What is Lip Reduction?
Benefits of Lip Reduction
Lip reduction is a serious surgical procedure that should only be performed by board-certified plastic surgeons. Some of the benefits of reduction cheiloplasty include:
- Removes excess tissue (or substances) that cause lip deformity
- Enhances facial harmony by balancing the upper and lower lips
- Typically requires only a local anesthesia agent
- Is an outpatient procedure that is commonly performed in less than an hour
- Only one treatment is necessary for most patients to achieve permanent results
- Very little downtime after the procedure
- No visible scarring
Ideal Candidates for Lip Reduction
This procedure may be suitable for anyone who desires to reduce the size of their lips to help balance their facial proportions and enhance their self-perception. However, like any surgery, it is not suitable for all people. The ideal candidate for this type of cosmetic surgery:
- Is a nonsmoker
- Has good health
- Does not suffer from mental illness
- Has stable body weight
- Has realistic expectations about what to expect from the procedure
Who Should Avoid This Procedure?
Lip reduction is contraindicated for:
- Candidates with more than 3 mm intralabial space
- Candidates who are not able to retract their lower lips
- Candidates who drool because of poor facial muscle tone
If you are considering having this lip enhancement procedure, during the initial consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon the doctor will be able to determine if you are a good candidate or not.
- Your surgical goals
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use
- Previous surgeries
Your Lip Reduction surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Take photographs
- Discuss your liposuction options
- Recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of liposuction and any risks or potential complications
The consultation is the time to ask your surgeon questions.
It’s very important to understand all aspects of your lip reduction procedure. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your cosmetic surgeon.
The first step is to consult with your surgeon. Talk about your goals, the options, the risks and benefits, and the costs. Ask all your questions.
If you decide to go ahead with this, your surgeon will give you instructions on how to prepare for it. These may include diet and alcohol restrictions.
Tell your surgeon about any allergies you have and any medications you take, including over-the-counter and herbal supplements. She/he will likely recommend you stop taking certain meds, such as blood thinners and certain painkillers several weeks before surgery.
Risks and Safety
However, there are possibilities for adverse side effects including:
- Post-surgery infection
- Persistent pain
- Acute inflammation
- Persistent bleeding
Contact the doctor immediately if you begin to develop any serious side effects after your lip reduction surgery.
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
A lip reduction may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, licensed ambulatory surgical center or a hospital.
If your lip reduction is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
- Horizontal incisions are made on the inside of the lip(s) being treated
- Unwanted fat tissue (or augmentation filler) is removed
- Incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches
Some patients have other procedures (chin implant, eyelid surgery, lip lift, etc.) at the same time as a lip reduction. General anesthesia may be necessary for those having multiple procedures performed.
- You should have a friend ready to drive you home after your reduction cheiloplasty. You will likely still be feeling some effects of the anesthesia for a few hours.
- Most patients heal from lip reduction in 1-3 weeks. There is very little downtime expected. Most people can report back to work the day after the procedure.
- Most people experience mild pain and swelling which peaks within 3-4 days after the surgery. The doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, or analgesic medication to help you experience less swelling, infection, or pain.
- Lip sensation or function may be temporarily affected by this cosmetic facial surgery. It produces permanent results with only a single treatment in most cases. Rarely, an individual needs subsequent surgeries to achieve optimal results.
- You’ll need to stay well-hydrated and keep a natural lip moisturizer on hand while healing. The dissolvable sutures will degrade completely within 7-15 days.
- You should avoid contact sports, heavy lifting, or other strenuous physical activities for a minimum of 2 weeks after the surgery.
Lip reduction results are permanent, but if you find that your lips are too thin after your surgery, lip augmentation may be performed to correct this outcome. It usually takes about 3 to 4 weeks for the incision to heal. The incision will leave a pink or red scar. You can expect the scar to feel hard and tight at first. The scar should fade and become softer and flatter in the months and years after surgery.