Can The Philtrum Of The Upper Lip Be Reduced In Thickness?

Q: I am a 25 y.o male with a substantial overbite that has remained after a long orthondontic treatment at a too late of an age and a recessed chin, altogether creating that “neanderthal” ethnic look to my bottom face.

Rather than living with it or going through a massive jaw surgery, I was wondering since a significant part of the protrusion is actually caused by a fat philtrum – wether there is a procedure that can reduce the philtrum thickness (with an internal stitch in the upper mouth). From  a short online enquiry I am starting to think it isn’t possible, and even if that is the case – would still like to know why – is it because it has muscles and not only fat?

I would also like to know why are lip reductions usually very subtle (only about 10%?), and whether there is a vertical reduction in the circumfrance of the lips (I have enough excess lips to go around two mouths…)?

Thanks for your time.

A: Philtral upper lip reductions are not possible because the lip is largely muscle and would cause a lot of lip dysfunction. PLus whatever little bit of thinning could be obtained is not enough to make a visible difference to compensate for maxillary protrusion.

I can explain to you why your perception of lip reduction results is only ‘about 10%’. That has not been my experience where it is more typically a 20% to 30% improvement in my lip reduction surgery efforts. Perhaps, some surgeons are understandably more conservative since you can always take more but you can”t put any back.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana