Lip Reduction

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons data, requests for lip enhancements increased 50 percent between 2000 and 2016. But that doesn’t changed the fact that some people are self-conscious about their lips being too large. Other people have large lips that cause them to accidentally bite their lower lip quite often. A lip reduction is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the patient’s lips. This procedure can be performed on both lips or only on the lip that is causing the imbalance (usually the lower lip).

How does a lip reduction work?

In order to prevent scarring, during the operation a horizontal incision is created along the “dry-wet border” of your lip or lips on an area called the vermillion. The excess fat and tissue are removed and then the incision is closed with dissolvable stitches to create a new lip line. This procedure can be done for either the upper or lower lip or both in order to achieve the desired result. The result is a smaller or thinner pout.

How long does the lip reduction procedure take?

The surgery will take anywhere from one to two hours. You are prepped for surgery first and then local anesthesia is applied. The actual procedure will take between about thirty minutes per lip.

How long do the lip reduction results last?

The results from this procedure are permanent.

Does the lip reduction procedure leave scars?

The scar after surgery will be on the inside of your mouth and will not be visible once fully healed. For the first several weeks after surgery the scar may feel thick and will show normal signs of healing. Once it is fully healed it is almost invisible.

Is lip reduction painful?

This procedure is performed under local anesthesia. There is no sedation required but you can request general anesthesia if you prefer to be unconscious during the operation. During the procedure you will not feel any pain but there may be some pain and swelling during the recovery process.

What is the downtime after a lip reduction?

Patients can usually return to work within a week or two after surgery.

When will I see results from a lip reduction?

The best results will be seen two to three months after the surgery has been completed. The average recovery is seven to ten days. The suture line may look irregular at first but eventually the results will settle in and continue to improve for up to twelve weeks following the procedure.

What should I expect after a lip reduction surgery?

Thirty days before and after a lip reduction the patient may not smoke cigarettes, cigars or anything similar to this. This will dramatically increase your risk of infection. 

After surgery, you should expect to go home and relax. You will experience some swelling; the swelling will go down some within a few days post-surgery, but it may take a few weeks for all of the swelling to completely disappear. In some cases there may also be some external bruising and redness in the treatment area.

You will be given instructions regarding at home care for the lip and recommendations for eating and maintaining oral hygiene during recovery. You will may need to take prescribed or over the counter pain medication and apply cold packs to the lips to limit pain and swelling. Lying flat will cause swelling, so the patient should sleep in an elevated position for the first two weeks using a few pillows under the upper back and head.

You can return to work a week after surgery but you should still avoid any type of strenuous contact sport for several weeks following your procedure.

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