For many people, having full, kissable lips are signs of health, beauty, and youth. As aging causes the lips to thin and lose their definition, many women resort to different methods of retaining or restoring their lips’ plumpness. While makeup can create the illusion of full lips, lip injections like dermal fillers offer a superior way of enhancing the lips that are more effective and long-lasting.
At Burt & Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, we offer lip augmentation using lip injections as a part of your overall facial rejuvenation or as a standalone treatment. We use only high quality and genuine dermal fillers, so you can achieve your desired look safely and effectively. Along with plumping the lips, our dermal fillers are also perfect for reducing lip lines caused by smoking, sun damage, or even constant contraction of muscles from years of drinking through straws and bottles. Depending on your individual aesthetic goals, we have a number of dermal fillers available for lip augmentation. We have Juvéderm and Restylane, which are both FDA-approved for the use of increasing lip volume. Patients also have the option of using Restylane Silk and Juvederm Volbella, which are effective for softening and reducing fine lines as well as adding soft, subtle volume to the lips.
Candidates for Lip Injections
In general, individuals who are in good overall health and are non-smokers make a great candidate for this minimally invasive procedure. Additionally, a candidate must not have any of the following:
- Blood-clotting issues
- Oral infections, like herpes
- Allergy to substances found in the fillers, such as lidocaine
During your consultation, your doctor will ask about your medical history and any medications that may interact with the dermal fillers. She will also ask about your aesthetic goals so she can recommend a treatment plan suitable for you.
How Lip Injections Are Administered
Lip injections for lip augmentation are a fairly simple, comfortable procedure. As this is an outpatient procedure, this will be done at the doctor’s office—with no downtime required afterwards. Before administering the lip injections, your doctor will apply a topical numbing cream on the targeted area, as the lips are one of the most sensitive areas in the face. If a numbing agent is ineffective, nerve block injections may be given to numb the lips completely.
The doctor will mark the areas of the injection sites, and she will use fine needles to inject dermal fillers into the lips. Following the injections, you may experience some swelling and discomfort, however we will provide some ice packs to ease the discomfort.
Lip injections can do more than give you fuller lips: they also have the benefit of giving patients a more defined smile, as well as revitalizing their overall appearance by upturning the drooping corners of the mouth.
Recovery After Lip Injections
As there is no downtime required, you can return to work immediately after the treatment. You will also see immediate changes in your lips; once they have completely healed, your lips will look and feel naturally plump and voluminous.
Botox Lip Flip
Lip plumping and volume enhancing is one of the most popular uses for dermal fillers. However, not everyone wanting their lips to look fuller necessarily wants, or even needs, fillers to achieve a pouty look. If you are wanting very subtle results, or perhaps to try out a shorter-term option, a lip flip with Botox may be perfect for you!
The Botox lip flip is an excellent alternative if you feel like fillers aren’t your style. This quick, non-surgical, in-office procedure takes only about 10 minutes and the results last up to 3-4 months. As the name implies, the Botox lip flip uses a few quick Botox injections that help the upper lip relax and slightly roll upward. This allows more of the upper lip to be visible appearing more voluminous and defined. It may even help smooth vertical lines around the lips. Most patients will notice results within a few days of treatment, with full effects in about one week.
Image Courtesy of Howard Sobel, MD
Botox Lip Flip Candidates
You will likely be happy with a Botox Lip Flip if:
- You would like a subtle, yet more prominent “pout” to you lips.
- You feel your upper lip becomes invisible when you smile.
- You want a less “gummy” smile; when your gums show more than you’d like.
- You want a fuller look without adding additional volume.
- You want more temporary results (3-4 months).
Fillers are a better option for lip enhancement if:
- You are looking for volume in your upper and/or lower lip.
- You want to address more severe vertical lip lines.
- You would like to improve lip symmetry and overall shape.
- You want a longer-lasting treatment to enhance your lips (6-12 months).
There’s another lip augmentation procedure known as a lip lift. This is a surgical procedure and unlike lip fillers or a Botox lip flip, a lip lift gives permanent results. A lip lift is an in-office procedure that shortens the space between the nose and the top of the lip, known as the “philtrum.” This allows more pink tissue of your lip to be visible making your lips look fuller and more pronounced. It will also increase how much of the upper central teeth are visible when the lips are at rest. A lip lift is a great option for people wanting to add height, rather than volume to their lips.
Image Courtesy of Joe Niamtu III, DMD, FAAC
Lip Lift Candidates
A lip lift can be a good option for older people wanting to reduce the amount of space between the nose and upper lip which tends to increase with age making the lips look thinner. Younger people may also be interested in this surgical procedure if they are not achieving the look they desire with fillers or they are looking for a more permanent option. However, a lip lift may not be a good option for people with a smaller amount of space between the base of the nose and the upper lip; typically about 1.5 centimeters.
Lip Lift Recovery
During the lip lift procedure, a small piece of skin will be removed from the space between the nose and mouth. Sutures will be used to close the incision and you should plan on resting for 24 hours after the procedure. You will want to avoid strenuous activity, smoking, sleeping on your face and opening your mouth too wide while you are recovering. It is also recommended to use a small toothbrush and to keep your lips moisturized.
Many patients that want to plump and shape their lips, choose dermal fillers, but lip implants offer a more lasting and reversible method for fuller, youthful lips. Lip implants are a type of permanent lip augmentation that uses soft, smooth-surfaced, FDA-approved silicone implants. All lip implants are available in different sizes and they can be customized to your anatomy and the look you want.
Lip Implant Candidates
People who are most interested in lip implants tend to be those who have previously had lip augmentation with injectable fillers and are looking for a more permanent solution to enhance their look. A 30 minute, in-office lip implant procedure may also be a better option for someone that is bothered by injections into the sensitive area of their lips. This procedure is also best for people with enough tissue to stretch over and hide the implant, as well as, a symmetrical lip shape.
Lip Implant Recovery
During the lip implant procedure, your surgeon will first sterilize the area and use local anesthetic to numb the lips. A small incision will be made other either corner of the mouth. The implant is then inserted into a small tunnel and once in position, the incisions are then closed with sutures.
Your surgeon will recommend that you avoid any kind of pressure or pulling around the lip area following your lip implant procedure. This includes opening your mouth too wide and compressing your lips too much. It can take up to 1-2 weeks for the tissue to begin scarring and holding the implant in place. Over-the-counter pain medication can be taken as necessary while ice packs and head elevation can also help to minimize swelling after recovery.
To learn more about lip augmentation with lip injections, schedule a consultation with one of our top doctors at Burt & Will Plastic Surgery and Dermatology.