Lip Reduction

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in lip reduction surgery. My goal is to reduce to size of my lips by about 30% or a bit more. As you can see from the photos, my lower lip hangs and my upper lip goes out far. I would very much like a more even reduced lip look.

A: Thank you for sending your lip pictures. The typical reduction amount achieved in most lip reductions is in the 20% to 25% range. Sometimes it may be as much as 30% to 35%. But it is always best to think of lip reduction surgery as possibly consisting of two stages to get the ideal lip size reduction result or the best scar outcome. This is more true in very large lip reductions that I have done in many African Americans. The goal is to achieve the maximal lip reduction in one surgery but there are limits as to how much lip tissue can be removed and get the wounds closed in a single surgical event. Thus it may be necessary to ‘walk’ the lip edge backwards through two operations. One should separate the two lip reduction surgeries, if needed, by at least 3 months.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana