Can An Upper Lip Reduction Be Done With A Laser?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like to have an upper lip reduction, along with a reshaping of my upper lip. Are you able to perform this surgery? If so, do you use laser surgery for the  procedure?

A: I am a bit confused by the combination of an upper lip reduction and reshaping of the upper lip. What do you mean by reshaping and what are you trying to achieve? An upper lip reduction is performed on the inside of the lip at the wet-dry mucosal junction. A horizontal strip of dry vermilion is removed and the remaining dry vermilion is rolled inward, thus reducing the visible vermilion or size of the lip. While this reduces the size of the lip, I am not so sure that I would call it a reshaping. Lasers are never used for skin or mucosal surgery. While they have theoretical appeal because they seem like a better way to do surgery, they actually have worse outcomes, delayed healing and usually bad scars. Lasers essentially burn the tissues that they cut through which causes all the aforementioned problems. They are also associated with wound complications such as edge separation in the healing period because of the tissue burn at the wound edges. They actually cause a more longer healing period and are not used for any plastic surgery operation.

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana