Lip Reduction Surgery

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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.

Lip Reduction Surgery Overview - 714

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The Skinny


Average Recovery

2 weeks

Permanence

Permanent

Application

Injected

Surgical

Yes

Cost

$1000 - $8000

The Specifics


What is a lip reduction?

A lip reduction is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to reduce the overall size and volume of the upper and/or lower lip. A lip reduction procedure can address macrocheilia (naturally large lips) caused by genetics, dento-facial deformities, asymmetric lip enlargement, or medical causes such as lower lip ptosis. Lower lip ptosis is protruding of the lower lip secondary to orbicularis oris muscle dysfunction.

Anatomy of the Lip

Female lip anatomy infographic

In a lip reduction procedure, the plastic surgeon removes a strip of tissue and closes the lip with an incision designed to be hidden within the ‘wet/dry’ line of the lip.

What cosmetic concerns does a lip reduction procedure treat?

  1. Lip Size: A lip reduction procedure can reduce lip size and lip volume of both the upper lip and lower lip to achieve improved function, aesthetic, and facial symmetry.
  2. Lip Ptosis: By removing soft tissue and reducing lip volume, a ptotic lip can be repositioned into a more aesthetically and functionally appropriate position.

Who is the ideal candidate for a lip reduction procedure?

Ideal candidates for a lip reduction procedure are those in good health seeking to reduce the appearance of overly large lips, achieve better facial feature proportions, or correct a mild functional lip deformity. Lip reductions are not recommended for those with infections in and around the mouth, smokers unwilling to quit around the time of the procedure, and those with certain chronic conditions. Lip reductions are also not performed in those with an interlabial space greater than three millimeters, and those with poor muscle tone or drooling.

What is the average recovery associated with a lip reduction procedure?

Most lip reduction patients resume normal activities within one week. Modifications to a soft diet and strenuous activities are recommended for two weeks. Patients should limit excessive movement of their upper lip and lower lip. Most swelling and bruising will resolve within three weeks.

What are the potential side effects of a lip reduction procedure?

Possible side effects from a lip reduction procedure include, bleeding, swelling, loss of sensation, scarring, and disturbances to muscular function.

What can someone expect from the results of a lip reduction procedure?

A lip reduction will provide immediate and permanent results. Swelling and wound healing will resolve over two to three weeks.

What is the average cost of a lip reduction procedure?

A one time, permanent surgical procedure, a lip reduction cost can range anywhere from $1,000 to $8,000. The actual cost of the procedure is dependent upon location, surgeon, and length and involvement of the surgery. Remember this is a cosmetic surgery (not a reconstructive surgery), so it will not be covered by insurance.

thumbs-upPros

  • Permanent

thumbs-downCons

  • Scarring
  • Possible Asymmetry

Invasiveness Score

mildmoderatesevere
1
2
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5
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10

Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

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.

The Takeaway


A lip reduction is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to permanently reduce the volume and size of the upper lip and/or lower lip.

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Source List

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AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Johnston, MC, Millicovsky G. “Normal and Abnormal Development of the Lip and Palate.” Clin Plast Surg. 1985 Oct;12(4):521-32.; 1985-10-01
  2. Maloney, BP. “Cosmetic Surgery of the Lips.” Facial Plast Surg, vol. 12, no. 3, 1996, pp. 265–278.
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