How Big Of A Lip Reduction Can I Get?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I had a lip reduction six months ago which, quite frankly, did very little. It may have resulted in a 10% reduction of my lip size. I am now considering further lip reduction surgery for better results but have a few questions.

1) I’m looking for very specific results so I need to be sure you are confident in your ability to perform a reduction of at least 1/2 of the size on each lip? I want results that are very significant and not subtle.

2) I would also like to reduce the bulkiness of each lip, in other words, less meaty.

3) In the technique you do will the scars be visible? What can I expect after everything is healed? Will there be any noticeable scars on the visible/dry part of my lips?

4) Will there be 2 scars, one from the prior surgery and one from this one, or can you remove the tissue from where the old scar is?

A:  In answer to your lip reduction questions:

1) Significant reduction can be obtained but there is a balance between reduction and the location of the scar. The only way to get significant lip reduction is to remove the DRY exposed vermilion not the wet invisible mucosa like you had the last time.

2) You really can reduce the thickness or meatiness of the lip per se. Right underneath the vermilion lies the labial artery which gives the blood supply to the lip as well as the orbicularis muscle which is responsible for some of its movement. Thus you can see that trying to debunk the lip by a deeper wedge excision is fraught with potential problems. All you can do is remove the surface vermilion to have less visible show but really thinning out the thickness of the lips is not surgically advised.

3) as per #1. The key point is…the bigger the reduction the more likely the scar may be visible.

4) The old scar would be removed with the new excision.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana