Macrocheilia (large lips) can be due to ethnic variation, a result of dento-facial deformities rather than from enlargement of the lips themselves, or secondary to other medical causes including lower lip ptosis due to orbicularis oris muscle dysfunction.
- avg. recovery
About the Procedure
A lip reduction procedure involves removing an ellipse of tissue with closure of the defect to change the posture of the lip. The anterior aspect of the incision is kept at or close to the wet/dry line so the scar will not be visible. If this anterior incision is too far posterior there can be inadequate "rolling back" of the lips. In cases of extreme vermilion hypertrophy, the incision can be carried into the "dry" vermilion. The excised ellipse is larger in the center and tapers sharply toward the commissure. The width of the curved ellipse is equal with the amount of tissue to be removed. Every attempt is made to not disrupt the orbicularis oris muscle so as not to affect its function. This procedure can also be performed as a subtotal lip reduction to treat asymmetric lip enlargement or the "double lip" deformity where excess tissue is bilateral but not in the midline.
Lip reduction removes some of the volume of a person's lips in order to achieve facial harmony.
What to Expect
A lip reduction is a surgical procedure that can reduce the size of the lips for better facial balance as well as improve lip ptosis. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a lip reduction.
- Stop taking blood thinning medications 2 weeks before surgery
- Stop smoking 4 weeks before and after
- No alcohol 2 days prior
- Do not eat or drink anything 6 hours before
- Local anesthesia
- An ellipse of tissue that is larger in the center and tapers sharply toward the commissures is removed to reduce size and correct posture
- Incision is kept at or close to the wet/dry line so the scar will not be visible
The recovery process can last from 1 to 3 weeks depending on swelling. It is best to refrain from excessive animation of the lips, and to use care while brushing the teeth. Preoperative antibiotics as well as postoperative antibiotics in addition to analgesics may be prescribed. Sensation of the lip may be temporarily affected, as will normal function.
The ideal candidate for a lip reduction is seeking to reduce the size of the lips to achieve better facial proportion.
Not Recommended For
Surgical lip reduction is not recommended for patients with intralabial space larger than 3mm, candidates that cannot retract their lower lip or those with lip incompetence and drooling from poor muscle tone.
Side effects from lip reduction may include bleeding, pain, scarring and swelling that may take 1-3 weeks to resolve, or under or over resection.