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Lip Reduction Recovery: What To Expect

Home » Blog » Lip Reduction Recovery: What To Expect

Lip Reduction Recovery: What To Expect


    According to a study in the National Library of Medicine, the “ideal” upper and lower lips based on beauty standards form an aesthetically pleasing complex, as the upper, middle and lower linear contours appear similar to the letters M, M and W. Lip reduction surgery can help accomplish this desirable lip shape.

    From correcting abnormalities to redefining lip lines by balancing the upper and lower lip, and not discussed as widely as lip enhancement with fillers or lip lift surgery, lip reduction can transform patients’ confidence and well-being just as dramatically. During lip reduction surgery, excess tissue is removed from the upper and lower lip to address overly large or deformed lips caused by genetics, previous lip enhancement procedures, or medical concerns such as lip ptosis.

    How Long Is The Average Recovery After Lip Reduction Surgery?

    The recovery period after lip reduction is much shorter than most cosmetic surgeries.  Patients should still be cautious and follow their doctor’s instructions during this time for the best results. Most people can return to usual activities one week after lip reduction. For best healing, we recommend following a soft diet and avoiding strenuous exercise for two weeks following surgery. 

    Most healing, including swelling and bruising, should resolve within 2-3 weeks. Most people take one week off work after lip reduction. If your job requires a lot of talking, we recommend taking at least one week, possibly two, as you must limit the movement of your lips during this time. It’s normal to feel tightness in your lips as you try to smile or open your mouth for several weeks to months after surgery.

    How To Prepare For Lip Reduction Recovery

    As with any surgical procedure, your care for your incisions and patience with healing throughout your recovery has just as much impact on how your results turn out as the procedure itself. Listen carefully to your doctor’s instructions for best healing practices.

    Our tips for the best healing after lip reduction include the following:

    • Avoid excessive movement of your lips during the first 1-2 weeks to avoid irritating your sutures and risk of complications. 
    • Apply pressure with ice packs to your lips during the first few days of healing to reduce swelling and pain. 
    • Over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen, can be taken every 8 hours to limit any severe discomfort throughout your recovery. 
    • You may receive appropriate pain medication. Be sure to take it only as directed by your doctor.
    • Avoid picking at the scabs around your lips. They will gradually naturally fall off.
    • Don’t shower and get your lips wet until 24 hours after your procedure.
    • Avoid strenuous exercise for 2-3 weeks.
    • Follow a soft diet to avoid excessive movement of your lips for the first 2-weeks. RealSelf says to avoid high-acid foods as well, as they can irritate your incision and cause a stinging sensation.
    • Reduce swelling in the initial 2-3 days by keeping your head elevated.
    • You should not trim loose hanging sutures until after the first week of recovery.

    Lip Reduction Surgery: Potential Risks

    Most possible side effects of lip reduction surgery are mild, such as bleeding, swelling, and bruising. It’s also normal to experience numbness or itchiness as the lips are healing, but if these symptoms last much longer than your recovery, reach out to your doctor. Other possible risks include:

    • Scarring
    • Tightness
    • Looseness of stitches sooner than expected
    • Irregularities in muscular function
    • Infection
    • Loss of sensation 
    • Over or under reduction

    What Results Can I Expect From Lip Reduction?

    A lip reduction delivers permanent results, usually visible within 2-3 weeks once the swelling and bruising fade. Lip reduction can achieve a variety of goals, including:

    • Removes excess tissue causing lip deformities
    • Promotes facial harmony
    • Reduces the size of genetically large lips
    • Removes previously placed silicone injections causing abnormalities in appearance and function
    • Improves functionality 
    • Increases confidence for people self-conscious about their lip size

    What Happens During Lip Reduction Surgery?

    A lip reduction involves an incision on the inside of the upper or lower lip (or both) and removal of a portion of the tissue. The incisions are closed with absorbable sutures. 

    What Are Scars Like After Lip Reduction Surgery?

    Sutures will only be visible for the first 1-2 weeks as they will dissolve naturally. As incisions are on the inside of the mouth, any scarring will not be visible once fully healed.

    How Much Does Lip Reduction Surgery Cost?

    Lip reduction in New Jersey typically costs $3,000 – $5,000 for a single and

    $3,000- $6,000 for a bilateral. However, If you plan to have a lip reduction to remove silicone lips, the average cost of a lip reduction with silicone removal is $7,000-$7,500. Dependent on the amount of silicone in your lips, the placement of it, and the extent of your surgery.

    Am I A Candidate For Lip Reduction?

    While today’s society generally views large lips as the beauty standard, with lip augmentation being popular through fillers or lip lift surgery, some people feel uncomfortable about their large lips for aesthetic or functionality reasons.

    Many people seeking lip reduction are looking to reverse results they are unhappy with after a past lip enhancement procedure in the wrong hands with permanent filler, such as silicone injections, fat transfer, or Bellafill.

    Other lip reduction patients may have always had large lips due to genetics and wish to reduce their size, making them more proportionate to their other facial features.

    Lip reduction can also be an excellent procedure for people with abnormalities in their lips after trauma or disease, as it can remove any excess tissue causing an irregular appearance and correct medical conditions causing issues with functionality. 

    Ready To Feel Confident And Comfortable With Your Lips?

    Dr. Gordon Kaplan in New Jersey has decades of experience in lip reduction, so If you want to feel more confident with the appearance of your lips due to their size or functionality issues, please contact our office to schedule an appointment and start on the journey to loving your lips.

    The Kaplan Center

    The Kaplan Center is a medical practice ran by board-certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Gordon Kaplan in Edgewater, NJ. With over two decades of experience, The Kaplan Center specialises in plastic and reconstructive surgery for the face and body, along with a number of non-surgical treatments.