Full lips are sensual, attractive and a sign of youth. As we age, our lips lose volume, deflate and lines or wrinkles, often vertical ones, start appearing on our lips. The corners of the lips begin to turn down giving a sad or tired appearance. People with genetically thin or small lips may have their lips vanish altogether, leaving them with a perennially stern appearance. Lip enhancement or lip re-shaping can restore the bloom of youth to this focal point of the face.
Lip enhancement can be done alone, but it is often done in conjunction with other facial procedures. It can be the finishing touch of a facelift. Lip augmentation can be temporary or more long lasting. The techniques used are synthetic filler injections, augmentation with your own skin or your own fat, or implantation of skin substitutes.
|Procedure||What it does||Surgery||Recovery||Results|
|Lip Enhancement||Plumps up thin lips||Depends on techique||Minimal to no downtime||Temporary, can be long-lasting|
|Belotero Balance||Minimizes wrinkles around the mouth||No||No downtime||Up to 6 months|
LIP ENHANCEMENT TECHNIQUES
Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the body as the lubricating substance found between our cells. The most commonly used hyaluronic acid dermal filler is Juvederm. Since hyaluronic acid is not a foreign substance to the body, the body does not react to it and allergic reaction is not a possibility. Since Juvederm is a synthetic hyaluronic acid, there is no chance of transmission of disease, as there was when fillers were manufactured from rooster combs and other animal parts.
Hyaluronic acid fillers are well suited for lip enhancement. They are lightweight, clear gel substances that are soft and pliable. Juvederm will last nine to 12 months.
A skillful, experienced injector is the key to a beautiful lip restoration. Dr. Delgado has extensive experience with lip augmentation techniques using dermal fillers and can inject the lips in various ways to fulfill a patient’s goals and expectations. Injecting along the lip line, he can define the outline of the lips and to some degree, minimize vertical lines on the upper lip. He can plump up the body of the lip and even give lip corners a little upward turn. Guided by a keen sense of aesthetics, he does not overfill the lips nor inject age-inappropriate volume. Too many times fillers will be overused, giving the lips and face a bizarre appearance. Dr. Delgado’s techniques produce an enhanced, yet still natural look to the lips. Dr. Delgado has personally trained his nurses to reflect the artistry of his practice. They inject Dr. Delgado himself!
Enhancement of the lips with Juvederm can be easily done in the office. A local anesthetic is given, much like the ones dentists use and this makes for a comfortable procedure.
The hyaluronic acid filler is malleable for 24 hours and sometimes even up to a week. During this time, the patient can smooth away any filler lumpiness with gentle finger massage. In the unusual event that a lump persists, Dr. Delgado can inject a small amount of an enzyme product called hyaluronidase to dissolve the filler in the trouble spot.
Lip Enhancement Using Your Tissue
Dermal Graft – A piece of skin is taken from another part of the body and grafted into one or both lips. The advantage of using your own tissue is that it will not be rejected and a custom piece can be accurately tailored. The disadvantage is that a scar is created at the donor site unless the skin is taken from a previous scar. Dr. Delgado prefers a patient to use their own tissue. He can tailor the size and shape. A percentage of the graft will take.
Fascia Graft – If one is having a facelift, a portion of the SMAS (Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic System) that is removed can be used as a lip graft. This deep, soft tissue is very pliable and strong. The tissue is shaped and then threaded through the lips. The enhancement will last for many years. This is Dr. Delgado’s preferred method when performing a facelift.
Fat Injections Your own fat, usually from the abdomen, can be processed (condensed and purified) and injected into your lips. Using fat in this manner is best used to replace volume in the face, as results are less predictable with lip augmentation. Even so, fat injections give a natural, even result when used in the lips, although it can take multiple attempts to achieve sufficient volume. Generally, fat injections do not last as long as the various graph methods. Also, the duration of the enhancement from fat injections varies greatly from patient to patient.
What is AlloDerm? It is human tissue that has been donated to a tissue bank the same way that other transplanted organs are donated. It is put through a special process to enhance its safety while retaining the components of the body’s own tissue. The AlloDerm can be rolled up in a small cigar-shaped tube that is surgically inserted through the lip line. Since AlloDerm is a natural material, the body cannot reject it.
What is the Cost of Lip Augmentation?
Dependent on the type of graft used will determine the cost of a lip enhancement. At the time of your consultation you will be given a personalized fee quote.
Lip enhancement or lip augmentation improves the shape and volume of the lips. This restores a youthful appearance and creates balance in the facial features, especially when done in conjunction with other facial cosmetic surgical procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which lip enhancement technique is best?
Each technique has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, most dermal fillers are well tolerated, whereas tissue injections (AlloDerm) may cause an adverse side effect. During a consultation, Dr. Delgado will review all lip augmentation procedures he performs and determine the best one for your goals.
Is there an age requirement for a lip enhancement?
Different people have different reasons for pursuing a lip enhancement. Some people have naturally thin lips, others may be noticing a change in their lips due to the normal effects of aging. Although there is no minimum age for lip enhancement, some fillers are only recommended for those 21 over. Every patient is unique and Dr. Delgado can determine whether the procedure is appropriate for the patient. The most important thing is that a patient have a healthy outlook and reasonable expectations.
How should I prepare for a lip enhancement procedure?
Lip enhancement treatments are relatively straightforward procedures and do not require significant preparation. Some medications and supplements can increase the risk of bruising and bleeding. To help minimize bruising at the injection site, it recommended that the patient stop taking aspirin and vitamin E, which can thin the blood.
Can I just have one are of the lips treated?
Absolutely. The objective of a lip enhancement procedure is to create fuller lips. However, not at the cost of balance. Dr. Delgado and his injection specialists can focus on plumping certain areas of the lips–only the upper lip, for example– so that your lips harmonize with the rest of your face.
I want my lips to look like my favorite celebrity’s lips, can that be done?
We all look to beauty magazines for inspiration. However, it is important to remember that the “perfect lips” do not exist. What looks good on one person may look out of proportion on another. A skilled lip enhancement specialist will take your entire face into consideration and strive for natural-looking results.