Normal Lip Dimension in Females: an Aid to Lip re-construction Surgeries

Tombari Joseph Gbeneol, Promise Nnamdi Wichendu


Background: The lip is the predominant structure responsible for the aesthetics of the lower third of the face. With the ethno-racial differences in lip dimensions, there is the need to generate normative anthropometric values which will serve as baseline data for Nigerian females.

Aim: To establish reference standards in lip anthropometry for Eastern Nigerian females, which will serve as a guide to Maxillofacial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons practicing in Nigeria.

Methods: A gender based cross–sectional study on the anthropometric variables of the lips of 220 females, from 6 months to 55 years, in Enugu, Eastern Nigeria. The results were compared with previous study on females in other populations.

Results: There was a progressive increase in mean values of the intercommissural distance with the lips relaxed and measured in a straight line (ICD – Sc) with increasing age (6 months to 12 years).  There was progressive increase in the mean values of the intercommissural distance with lips voluntarily retracted maximally laterally, from 6.1 to 12 years, reaching a maximum at 10.1 to 12.0 years. The height of the upper lip demonstrated a progressive increase from 6 months to 8 years. There was a minimal increase in inter soft tissue gape (ISG) in the subjects in the 10.1 to 12.0 years age group, which subsequently decreases in a fairly constant pattern.

Conclusion: This study provided standard values for lip dimensions for Enugu females which can be used as a guide in reconstructive surgery involving Nigerian females especially those of Enugu extraction.


Anthropometry, Lips, Intercommissural distance, Maxillofacial


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