• What is Lip Reduction?

    A lip reduction decreases the size of, and reshapes, excessively large lips to create a more attractive and proportionate lip structure. Many lip reduction candidates have oversized lips that interfere with speech patterns and functionality, causing embarrassment and self-consciousness. It can be applied to one or both lips, depending on the individual’s desires.

  • Candidates for Lip Reduction

    First and foremost, an individual must be in good health, not have any active diseases or pre-existing medical conditions and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of their surgery. Communication is crucial in reaching one’s goals. You must be able to voice your desires to your surgeon if he/she is to understand what your desired results are. Discuss you goals with your surgeon so that you may reach an understanding with what can realistically be achieved.You must be mentally and emotionally stable to undergo any cosmetic procedure. No surgeon would agree to work on a mentally unstable person. At least he should not. Surgery is not getting a cavity filled. This is an operation which requires patience and stability in dealing with the healing period. There is sometimes a lull or depression after surgery and if there is already a pre-existing emotional problem, this low period can develop into a more serious issue. Please consider this before committing to a procedure.

    If you find that your lips are too large and may interfere in speaking or don’t like them in general, you may wish to consider this procedure. It is not a rather invasive procedure but it will cause discomfort and swelling and you will have to take it easy for a proper result so consider all of the above before deciding if this may be a viable option.

  • Your Consultation

    You should be given a pre-operative information packet that explains everything you should do and know before your surgery date. The packet should include a list of all the medications you should not take starting usually at 2 weeks before your surgery. These medications will include, but are not limited to, aspirin containing products, stimulants, serotonin supplements, etc. It is quite possible that you will have preliminary blood work performed. This is normally an extra out-of-pocket expense that the patient must participate in to check your white and red blood cell count (complete blood count, CBC) which ultimately alerts your surgeon to disease or disorders beforehand. Some surgeons ask that you have physical.

    Pre-operative and post-operative photos will be taken of every patient who wishes to undergo this procedure.

  • The Lip Reduction Procedure

    Lip reduction is performed by making an incision in the length of your lip inside your mouth and then removing a strip of skin from one or both lips, depending upon the look you want to achieve. Your Surgeon will aim to enhance the mouth and lips area to complement your facial features, giving you a softened, natural mouth.

  • Risk

    Some people experience numbness of the lips following the operation. While this usually wears off quickly, in some cases it is permanent. You may also have lip asymmetry or get some lumpy tissue or too much scar tissue, and may experience an allergic reaction, haematoma (excessive bleeding under the skin) or seroma (excess fluid-build-up). Believe it or not, because of the medication used there is also a slight risk you will lose eyebrows and eyelashes!

    Please be aware that you will not see the final results of this operation until around three months following the procedure. As your lips will experience some degree of swelling, from mild to extreme, do not assume they will stay that way! Patience is the key, and most people are happy with the final result. Keep in mind that the end result is usually permanent, unless you have more surgery.

    Fortunately, significant complications from lip reduction surgery are infrequent. Every year, many people undergo successful lip reduction surgery, experience no problems and are delighted with the results. Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of both the benefits and the risks. Your surgeon will discuss these with you during your consultation.

  • Recovery

    Swelling and bruising is to be expected for a few weeks at least. It’s good idea to refrain from contact sports for up to eight weeks, and you will need to sleep with your head elevated on two pillows for at least two weeks following surgery. If you experience any excess pain, discomfort, unusual-looking pus or anything else at all unusual following the operation, see your doctor or surgeon at once. Give yourself a week after the completion of your lip reduction surgery before returning to your normal routine. It’s also advisable to refrain from participating in contact sports for at least six to eight weeks.


    What does a typical Lip Reduction consultation entail?
    – You will consult with several surgeons to choose one to carry out your procedure. You should view before and after photos, discuss the surgery and what it entails, fully go over the risks and complications and ascertain that you and he/she are in agreement on what looks good. Or at least make sure he or she understands what it is YOU want post-operatively. You will also go over your medical history to determine if you are even a good candidate and after you have decided whether or not to choose which surgery you will schedule a pre-operative appointment with that surgeon to further discuss any particulars or desires.

    How is Lip Reduction performed?
    – After you have been sedated or anesthetized your surgeon will remove a sliver or larger section of tissue from the inside of your lip and suture it with either dissolvable or non-dissolvable type sutures. It is a fairly simple operation but does have its risks and complications.

    What should I expect post-operatively?
    – Definitively expect swelling. This operation does involve moderate to severe swelling and moderate soreness. You may feel numb for a while as well and find that drinking and eating may be difficult. This will pass. Discuss with your surgeons what post surgical protocol he recommends.

    When will the stitches be removed and does this hurt?
    – The sutures are usually removed at day 7-10 if they are non-dissolvable and it may sting a little bit. You can have a shot of anesthetic but it usually hurts more to receive the shot that to have the sutures removed. Just alert your surgeon if he is hurting you.

    When will I be able to see the results?
    – Although your swelling should abate within 2 weeks the final result may not be seen until approximately 3-4 months postoperatively. Patience is a definite virtue in plastic surgery.

    What are the risks of Lip Reduction?
    – Allergic reactions to the anesthetic are possible, hematoma, seroma, numbness, change in your smile and asymmetry are possible, not to mention the possibility of general dissatisfaction. Be sure to go over your desires with your surgeon preoperatively.

    Are the results permanent?
    – The results are permanent so be sure that this is what you want before committing. Although lip augmentation is in fact a far more common and popular procedure than lip reduction, if you should ever change your mind after your procedure you may be interested in lip augmentation.