Lip reduction surgery or Reduction Cleiloplasty is a type of cosmetic plastic surgery that helps to achieve a balanced relationship between your upper and lower lip.
You might have seen the hype about lip fillers and lip enhancements on Instagram a lot.
According to the data collected by the American Society of Platic Surgeons, requests for lip enhancements have increased 50% from 2000 to 2016.
However, there is a different lip trend popping up on social media. One that is designed to reduce the size of your lips.
Surprisingly, it is a trend that is most popular in Asian countries.
You might be thinking as this is an outpatient procedure, it is not a surgery, however, bear in mind that it is a surgical procedure.
Keep on reading to learn more about lip reduction procedures, benefits, and more in this guide.
Lip Reduction Surgery
Lip augmentation surgery is a cosmetic procedure that aims at making your lips look fuller.
However, lip reduction surgery aims at decreasing the volume of your lips.
While not as prevalent as lip augmentation, lip reduction surgery is useful if you want smaller lips, or if you do not care for the results from previous procedures.
Surgery is different from dermatological procedures and there are more risks associated with it.
These often include infection and scarring.
But lip reduction surgery is still considered safe overall when an experienced and board-certified provider performs it.
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Why do You need Lip Reduction Surgery?
Lip reduction surgery alters the posture of your lips by removing some of the excess tissue that makes up their volume.
The procedure involves removing an elliptical strip of the tissue.
However, there are certain modern variations like the Bikini Lip Reduction, in which your doctor will change the shape of the tissue.
This removes the tissue from the lips to rejuvenate the appearance of the mouth and your face.
In most cases, this surgery is an elective one and your doctor will perform it at your request.
However, this is not only for cosmetic reasons.
Some medical conditions like drolling, poor speech, labial incompetence, or other challenges like low self-esteem and social anxiety are some reasons you would want this procedure for.
The most common ones are Macrocheleila or excessively prominent lips, Fistulas or “pits” of the lower lip, and Double Lip.
Moreover, a neurological disorder, Melkersson-Rosenthal Syndrome may also need this procedure.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, ASPS, overly large lips can be due to:
Dentofacial deformities, generalized thickening of all tissues, lymphedematous infiltration, and inflammatory infiltration.
Moreover, it can also result from glandular hypertrophy, hemangiomas, infection, or trauma.
In most cases, this procedure can help to normalize or restore proper oral functions.
This is especially helpful if your lips do not seal adequately and thereby, cause drooling, poor speech, or other challenges.
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Benefits of Lip Reduction
Lip reduction is a surgical procedure that is performed only by a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Some of the benefits of this procedure are as follows:
It helps to remove excess tissue or substances that cause lip deformity, enhances facial harmony by balancing both your lips.
It typically requires a local anesthesia agent, is an outpatient procedure, in most cases, you would need only one treatment, a have little downtime and there is no visible scarring.
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Candidates for Lip Reduction
This procedure is suitable if you want to reduce the size of your lips to balance your facial proportions and enhance your self-preception.
However, like any other surgery, it is not suitable for everyone.
You are an ideal candidate for this procedure if you are a non-smoker, have good overall health, do not suffer from any mental illness, have stable body weight, and have realistic expectations.
Who Should Avoid This Procedure?
If you are with more than 3mm intralabial space, are not able to retract your lower lips, and drool because of poor facial muscle tone, then you should avoid this procedure.
Moreover, during the initial consultation, your dermatologist will be able to identify whether you are a good candidate for a lip reduction procedure or not.
Preparing for Lip Reduction Surgery
The most important step of preparing for lip reduction surgery is choosing a surgeon that you will work with.
It is important to make sure that you are working with a board-certified surgeon, consider their experience and training, and be mindful of how the doctor and staff make you feel.
If you are a good candidate and want to go ahead with the procedure, then your doctor will give you some pre-surgery instructions to make sure you are prepared.
This includes stopping smoking, discontinuing the use of anti-inflammatory or blood thinners, or other instructions depending on your unique situation.
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Procedure for Lip Reduction
This procedure involves removing skin tissues from the lower or upper lips or sometimes both.
Your doctor will carry out this procedure in an effort to reshape the entire lip area.
In the first step, your doctor will either administer local or general anesthesia so that you will not feel any pain during the procedure.
During this procedure, your surgeon will make incisions in a horizontal line in the pink inner portion of your lip. This minimizes scarring.
Your surgeon will then remove excess fat and tissues from your lips to reduce their overall volume.
After the removal of all the targeted tissues, your surgeon will close up the incision with stitches.
These stitches will typically fall off on their own within a few days or weeks.
Some of the lip reduction procedures aim at slimming down only one of your lips. This procedure is known as the “Brazilian” technique.
Most often, this procedure focuses on the shape of your lower lip, taking inspiration from a bikini line, which is more triangular-shaped at the bottom.
To achieve the desired shape and volume reduction, your surgeon will remove a greater portion from the center of your lower lip.
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Make sure to have a family member or a friend drive home, as you are more likely to be feeling some effect of anesthesia for a few hours.
In most cases, the healing time after the procedure is 1 to 3 weeks. And there is very little downtime to it.
After the surgery, you might have mild pain and swelling which might peak within 3 to 4 days.
Your doctor will prescribe anti-inflammatory, antibiotics, or analgesic medications to help in case you experience swelling, infection, or pain.
It is important to note that your lip sensation or its functions might temporarily be affected due to this cosmetic facial surgery.
However, it produces permanent results, and in rare cases, you might need subsequent surgeries.
Make sure to stay well-hydrated and keep a natural lip moisturizer on hand while healing. The dissolvable sutures will fall off completely with 7 to 15 days.
Moreover, avoid contact sports, heavy lifting, or other strenuous physical activities for at least 2 weeks after the surgery.
Potential Side Effects
Your lips are among the most sensitive parts of your body, thus it is important to work with an experienced and well-trained surgeon to minimize the risk of side effects.
At the very least, you will experience redness, swelling, and slight pain within the first few days after the surgery.
Bruising is also possible.
However, less commonly, the surgery may cause infection, scarring, severe swelling, bleeding, or allergic reaction to the anesthesia.
Despite the above risks and side effects, lip reduction is a safe procedure.
Cost of Production
Lip reduction procedure like other cosmetic procedures is not covered by your insurance.
The cost of the procedure can vary by provider, location, and the extent of your surgery, either treating one or both lips.
Moreover, depending on your situation, you may need one surgery, and, keep in mind the charges of anesthesia are charged separately.
Due to the steep costs of cosmetic surgery, your provider may offer financing and payment plans. You can also ask them for discounts or specials.
Lip Reduction Without Surgery
While surgery is the only definitive way you can decrease the volume of your lips, there are other alternative methods that can help reduce the appearance of lip size.
Some of these are:
Dermal Filler in your cheek can help add volume to the upper part of the face.
Applying foundation or concealer on your lips before putting any lip color can also make your lips look small.
Moreover, opting for dark lipstick colors and stains and avoiding nudes can be helpful.
Trying facial exercises and keeping yourself hydrated to reduce inflammation in the lips can also help.
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Lip reduction surgery is a cosmetic procedure that aims at reducing the size of your lip. Moreover, if you are looking for a viable option, then this is a permanent solution to reduce the volume of your lips.
It is important to find a board-certified and well-trained professional who has vast experience. This will help to make sure your procedure is safe and the risk of the surgery is minimal.