Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in lip reduction surgery. However at rest my lips are parted and my mouth is open slightly. I’ve read this is normal but also have read that it may be minor lip incompetence. Would a lip reduction be contraindicated in this situation until I have the incompetence addressed? I’m worried about having my mouth look even more wide open and apart with a thinner upper lip and having to strain more to keep my lips together and mouth closed. I am planning to have a sliding genioplasty at some point. Is it best to wait on the lip reduction surgery until after the sliding genioplasty?
A: The answer to your lip questions is very straightforward:
1) Lip reduction, particularly upper and lower lip reduction, will exacerbate a lip incompetence issue.
2) A sliding genioplasty should absolutely precede any consideration of lip surgery.
That being said your description of your ‘lip incompetence’ seems questionable that it may really exist to any significant degree. Usually significant lip incompetence is associated with some degree of mentalis strain with underlying lack of adequate chin projection. But it would still be advised to have the chin procedure first before any lip surgery is done.
Dr. Barry Eppley