Lip Reconstruction

in Avon, Connecticut

Lip reconstructive surgery can restore the functional and aesthetic purposes of the upper and lower lip when performed by a double-board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Many of our patients come from all areas of Connecticut, including Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, Greenwich, or Avon, with a deficit or abnormality in their upper lip, lower lip, or both lips. Meet with Dr. Paul Stanislaw today to learn more about your plastic surgery and reconstructive options.

What is Lip Reconstruction?

Lips provide expressions to your face. Whether you are happy, sad, excited, or worried, every emotion is expressed through your lips. This intricate structure is also imperative for swallowing and normal speech. Lip reconstruction is a reconstructive surgery that is commonly used to correct a lip defect or traumatic injuries of the upper and lower lips. The goal is to return the lips to a more harmonious appearance and facial expression in areas like the cupid’s bow, central lip, philtrum, and vermillion – and still maintain oral competence, neurovascular anatomy, and more. Upper lip defects can be addressed with upper lip reconstruction, while lower lip defects can be addressed with lower reconstruction. During reconstructive surgery, our surgeon may utilize free tissue transfer to help you achieve the look you desire. Your procedure may be combined with other plastic surgery techniques or aesthetic units to create a natural look.

Which Lip Conditions Benefit from Reconstruction?

There are many conditions that could benefit from a lip reconstruction such as trauma, congenital deformities, reduced oral aperture, lower lip defects, removal of cancerous lesions like basal cell carcinomas, or paralysis of the facial nerve. Any patient who has suffered trauma to their lips, for example, a dog bite or laceration, must be treated immediately. In those patients who have had cancerous lesions, lip reconstruction should be a part of the complete management of their treatment.

Dr. Stanislaw is an expert in lip reconstruction caused by these conditions. He will discuss all lip reconstruction options available with you in detail during your consultation.

How Is Lip Reconstruction Performed?

Lip reconstruction is unique to each patient and Dr. Stanislaw will go over the details of your reconstructive surgery during a consultation. Primary closure, free flap reconstruction, and local flap are three of the most common techniques. The exact technique used will depend on factors like the defect location, local tissues available, and access to blood supply. Donor tissue may be used as well. Generally, these types of lip reconstructions are performed using general anesthesia. Procedures that require simpler techniques (wedge excision or advancement flap, for example) can be performed using local anesthesia.

Lip Reconstruction Recovery

Lip reconstructions typically have varying amounts of downtime depending on the exact procedure. For example, if a donor site is used, it will require additional recovery. For minor procedures, you may expect swelling and discomfort which will likely subside within 1-2 weeks. For more substantial reconstruction, several weeks may be required to regain full mobility and use of the lips. Dr. Stanislaw will give you a detailed recovery plan for your plastic surgery procedure.



The kind of anesthesia depends on the kind of reconstruction. If it is a minor procedure, like a direct closure or a local flap, this can be performed in the office and local anesthesia is used. For complicated procedures involving larger defects, an operating room is required and it is carried out under general anesthesia.


This is a deformity resulting in the notching of the center of the upper lip. This happens following a cleft lip repair or a central upper lip defect repair. The reason for this lip deformity is due to missing soft tissue. During the repair of central defects like this, either small local flaps can be used or lip filler injections, like Juvederm or Restylane, can help.


During the repair of a defect of the upper lip, tissue based on the inferior labial artery is used from the lower lip and vice versa. This lip switch method is termed the Abbe Estlander flap. This is a perfect technique in cases where more than half of the lip is affected by the defect. The repair is completed in two treatments, which are spaced at least two weeks apart.


This is the lip reconstruction technique used when more than seventy-five percent of the lip is affected by the defect. The technique involves using circular flaps from around the patient’s mouth and lips for repair. The axial blood supply and nerve supply of the remaining lip is preserved during this reconstruction, allowing the patient to resume lip functionality immediately.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are looking for repair of a lip deformity, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Stanislaw to learn more about the options available to you.

Lip Reconstruction Gallery

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