Lip Reduction

Conveniently located to serve Houston

Lip reduction surgery also known as reduction cheiloplasty involves reducing the size of the lips and projection of the lip, typically the lower lip. There are many reasons why someone would need or want to reduce the size of the lower lip, including cosmetic or aesthetic appearance, and to improve use of the lips. This procedure can also be beneficial for patients with medical conditions that affect oral function such as cleft lip which can cause problems eating, drooling and low-self confidence. This procedure can be combined with other facial surgery procedures such as rhinoplasty, brow lift, liplift and facelift.

According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons overly large lips can result from several different abnormalities:

  • Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome
  • Inflammatory infiltration
  • Hemangiomas or vascular malformations like Sturge-Weber Syndrome
  • Generalized thickening of all tissues
  • Infection
  • Trauma
  • Silicone injections

Who is a good candidate for lip reduction?

An ideal candidate for this lip enhancement procedure are patients who suffer from having an enlarged lip and feel self-conscious may struggle with communicating in public and suffer from a low self-esteem. Patients like this may benefit from a reduction cheiloplasty in their social life, and in day to day functionality. The ideal candidate must have realistic expectations, in overall good health and is a nonsmoker.

A common reason why a person may have a larger lower lip is vascular malformations. These malformations cause abnormal enlargement of the lower lip. Scarring may be present on the lip as well. Typically the lower lip should be only slightly larger than the upper lip. If the lower lip is too large, it can sometimes take away from other facial features, and it can cause the patient to feel self-conscious.

During your consultation visit, Dr. Payne will answer any questions or concerns you may have and discuss risks and benefits and come up with a unique plan that suits best for your realistic expectations.

What to expect with a lip reduction surgery:

Lip reduction procedure is a cosmetic surgery performed in an outpatient hospital setting. This plastic surgery is an outpatient procedure performed with local anesthesia and general anesthesia. Dr. Payne will delicately make small incisions for the lower lip reduction in the red portion of the lip called the vermilion which is hidden. Sometimes a vertical incision is necessary if the lip is quite large. This incision can extend to just above the chin area.

Will the scar be permanent?

Yes there will be some scarring but these types of scars heal really well and are easily hidden. Some techniques will hide the scar on the inside of the lip or on the mucosa. Some incisions are hidden on the vermillion border of the lip where the red portion of the lip is located such as with the “bikini lip reduction” technique. Other rejuvenation advancements in lip reduction surgery is to hide the scars under the nose for an upper lip lift and reduction. Occasionally the scar for the lower lip with be vertical in the middle of the lip and transversely from one corner of the mouth to the other along the vermillion border. In order to make one lip smaller and one larger, a technique involving a lip switch or Abbe flap procedure can be performed. This involves a two stage procedure where the first surgery is preformed to switch a portion of the lower lip to the upper lip, keeping the lips attached for about 3 weeks before a second surgery is performed to divide the lips.

Dr. Payne is not just a facial plastic surgeon, but also trained in craniofacial plastic and reconstructive surgery performing hundreds of lip surgeries over 15 years. The most challenging lip surgeries are for correction of cleft lip deformities in infants and revising poorly done cleft lip repairs in adolescents, teenagers and adults.

What does recovery look like?

Recovery after the surgery is typically about 2 weeks with pain resolving in about 4-5 days. If you are experiencing any pain we recommend for you to take over the counter pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil. Swelling could take up to 6-8 weeks to resolve completely. Risks involved include numbness and scarring. You should avoid strenuous activities, contact sports and heavy lifting for 2 weeks after your lip reduction surgery. It is very important for you to stay well hydrated and use a natural lip moisturizer while healing. If you have sutures this will be taken out during your follow-up post operative visit at our office. Dissolvable sutures should degrade in about 1-2 weeks after your surgery.

To find out more about lip reduction surgery please give us a call in our office to set up a consultation with Dr. Payne.

What are the benefits of a Lip Reduction?

Lip thinning also known as reduction cheiloplasty can have benefits such as:

  • Correcting asymmetry
  • Treats hypertrophic lips
  • Helps with lip deformities

What are the risks and complications of Lip Reduction?

Lip reduction surgery can have risks like any other procedure. The following complications and side effects are possible when considering to undergo a lip reduction surgery:

  • Bruising or hematoma
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Over-resection which means too much lip excess tissue is removed
  • Under-resection which means too little lip tissue is removed

Will I be able to eat after Lip Reduction surgical procedure?

Liquid and soft foods such as soup, pasta, and smaller pieces of food is recommended right after your surgery. We recommend avoiding too salty or spicy foods, and to avoid large bites of foods which would cause stretching of the lips right after surgery. After 1 week there are no eating restrictions.

Is Lip Reduction surgery permanent?

Lip reduction results are permanent. If you are interested in increasing your lip volume later after your procedure you can consider a lip augmentation surgery. If you have smaller lips you may also want to do a non-surgical option such as fillers which can be done in our office performed by our board-certified plastic surgeon.

When can I expect to reach my final results after lip reduction surgery?

Most postoperative swelling can last anywhere between 6-8 weeks. However some swelling can persist which usually subsides after 6 months which is when you will start achieving your final results.

When can I return to work after Lip Surgery?

While you may experience pain, discomfort and swelling after your lip surgery. It is suggested to take 2 or 3 days off of work if you are able to.

How much will a lip reduction cost?

Each individual is unique, so price depends on a person’s needs, and their unique lip shape. A lip reduction can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000. Give us a call so we can discuss your specific needs and address your concerns.

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