Between years 2000 and 2016, patient requests for larger lips increased 50 percent. Egged on by ever-present pictures of celebrities with ever bigger kissers — think Kardashians and other Queen-sized or “trout pout” lipped celebs — the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) in its yearly statistics figures that a literal ocean of fillers — like Juvederm, Vobella and Ultra — have been injected into thin-lipped women. (More about lip reduction in a moment.)
And why not? Given that non-surgical procedures are among the most popular offerings in cosmetic surgery. With no scalpels, scars, stitches, long recovery periods and lower costs, droves of women climbed on the bandwagon. Of course, fillers dissolve after about a year.
(Learn about the permanent, non-surgical nose job.)
But now, according to People Magazine, women with naturally larger lips are asking for surgical lip reduction. The fad started in China and is being picked up in other Asian nations and America with more women having surgical lip reduction. Helping is a recent study printed in the April, 2017, JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery noting that the harshest critic of all lip augmentation or lip reduction is the human eyeball.
For a study on what makes lip surgery look natural and attractive, 98 volunteers were asked to look at photos of a female model’s lips which had been digitally changed to show just the upper and lower lips, the upper and lower lips together and the shape of the “Cupid’s Bow” on the upper lip.
Lots of ratios regarding the best relationship between the sizes of the upper and lower lips were made. But the study concluded if the lower lips look either too big or too small in relation to the upper lips, the procedure appeared to be false and unnatural. If only the upper lip had been augmented, that procedure also look unnatural. In contrast, making both lips larger seemed more believable.
(For the technical record, a lip augmentation procedure will look artificial if the ratio of lower to upper lip size is smaller than .92 or larger than 1.48.)
Translation: less is more, an old surgical method that still has value. For a natural looking result, study authors suggest that cosmetic surgeons work with and enhance what the patient has instead of trying to create something altogether new. (The same rule of thumb also applies in rhinoplasty.)
(See some rhinoplasty before & after pictures.)
If you’re still interested in surgical lip reduction, patients are usually put under local anesthesia during the 15 to 30 minute procedure per lip. Stitches remain in the lip for about a week while the cost in the United States can vary between one and three thousand dollars, depending on your location.