary surgical revisions, and inability to guarantee a specific cosmetic result.

I hope this helps.

Article by
Chicago Plastic Surgeon