Lip Reduction (Cheiloplasty)
Written by Dr. Julian De Silva
Large lips can be a consequence of ethnic lips or a surgically overinflated lip or an unbalanced lip that does not match a person’s face. People who are endowed with excessively generous lip size can benefit from a lip reduction procedure.
The lips are the most prominent feature of the lower third of the face, they are important in conveying emotion and attractiveness. A normal lip profile, the lips should be slightly parted and the lower lip should lie only just behind the upper lip, with excessive protrusion the lower lip looks disproportionally large. The upper lip ideally covers two-thirds of the incisors, there are variations based on ethnicity and gender.
From the side profile, the nose, chin, and lips are in aesthetic proportion. In a face with a normal nose-chin-lip proportion, with a vertical line drawn through the upper lip , the lower lip passing several mm behind this line and the chin lies further behind the the lower lip. In men the chin is a characteristic feature of sexual dimorphism and a relatively strong chin is an attractive feature.
With lip reduction surgery, the incision is placed inside the mouth and is invisible after surgery. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia with or without sedation, takes approximately 60 minutes to complete and about 2-weeks to heal. After surgery the lips initially appear larger because of swelling and this resolves over a period of weeks.
There is a degree of art in the technique to reduce an oversized lip, as the size, shape and contour require both technical and artistic surgery to give a natural looking result.
Lip Reduction FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why do people have lip reduction?
The most common reason patients request lip reduction is that they are born with naturally large or asymmetrical lips, this has often been a source of teasing and unhappiness for many years. The second common indication is an excess of lip volume that has resulted from excessive lip augmentation with permanent fillers.
Will I see the scars after Lip Reduction?
The techniques Dr. De Silva utilities hides the scars on the inner aspect of the lip so are invisible after surgery.
I have an uneven lips can they be smoothed out?
With lip reduction, the surgery is tailored to the specific needs of the patient. All of us have a degree of asymmetry, in the lips this can be improved within reason.
What is the recovery like after Lip Reduction?
The lips are swollen for several days during which time soft foods are recommended, most of the swelling settles over the first few days to a week. Generally 2-5 days off work is recommended.
Can I kiss after Lip Reduction?
To give the lips time for healing, we recommend to our patient’s do not kiss for 2-weeks after surgery.
Can the surgery be done under local anesthesia?
Lip reduction can be completed under local anesthesia with or without sedation. Local anesthesia is usually preferred as patient’s have a rapid recovery after surgery and go home soon after.
How much do my lips need to be reduced?
Lip reduction is a procedure that reduces the size of the lips, which can be the upper, lower or both lips. There are some considerations with lip surgery:
- Lip surgery is as much about art and aesthetics in addition to surgical technique. There are no absolute measurements of the lips, the lips should be in balance with a person’s facial characteristics including their nose, chin and jaw line.
- Ethnicity is an important fact to consider so that any reduction is in balance with a person’s ethnicity and facial features.
- Concealing scars with lip surgery so that they are hidden after surgery.
The risks of lip surgery include a period of healing when the lips are enlarged secondary to swelling, usually this is only a few weeks and medications can be used to speed up resolution of swelling. Dr. De Silva performs lip reduction and revision of lip reductions surgery as this is an artistic surgery in that the lips need to be reduced in balance with the other facial characteristics.
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Trust your Face to an Expert
Centre for Advanced Facial Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery
Dr. Julian De Silva MBBS MD FACO FACS BSc PGc DIC
23 Harley Street, London W1G 9QN, UK
Phone: 020 8748 2860