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Lip Reduction

HomeLip Reduction

Lip reduction surgery involves removing skin tissues from the lower or upper lips, or sometimes both to make your lips smaller. This lip correction procedure reshapes the entire lip area to a more pleasing size and shape. Dr. Linkov is an experienced plastic surgeon at City Facial Plastics in New York City who offers artistic lip reduction surgery for NYC patients to create well proportioned and evenly balanced lips and mouth.

Lip Reduction New York City, New York
  • Top-rated New York facial plastic surgeon

What Is Lip Reduction?

Lip reduction surgery involves removing a piece of skin from either the upper lip, lower lip, or both so that the lip or lips will decrease in size. Lip reduction surgery can reduce the size of either a portion of the lip or the entire lip itself.

In an age where lip lift procedures like lip filler, lip flip, and upper lip lift surgery have become increasingly popular, it is important to remember that bigger is not always better. For some people, a large lip or portion of the lip is undesirable and an area of cosmetic concern. Lip reduction surgery aims to reduce the size of the lip to create a more balanced, proportionate face.

Lip Reduction Procedure Performed by Dr. Linkov

This beautiful woman is 6 weeks post a lip reduction on her right upper red lip. She (and I) love the improved harmony to her entire face by removing excess lip tissue that was there her entire life. This was not a global lip reduction but rather a targeted approach to restore symmetry. Note how beautifully her smile shines now!

What Are the Reasons for Lip Reduction?

There are many reasons people desire lip reduction surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2018, just over 1000 lip resizing surgeries were performed in the United States. While this is much less than the 30,000 lip augmentation surgeries performed, it represents an important part of the population with which lip reduction doctors must be familiar.

Ethnic variability

Certain ethnic groups, such as African Americans and Asians, tend to have larger lips; therefore, they seek African American lip reduction options. The term “macrocheilia” refers to large lips. While the larger lips may complement other facial features, some people feel that they are disproportionately large and desire a decrease in lip size.

Dentofacial deformities

Certain variations or deformities in the bony structures of the face and mouth can result in an exaggerated appearance of the lips. In particular, lack of chin prominence can give an enlarged appearance of the lip. When the lips appear larger than they are, it is referred to as “pseudomacrocheilia.”


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

Vascular malformations

Vascular malformations such as issues arising from the lymphatic system and overgrowth of blood vessels (known as hemangiomas) can also cause an enlarged appearance of the lips. These malformations may be either acquired or congenital.

Rare syndromes

There are sporadic syndromes that are associated with lip enlargement. Melkersson-Rosenthal syndrome is a neurological disorder characterized by prolonged swelling of the face and, in particular, the lips. Ascher syndrome is a genetic disorder characterized by swelling of the lips, eyelids, and goiter formation.


Scarring from prior injury or surgery can also result in an enlarged lip. After a trauma or laceration, some people are predisposed to hypertrophic scar formation, a type of raised, firm scar. Scar tissue can cause the lip to appear asymmetric, with one side larger than the other and various lumps and bumps.


While most lip filler is temporary, repeated injections can lead to scarring and lump formation in the lips. Over time, the scarring and abnormal regrowth of new tissue can cause a protrusion and enlargement in the lips disrupting the normal lip architecture and giving a “duck lip” appearance, which may not be amenable to dissolving. Also, permanent types of fillers, such as silicone, can migrate and cause irregularities in the lips. The silicone is typically not visible during surgery, but the lip contour can be restored.

Lower lip ptosis

Lower lip ptosis is a drooping of the lower lip. Ptosis is caused by weakness of the muscles surrounding the lip, which may be due to muscular disorders or problems with the central nervous system, such as stroke.

What Are the Types of Lip Reduction?

Lip reduction surgery can be divided into two main categories: localized or global. The type of lip reshaping surgery you may need depends on the reason why you seek lip reduction.

Localized lip reduction surgery

Localized lip reduction surgery involves reducing the size of a portion of the lip. This type of lip reshaping surgery may be indicated for people who would like to target a scar, lump, vascular malformation, or other abnormality that makes the lip asymmetric with one side larger than the other.

Global lip reduction surgery

Global lip reduction surgery involves reducing the size of the entire lip or lips. This type of lip reshaping surgery is typically performed for people who feel their entire lip or lips are disproportionately large compared to the rest of their face and desire a more balanced appearance.

How Is Lip Reduction Made?

There are several steps of lip reduction surgery, summarized below.

Preparing for your lip reduction surgery

Before lip reduction surgery, it is important to discuss with Dr. Linkov about stopping any medications and supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding, such as NSAIDs, aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin), or vitamin E. Dr. Gary Linkov also recommends stopping smoking as tobacco products can interfere with wound healing. Dr. Linkov will prescribe you medications, including an antibiotic and pain medication, to pick up at the pharmacy and bring to your surgery.

On the day of lip reduction surgery

After you arrive at the office, Dr. Linkov will instruct you when to take your medications before surgery. Dr. Linkov will then mark the surgical site using special surgical ink to delineate the area of the lip that will be removed.  Dr. Linkov will show you the marking such that you agree with the surgical plan before proceeding to surgery. Lip reduction surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia, so an anesthetic agent is injected into and around the surgical site to numb the area.

Lip reduction surgical approach

Incisions are made along the marked lines. Bleeding may occur during the lip reduction surgery as the lips are a very vascular structure, so all bleeding is controlled as the tissue is being removed. Once the desired lip tissue has been removed, the incision is closed with dissolvable sutures placed meticulously to ensure the most symmetric result with minimal scarring.

Postoperative period

After lip reduction surgery, Dr. Linkov will apply a special bandage to the area. Antibiotic ointment should be applied for at least one week post-operatively. Applying ice and keeping your head elevated when in bed can help reduce swelling, and in cases of significant swelling, Dr. Linkov may prescribe a steroid pill.

You should avoid any excessive animation (i.e., smiling, laughing), eat soft foods to prevent aggressive chewing, and be particularly careful when brushing your teeth. One week after your surgery, Dr. Linkov will show you how to soak the surgical site with hydrogen peroxide during your follow-up visit.

What Is the Recovery From Lip Reduction?

People generally recover well after lip reduction surgery. It is normal to experience bruising and swelling, and these typically resolve within 1-2 weeks after surgery, though swelling may linger for longer. Over the following weeks to months, the incision site will continue to heal and mature, and ultimately you will see final results at about 6 months postoperatively.

What Are the Risks and Complications of Lip Reduction?

Like any procedure, lip reduction surgery does have risks. Though these are uncommon, it is important to be familiar with possible complications before undergoing lip reduction surgery, including:

  • Under-resection, meaning too little lip tissue is removed
  • Over-resection, meaning too much lip tissue is removed
  • Swelling, which can be treated with ice, keeping head elevated, lymphatic massage, or oral steroids
  • Bruising or hematoma, as the lips are a very vascular structure
  • Infection, which can be prevented by antibiotic prophylaxis and the application of antibiotic ointment and hydrogen peroxide
  • Mucocele, which refers to a type of mucous cyst formation under the skin
  • The altered sensation of lip function
  • Scarring
  • Undesirable aesthetic outcome

What Are the Contraindications for Lip Reduction?

While there are no absolute contraindications for lip reduction surgery, there are some reasons why lip resizing surgery may not be right for you. People who are on blood thinner medications that cannot be stopped are at high bleeding risk and therefore

Dr. Linkov may not be able to perform lip reduction surgery safely. In people with certain connective tissue disorders that interfere with wound healing, surgery may do more harm than good. Dr. Linkov at City Facial Plastics in Manhattan’s Upper East Side will discuss your medical history in detail with you to determine if you would be safe to get lip reshaping surgery.

Are Patients Satisfied After Lip Reduction?

Dr. Linkov’s patients have been delighted with their lip reduction surgery. His patients have recovered smoothly and promptly without the need for additional lip reduction surgery for under-resection. To see some of Dr. Linkov’s patients’ results before and after lip reduction surgery, please view the photos below.

What Is the Cost of Lip Reduction?

The cost of lip reduction surgery in NYC depends on several factors, including whether the lip reshaping is localized or global, involving one or both lips, anticipated complexity of the procedure, and location of your surgeon.

Who Is the Best Lip Reduction Surgeon?

Dr. Linkov is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Manhattan, NY, with extensive experience in lip reduction. He has given presentations and participated in several panel discussions in medical conferences across the country, specifically on lip reduction surgery, including at the Miami Cosmetic Surgery conference. As such, he is familiar with the most advanced approaches and surgical techniques in lip resizing surgery.

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Lip Reduction Before and After

Lip Resizing and Reshaping

Dr. Gary Linkov is an experienced facial plastic surgeon in Midtown, Manhattan, specializing in lip shape enhancements. He uses his surgical and artistic skills to create lips that are the desired shape and size to match your facial features.

A lip reduction can include removing fat and tissue from the lips and reshaping them for a more balanced appearance. Dr. Linkov will ensure he understands the look you desire to achieve and create beautiful, resized lips that meet or exceed your expectations. You can expect natural-appearing results that give you the lips you always wanted.

If you are ready to explore the options available to reduce and reshape your larger lips, contact us at City Facial Plastics in UES, Manhattan. We will schedule a consultation appointment for you to meet with the best-in-class facial plastic surgeon in New York, Dr. Linkov, to discuss if a lip reduction is right for you.


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

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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