Are My Lip Reduction Goals Realistic?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I was hoping you could tell me whether or not my lip reduction goals are realistic. Would it be possible to remove enough tissue from both lips that they would “fit inside” the template shown in the attached photo rather than go outside the lines? If this can be achieved, would it be done by removing tissue from the dry vermillion where it meets the skin or the wet vermillion where the scar is hidden inside the mouth?

Thanks in advance

A: As a general rule in my experience you can effectively reduce the size of the central upper and lower lips by about 1/3.The tissue removal has to be at the wet-dry vermilion junction with the linear removal of tissue being the dry vermilion. This rolls back the exposed dry vermilion. You don’t take wet mucosa as that tissue is very stretchable and it will accomplish to little to no actual reduction as the wet mucosa then just gets pulled up into the wet-dry line closure. You also never try to do a lip reduction by removing dry vermilion at the vermilion-cutaneous line as the skin is fixed and will not make the lip pull in or get smaller.

The imaged results you have shown are within the range of what one cold probably expect. In short, it is not an unrealistic goal.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana