Lip reduction is a surgical procedure that can be performed on both the upper and lower lip to reduce their size, maintain their balance with the other facial features and make them aesthetically pleasing. In general, lip reduction has two major areas of treatment:
The ideal candidate for lip reduction is a person that:
On the other hand, some people are not good candidates for lip augmentation:
Lip reduction can be performed under general or local anesthesia. The surgeon makes a horizontal incision on the inside of the lip. Through the incision, the surgeon proceeds to remove any excess fat and tissue that provides fullness to the lips. Once the desired amount of fat and tissue is removed, the incision is closed with stitches.
The anesthesia numbs the lip and reduces the pain to a very minimal level. The procedure itself takes between 30 minutes to two hours. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision.
The surgeon has to proportionally reduce the lip in such a way that the lip is both functional and aesthetic. Another component of lip reduction surgery is making sure that the nerve and blood supply are protected during the reduction process.
The cost of having lip reduction surgery can be anywhere from $500-$4000. The final price depends on whether both lips are treated or just the upper or lower lip. The cost also includes fees charged by the surgeon and any facility fees.
Overall, the recovery and downtime for lip reduction surgery is relatively small. Following the surgery, patients should apply ice bags to minimize the swelling. Some pain medication might be necessary to dull any discomfort. For the first few hours after the procedure, patients will not be able to close their mouth because the pain block makes it hard to do so.
Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incision so there is no need for a follow-up appointment to remove them.
Patients will need to sleep with their head elevated for the first few days after surgery. They can usually go back to work within 7 days of the surgery.
The results are often visible right away in the upper lip. The bottom lip may not be visible right away because the lip hangs out due to the pain block. In some cases, the bottom lip can be swollen for a few days up to a month.
It takes 7-14 days for the stitches to begin to dissolve. Patients should not trim any of the stitches as they will fall out on their own. The overall numbness can last anywhere from one to three months because the skin nerves will be irritated.
Any scarring typically heals very effectively. A minority of patients need an injection of a non-steroid based scar dissolver to help reduce the scar tissue.
Overall, it takes about 2-3 months for patients to see the final results. Lip reduction results are permanent. However, patients who feel that their lips are too thin after surgery can have lip augmentation to add some volume back into the lips.
There are some limitations when it comes to lip reduction including:
Some common risks involved in lip reduction surgery include:
A patient can have lip reduction surgery whether they are unhappy with their natural lip appearance or they need a correction from a previous surgery. It is important for the patient to consult with a doctor experienced in performing lip reduction surgery. A skilled and experienced doctor is better prepared to make sure the lip is not reduced too much which can result in an unnatural look.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team- MA
Based on an exclusive interview by Sam Lam, MD in Plano, TX