Why Didn’t My Lip Reduction Make Much Of A Difference?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am currently interested in Lip Reduction. Based on my research, it appears that you have extensive knowledge in this procedure, so I just wanted to ask for your opinion so that I’m better informed. 

I had a Lip Reduction procedure done almost 6 months ago and noticed almost no difference, except at the far left/right sides. I believe this may be because my doctor only removed tissue from the wet mucosa region. In fact, when I look at the scar in my lower lip, there is wet tissue on both side of the scar. From what I’ve read in your blogs it appears that the correct approach to Lip Reduction is to remove some amount of dry and wet vermillion? Or is the correct approach only to remove dry vermillion up to the wet/dry border? Why do you think so many doctors incorrectly remove tissue in the wet mucosa region only? Thanks for your opinion, I appreciate it! For reference I’ve attach a before and after photo.

A: I can not speak for what other surgeons do or what your surgeon may have done in regards to the approach to lip reduction surgery. But I have learned that effective lip reductions come from removing the more exposed dry vermilion, which is more effective at rolling back the exposed vermilion height. (which is how lip size is perceived) The wet mucosa is very mobile and will have little effect on reducing the exposed dry vermilion. I suspect that placing the scar line in a potentially more visible location is a more risky proposition to some surgeons.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana