Will Lip Reduction Change My Smile?

Q: Dr. Eppley, Do you take out the inner or outer layer of the lip? How noticeable is it after the procedure? Will people know I had surgery done? Will my lips look bigger then before the procedure for a few weeks? Can lip reduction change the look of my smile? Will I show more teeth when I smile? I’m concerned that when I have a big smile it will show too much of my gums at the top of my teeth. I would like to keep my smile the same. Is this possible?

A: You are asking a lot of good questions about lip reduction. The success of any lip reduction procedure is based on removal of the vermilion portion of the lip, what you probably mean when you say the ‘outer layer’. One incision is made at the wet-dry junction (mucosa-vermilion border of the lip) and the actual reduction comes from what is removed in front of it. (dry vermilion) One should expect fairly significant swelling to appear within the first two days after surgery and not look more normal again for up to ten days after surgery. As long as a lip reduction is not overdone (too much tissue removed), it should not adversely affect one’s smile. Certainly it is not at risk for causing too much gum exposure when smiling.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana