Lip Reduction Surgery

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 - Everything You Need to Know

The Skinny

Lip Reduction Surgery
avg. recovery
2 weeks
Is permanent
$1000 - $8000

About the Procedure

Last Updated: 09.18.2021

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.


Lip Reduction Surgery addresses concerns such as:

Recovery Notes

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.

Ideal Candidate

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

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.


  • scarring
  • possible asymmetry


  • Scarring
  • Invasive

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