Can A Lip Widening Surgery Be Done?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am looking to see if you can do a lip widening surgery technique. I have tried fillers and implants and nothing seems to work as my lips are just toooo small for my face. I look so disproportionate and really I am tired of it. I’m still single, and would really like the confidence to know that I have a beautiful smile.

A: Lip widening surgery, know as a lateral commissuroplasty, is done by opening up the corners of the mouth in a Y-V mucosal advancement procedure. The Y is in the incision pattern with the vertical aspect of the Y being the horizontal incision that determines how much the corners should be opened up. The V part of the Y are the incisions that then follow the natural  border of the vermilion-cutaneous junction of the upper and lower lips. Small triangles of skin are then removed and the vermilion and mucosal are brought out from inside the mouth to make the new corner of mouth opening. This does result in very fine line scars that end up along the vermilion-cutaneous junction of the upper and lower lips at the mouth corners. This lip widening surgery is done under local anesthesia as an office procedure in most cases. Usually the width of the mout can be opened 5 to 7mms per side without causing any lip distortions. There will be a period of time when the mouth corners will feel a little tight and stretching exercises can be done beginning three weeks after surgery when the incisions are well healed to hasten the softening process.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana