Dr. Peter Hilger and Dr. Sofia Lyford-Pike offer patients a number of lip augmentation options. Volume depletion happens to the majority of people over time, and is often most noticeable in the lip area. What’s more, a number of people are born with naturally small lips and wish to create better balance and harmony in the facial area by creating a fuller lip.
Learn more about the lip augmentation procedure, including the options available, what you can expect from the procedure, and what makes a person a good candidate for it.
THE LIP AUGMENTATION PROCEDURE
A modest amount of augmentation in the lip area usually provides great harmony and an excellent aesthetic outcome. Overly large lips are avoided, as are permanent synthetic products, which often create an uneven or bumpy look in the lips.
One of the goals many people seeking is to create balance or harmony in their appearance. Ideally, balance should be seen in the lip area. The distance from the base of the nose to the tip of the chin should be equally divisible by three. The first third should stretch from the bottom of the nose to the space between the lips. The area between the lips and the base of the chin should make up two thirds of the total area.
Lip augmentation in either the upper or lower lip, or both, can help to create balance in that general area and diminish vertical wrinkle lines.
Additionally, in a youthful mouth, the area between the pout of the lip and the noses should be concave and there should be a slight ridge on the cupid’s bow and where the red and white parts of the lip meet. The red portion of the lip should be convex, the upper lip should hang slightly over the lower lip and the lower lip should be slightly fuller than the upper lip. Lips that are uniformly augmented, so that both upper and lower lip are the same size, look unnatural.
Fillers and Injectables
A variety of injectable substances are used to add volume and fullness to the lips. These procedures are simple and take place in the office. The fillers that we use in the lips include those that contain hyaluronic acid, such as Restylane, Juvederm, and similar products. Heavier fillers, such as Radiesse, are avoided, as these can create an unnatural shape. To provide the most natural results, it’s common for a surgeon to incrementally add filler to the lips over a period of weeks.
Other products that can be used for lip augmentation include a patient’s own fat and connective tissues, which are harvested during a facelift. The tissue is implanted into the lip using small incisions at the corner of the mouth.
Whether the upper or lower lip is augmented depends on the patient. The surgeons at the Hilger Face Center have many years of experience with fillers and can advise you as to which type of filler and location for the augmentation will provide the most attractive result.
What is Lip Augmentation?
Am I a Good Candidate for Lip Augmentation?
Where Is Lip Augmentation Performed?
How Long Does It Take?
Is Anesthesia Used?
What Happens During Lip Augmentation?
When Can I Go Back to Work?
When Can I Exercise Again?
What Can I Expect in Terms of Results?
Are There Risks?
Am I a good candidate for lip augmentation?
Lip augmentation is a procedure that adds volume and a youthful fullness to the upper or lower portions of the lip. The procedure can involve the use of injectable fillers, the injection of a patient’s own fat, or the use of connective tissue.
If you are in general good health and are unhappy with the size of your lips or wish to improve facial balance or harmony, you may be a candidate for lip augmentation. A consultation with a facial plastic surgeon can help you determine if the procedure is right for you, and if so, which option is best for you.
The location of the procedure depends on the type of filler material being used. If a surgeon is using an injectable filler, lip augmentation often takes place in the office. When fat grafting or connective tissue augmentation are performed, the procedure typically takes place in an operating room.
Depending on the type of filler used, lip augmentation can take just a few minutes.
Often, injectable fillers contain a local anesthetic. The surgeons at the Hilger Face Center also apply a topical anesthetic to the treated area to further improve comfort.
The process for lip augmentation depends largely on the type of fillers used. When injectable fillers are used, the surgeons inject the fillers with a micro-cannula. The small size of the cannula results in very minimal bruising.
When connective tissue is the filler material, the surgeon will make a small, 1/4 inch incision in the inside corner of the mouth. The location of the incision means that it is typically hidden from view. After the tissue is placed, the incision is repaired with absorbable sutures.
After lip augmentation with injectable fillers, many patients are able to return to work after about 24 hours. If tissue is used, it can be several days to a week before you are comfortable returning to work, as there may be some swelling and bruising.
For the most part, you can expect to return to exercise and other activities within a day of your lip augmentation. Your surgeon might ask you to restrict certain activities that require moving the lips.
Many patients enjoy the results they get from lip augmentation and find that the procedure effectively balances their facial features and creates a more youthful appearance. Initially, some might notice that their lips feel and look over full, especially if fat is used during the procedure. But as swelling decreases, a more natural fullness appears.
How long the results last depends in large part on the type of material used to enhance the lips. Injectable fillers usually provide results that last for several months, while connective tissue and a patient’s own fat can provide longer lasting, nearly permanent results.
Thanks to modern techniques, the risks from lip augmentation are exceedingly rare. At the Hilger Face Center, we have seen just a single case of infection after a lip augmentation procedure in 30 years.
One thing that is worth noting is that many patients notice a stiff feeling in the lips during the first few days after the procedure. After those first few days, the stiffness wears off. None of our patients have ever reported a long-term decrease in sensation in the lip area.
Candidates for lip augmentation have experienced volume loss in the lip area and are looking to restore a more youthful volume and contours to the lips. Additionally, candidates who have naturally smaller lips and are seeking a way to modestly enhance them can benefit from a lip augmentation procedure.