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Lip Reconstruction Surgery NYC

HomeLip Reconstruction Surgery NYC

Lip reconstruction is a complex procedure that must incorporate all the aspects of lip function and form for the best results. If you have suffered lip trauma or have lips deformed from an illness or a congenital defect, you can trust the experience and expertise of a leading plastic surgeon in New York City, Dr. Gary Linkov. City Facial Plastics, located in Manhattan, NYC, uses cutting-edge technology and methods to repair lips damaged by trauma or disease.

Lip Reconstruction Surgery NYC
  • Top-rated New York facial plastic surgeon

What Is Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

Lip reconstruction surgery is a complex procedure that restores the physical appearance of the lip without interfering with its function. It entails restoring the natural, delicate properties of the lip and areas that may be unsightly or dysfunctional owing to a prior injury, trauma, or surgical treatment.

Lip reconstruction plastic surgery is one of the most challenging plastic surgeries. The lips are the focal point of the lower third of the face and thus have a strong visual impact on those around us. Further, the lips are of utmost importance to our daily activities; eating, drinking, speaking, and smiling all require properly functioning lips. As such, when a part of the lip is deformed, whether due to birth or an acquired defect, it can be extremely distressing. This type of surgical treatment helps restore lips to their proper form and function.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

Many people may be candidates for surgical treatment. Lip trauma repair surgery may benefit those with congenital lip abnormalities or those who have undergone surgical treatment owing to a congenital abnormality such as cleft lip/palate and want an improved aesthetic outcome. Furthermore, patients who have had a trauma, such as a lip laceration, or who have been surgically treated for skin cancer removal on or around the lip and are unhappy with their wound or scar are generally good candidates for lip commissure surgery.


He was very nice and confident with the lip procedure. He is also very patient and gentle. I went into it scared but the process was easy and not painful. The recovery from my lip reduction was fast. I am so happy to have trusted him. I feel that my face is complete now. I can now smile and talk with more confidence. He did a great job. highly recommended.
Lorgia Trigoso

What Is the Relevant Anatomy for Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

Some anatomical terms to be familiar with when discussing lip procedures include:

  • Philtrum – the space between the base of the nose and the uppermost portion of the upper lip (vermillion border)
  • Philtral columns – the two vertical columns of tissue alongside the philtrum
  • Philtral groove – the U-shape of the philtrum in between the philtral columns
  • White roll – the thin pale tissue separating the skin of the philtrum and the vermillion border
  • Vermillion border – the pink line that encompasses the perimeter of the lips
  • Cupid’s bow – the double-curved appearance of the central aspect of the upper lip
  • Tubercle – the prominent piece of tissue in the center of the upper lip
  • Commissure – the line that forms where upper and lower lips meet at the corners

What Are the Types of Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

The size of a patient’s defect determines the type of lip reconstruction performed. They are summarized below:

Minor reconstruction

Minor lip reconstruction surgery is limited to the vermillion border or is considered a small defect reconstruction, involving less than 30% of the upper or lower lip.

Major reconstruction

Major lip reconstruction surgery is performed for medium-sized defects, which are defined as defects involving 30-60% of the lip.

Subtotal/total reconstruction

Subtotal or total lip reconstruction surgery is reserved for large lip defects involving more than 60% of the lip.

How Is Lip Reconstruction Surgery Done?

Lip reconstruction surgery generally entails removing the defective tissue and rebuilding the remaining area with normal tissue in such a way that the lip’s appearance and function are preserved.

A surgical procedure performed on the vermillion border typically involves a vermilionectomy, in which the defect involving the vermillion border is removed, and skin from the inner part of the lip is pulled to the outer part of the lip to create a new vermillion border. Other minor lip procedures often entail wedge-shaped lip defect removal and incision closure with intricate suture placement.

Major, subtotal, or total lip surgery is more complex and usually involves the formation of a flap. Flap surgery is a type of procedure in which normal tissue, either from the area immediately surrounding the defect or from elsewhere on the body, is placed over the removed tissue to fill the gap and close the incision. This sort of surgical treatment is required when large amounts of tissue have been removed, and more tissue is required to improve the cosmetic appearance of the lip, facilitate wound healing, and ensure normal lip function.

How to Prepare for Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

Dr. Linkov will discuss the steps you should take to prepare for your procedure in detail. While everyone’s preparation process may be slightly different, there are a few key measures that everyone should take prior to lip reconstructive surgery. These include:

  • Avoiding medications and supplements that can thin the blood, such as
    • Ibuprofen (Motrin)
    • Naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve)
    • Aspirin
    • Warfarin (coumadin)
    • Vitamin E
  • Stop smoking, as tobacco products decrease blood flow to the skin which may result in poor wound healing
  • Pick up prescribed pre-surgery medications at the pharmacy and bring them to your procedure
  • Choose an escort who will be able to take you home

What to Expect on the Day of Surgery?

Your surgical procedure will be performed either in the office under local anesthesia or in the operating room under general anesthesia. If the surgical treatment is being done while you are awake, you should not eat or drink for 2 hours before the procedure. For general anesthesia, you will be instructed when to eat or drink. If the procedure is performed while you are awake, Dr. Linkov will instruct you on when to take the prescribed pre-surgery medications while you are in the office.

The length of your treatment will vary greatly depending on the type of anesthesia used, the time spent marking the surgical site and flaps, the complexity of the planned procedure, and, if used, the expected time to awaken from general anesthesia.

What Is the Recovery?

Recovery after surgical treatment again varies based on the complexity of the procedure that is performed. For patients who undergo a minor procedure, the recovery period typically lasts several weeks. Patients are typically able to go back to work one week after the procedure and may be able to resume exercise one to two weeks after treatment. For patients who undergo major or subtotal/total lip trauma repair surgery for larger defects that require flap formation, the recovery period is several weeks to months and may require an inpatient stay.

What Are the Risks and Complications?

Lip reconstruction surgery has the same risks and complications as other facial surgeries. Among the risks and complications are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Seroma formation (fluid accumulation under surgical site)
  • Poor or excessive scarring
  • Undesirable aesthetic outcome
  • Facial asymmetry
  • Sensory abnormalities
  • Loss of sensation
  • Microstomia (reduction in the size of the oral aperture)

What Are the Contraindications?

There are a few reasons why a person may be unable to undergo lip reconstructive surgery. If you take a blood thinner medication that cannot be stopped prior to treatment (such as aspirin or warfarin), Dr. Linkov may not be able to perform the procedure safely.

If you have underlying medical conditions that prevent you from receiving general anesthesia, the types of lip procedures that can be performed may be limited. If you have a connective tissue disease or other medical condition that interferes with wound healing, such as uncontrolled diabetes or a number of peripheral vascular diseases, you may be unable to undergo surgical treatment.

Are Patients Satisfied After Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

Patients are generally very satisfied with their results. Following lip procedures, people commonly report increased confidence and self-esteem. Many patients tell us that they no longer need to wear makeup to conceal areas of prior concern and prefer to draw attention to their lips with lipstick.

What Is the Cost of Lip Reconstruction Surgery?

The cost of lip reconstruction surgery varies widely based on your location, surgeon, anticipated surgical complexity, and use of general anesthesia.

Who Is the Best Lip Reconstruction Surgeon in NYC?

The best lip reconstruction surgeon in NYC is the specialist with whom you feel most comfortable and most confident in your results. With a particular interest and expertise in lip surgery, board-certified NYC facial plastic surgeon Dr. Linkov regularly performs lip reconstruction plastic surgery and would be happy to discuss your options with you. Please view some of his before and after lip reconstruction surgery photos from real patients below.

Before and After

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Undergoing Lip Reconstruction Surgery

Lip reconstruction surgery is complex and requires a customized surgical plan for each patient. Depending on the type and extent of the damage, creating new lip tissue that responds to the nerves and muscles that control the mouth may necessitate extensive care. Lip procedure may necessitate the use of skin and fat grafting to rebuild the lips. Dr. Linkov uses both surgical and artistic skills to create lips that restore function while improving the overall appearance of the mouth.

If you or a family member require lip reconstruction surgery, contact City Facial Plastics in New York today. Make an appointment with Dr. Linkov, one of the best-in-class facial plastic surgeons in Manhattan, NY. Discuss treatment options for improving the overall function and aesthetics of damaged or deformed lips.


I met Dr. Linkov for a consultation. He spent quality time with me, going over what I was interested in having done and the best ways to achieve that. He has excellent rapport with clients along with high quality training and education. I wanted to start with some fillers to fill out my lips in certain places and did 3 areas of Jeuveau. His touch was so painless and I did not have any bruising whatsoever. I already see results and his filler placement was done with such perfection. I’m so happy with his work. I will be having a neck and lower face lift in the fall and I will only trust his expertise and hands. He really made me feel cared for, comfortable and valued. I highly recommend seeing Dr. Gary Linkov.

Dr. Gary Linkov, MD

Dr. Linkov is a double board-certified by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. A native of New York, Dr. Linkov graduated as a salutatorian from Cornell University and received his Medical Degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr. Linkov conducted advanced head and neck cancer research at the world-renowned Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Linkov is a former Adjunct Assistant Professor at New York University (NYU), where he taught Rhinoplasty.

Dr. Linkov is a top-rated facial plastic surgeon in New York who specializes in lip lift, facelift, rhinoplasty, and hair transplant. He has been named one of the top 5 lip lift surgeons in the United States, is listed in the prestigious SuperDoctors New York™ registry, and has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, where he discussed the state-of-the-art hair transplantation procedure.

Page Updated on Jan 20, 2023 by  Dr. Gary Linkov  (Facial Plastic Surgeon) of  City Facial Plastics in New York.
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City Facial Plastics 635 Madison Ave #1402E New York, NY 10022 (212) 439-5177