Lip reduction explained – treatments, cost and what to expect
You might be familiar with lip fillers or the idea of lip augmentation but did you know lip reduction treatment is also an option?
The procedure can treat injuries to the mouth or people who feel their lips are too large in proportion to their face. Lip reduction surgery can also be an option for those whose lips have been damaged or misshapen by previous treatments.
So, is lip reduction surgery right for you? And what can you expect when going through the procedure?
In this article:
Duration of results
Back to work
Full recovery time
One to two weeks
30 to 60 minutes
Anaesthetic numbs treatment area, so only slight discomfort
What is lip reduction surgery?
Lip reduction is a relatively simple procedure in which a clinician removes tissue from one or both lips. The most common treatment area is the larger lower lip.
The procedure can be performed on any lip ‘type’ – however, a doctor making his initial examination will decide whether a person’s lips are too ‘small’ to undergo lip reduction surgery.
How does lip reduction surgery work?
Although lip reduction can be straightforward, this will depend on the size of your lips or any previous surgeries or injuries. With this in mind, there are a few things to consider.
The science behind it
In lip reduction surgery, or cheiloplasty, excess fat and tissue is removed to reduce and reshape the lip. Sometimes part of the lip itself is removed.
Before the treatment
Find treatments near you using our clinic locator/listings.
At a consultation you can discuss your goals for the surgery and any information on how to prepare for your procedure, including:
- Advice on what to eat and drink before the surgery.
- Advice on stopping medications that may cause blood thinning (such as anti-inflammatories or aspirin).
- Stopping smoking and drinking alcohol.
During the treatment
- First, you will be given a local anaesthetic. This will numb your lips to ensure you are comfortable.
- The surgeon will clean the area and make a small incision inside the lip, ensuring it won’t be outwardly visible once healed.
- They will then begin to remove excess tissue from the lip and repeat the process for the top lip if necessary.
- Your incisions will be sewn and cleaned, and you will be placed in an observation room. Surgery will last between 30 minutes and one hour.
Your clinician will give you advice on your lip reduction aftercare. Along with pain relief recommendations, such as anti-inflammatories and using ice packs, this usually includes information on the following.
The most common side-effects are redness and swelling, along with some pain, which will usually go away within a couple of days. You may also experience some bruising.
Other side-effects can include infection, bleeding, and scarring, although these are quite rare. If you notice any signs of infection, speak to your doctor immediately.
Your lips will heal within one to two weeks. As the lips are a sensitive part of the body, it is recommended that you take at least a week to fully recuperate.
How much does a lip reduction cost? Plus, other things you need to know
Before you book your lip reduction surgery, there are a few extra things to consider – such as procedure costs, alternative treatments, and how to find the right clinic.
How much does lip reduction surgery cost?
The average price starts from around SR3,500, although this all depends on treatment type. It’s also worth noting that the cost will differ depending on the experience of your clinician.
How can I find lip reduction surgery near me?
Find a treatment near you with our online clinic locator.
As well as lip reduction surgery, there are some other methods you could try to achieve a more balanced lip size and shape.
Dermal fillers in cheeks
Adding dermal fillers to the cheeks adds volume and should make your lips appear smaller and more in proportion to the rest of your features.
- Long-lasting results.
- You can customise your face shape.
- Cheaper than lip reduction.
- Similar side-effects to lip reduction surgery – pain and swelling.
Facial yoga exercises can help reduce the fat content in your lips and refine their shape. Stretching your lips and filling your mouth with air while pursing them tightly can encourage muscle toning.
- Natural non-surgical results.
- Not time-consuming.
- Results take some time to appear.
- Does not always have a huge effect.
Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated can ensure that your lips don’t swell. This is a natural reaction when the body is low on fluids.
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