Lip Augmentation – Enhance Your Lips For a Full Young Smile

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Lip Augmentation – Lip Enhancement Options

There are several different methods available for lip augmentation or lip enhancement. The methods may be divided into non-surgical and surgical procedures.

o Non-surgical Lip Augmentation– Fillers such as Restylane(TM), Juvederm(TM) and others can be injected into the lips to create a young full lip. Filler injections not only make the lip full but also distend the lip skin which has the effect of lessening lip lines and lip wrinkles.

When injected properly, fillers turn the pink portion of the upper lip upward, lessening the distance from the pink lip to the nose. This helps create a younger appearance to the lip, as the lip tends to turn down and lengthen as we age. The only downside to fillers is that they need to be repeated at least yearly, sometimes at six months.

o Surgical Lip Augmentation– There are several surgical methods to enhance the lips. The most common are:

1. Fat Injections– Fat is harvested from another body area such as the hip. The removed fat is treated in a way to improve “take” or survival after transplantation. The fat is then injected into the lip to plump and fill the tissue. Fat injection works but there is prolonged swelling and bruising following fat injection. Since 50% of the fat will dissolve, the surgeon has to over correct the injection. It can take three to six months for the final result to be seen.

2. Lip Augmentation with Lip Implants– There are several implants which can be used. These implants are small and soft and very different from breast implants. Small pieces of Gortex(TM) have been used for many years. Newer implants are like small long balloons which are inserted into the lips. The results of lip augmentation with lip implants can be excellent and are permanent, unlike fillers. However, implants pose a risk of rejection by the body. If implants are rejected and need to be removed, significant scarring and deformity can result.

3. Lip Lift Surgery– There are two common lip lift procedures. The best is a newer technique done on the inside of the upper lip, thus no visible scar. During the lip lift procedure small flaps of the mucosa (pink tissue in mouth) are bunched to push the lip outward and up. Results can be excellent and the lack of visible scars is a big plus.

Older methods of lip lift used an external incision below the nose. Upper lip skin near the nostrils of the nose was removed, thus pulling the upper lip upward. While this technique does improve age related lengthening of the lip, the scars in my opinion are unacceptable.

Why do People have Lip Augmentation?

o Modern Concepts of Beauty– Today, full looking, plump lips are considered an ideal component of facial beauty. The popularity of the face of Angelina Jolie as an American example of a beautiful face often focuses primarily on her full lips. We are now a multi-cultural society, very different from fifty years ago when the Caucasian face with thinner lips dominated the beauty magazines. The Hispanic, African American and Asian concepts of beauty have always included full lips, and modern American beauty ideals have embraced this feature as our multi-cultural society has evolved.

o Full lips Look Younger-As our face ages, striking changes occur in our lips. As we age, skin laxity develops in the face and the lip begins to sag, lengthen and turn inward. The pink part of the lip, the beautiful Cupid’s bow, the part of the upper lip which is curved, becomes less evident as the lip turns inward. In addition, lip wrinkles, lip lines and lipstick lines develop as we age. These lines are the result of years of pursing action of the lip muscles and create an aged appearance to the mouth.

Botox(TM) Helps Lip Augmentation

o Botox(TM) Removes Wrinkles – Botox(TM) relaxes the lip muscles that cause pursing and thus lip lines. If a patient has lip wrinkles I usually inject both a filler, like Restylane(TM) or Juvederm(TM) and also inject a small amount of Botox(TM).

o Botox(TM) Lifts the Mouth
– Botox provides a lip lift when the Detrussor muscle (the chin muscle which pulls the lip and mouth down) is weakened. As we age the mouth turns down, especially at the corners. This contributes to the marionette lines and jowls. A small amount of Botox(TM) relaxes the muscle which pulls the lips down and provides a lip lift to the corners of the mouth.

What Does Lip Augmentation Cost?

o Filler Injections
-Filler injections cost $400-$750 depending on the amount of filler used.

o Surgery
– Lip Implantation Surgery can cost $1500-$5000 depending on the surgery involved, type of implant, and length of procedure.

Who Should Do My Lip Augmentation?

o Fillers
– My own opinion is that you should see an expert who has experience in lip injection techniques. Typically this would be a board certified plastic surgeon. Many board certified dermatologist also do fillers.

The key is to find a doctor who has experience in creating a beautiful lip with fillers. It is not easy to get a perfect result. Experience and technical skill is important. Ask the doctor to show you photos of his/her work. Ask how many lip injections they have done. Trust your gut instincts about the answer you get.

o Lip Enhancement Surgery
-my own opinion is that a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in lip surgery should be consulted. The lips are a complex vital structure of the face with both aesthetic and very important functional components. Thus I think you will be better served if you seek out a board certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in lip surgery.

I always recommend seeing two surgeons before you decide. Ask how many lip procedures the doctor has done and ask to see results.

Lip enhancement can add beauty and youth to your face. Modern filler injections are easy and a wonderful way to start. I always recommend that my patients try filler injection and possibly Botox(TM) first. If they love the result but want a permanent solution, then we consider the surgical option.

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