Lip Augmentation Procedures:
Lip Augmentation procedures are ever increasingly popular. Like many things I do as a plastic surgeon there are different options each with pros and cons. By far the most popular choice today are injectable fillers. The Hyaluronic fillers are jellies that are injected under the skin to add plumpness and fullness. Other options can include, permanent lip implants, fat grafting and lip lift.
When patients are new to lip augmentation I always recommend they start small. One can always add more product. I like shapely lips, but I don’t like “worm” or “duck lips” my assistant Eve and I strive to keep a natural contour of the lips.
Fillers and Fat Injections:
Fillers are by far the most popular choice. Juvederm Ultra and Juvederm ultra Plus are what we use in my practice the most. These products now contain a local anesthetic so injection is more comfortable. We use a topical anesthetic as well. I always caution my patients that after injections they leave the office with both filler and swelling in the lips. The lips will get smaller when the swelling goes down. Fillers tend to be a little bumpy after injection. As the filler sits in the lip it absorbs water and tends to swell and even out. Occasionally gentle massage will help. After two weeks, the balance of lip shrinking and filler swelling is seen. Fat from other areas can be injected into the lip. Patients sometimes do this when having liposuction on other areas. Unfortunately the fat will only remain if it takes on blood supply from the surrounding tissues. Because of motion of the lips the longevity of fat grafts here are variable.
A variety of materials have been placed to augment the volume of the lip ranging from cadaveric tissue, to the patients own tissues. The trend is leaning more towards a soft silicone implant. These can be placed under a local anesthesia. I still tend to favor the injectable fillers. Lip implants, while permanent are prone to asymmetries, irregularities and occasional infections.
This patient had rhinoplasty and a permanent lip implant.
The Lip Lift, sometimes called the “bullhorn lip lift” is when a wedge of skin is taken out under the nose, pulling the red lip upwards. While the scar is well hidden it is still a scar in a visible area none the less. In this operation, again done under a local anesthesia, less is more.
To learn more about lip augmentation or enhancement please contact assistant Pei (pronounced Pay). She would be happy to schedule a complimentary consultation in our primary Rockville, Maryland office or at my satellite offices in Annapolis, Maryland or McLean, Virginia.