The lips play a significant role in the appearance of a traditionally feminine face. Typically, feminine faces have a shorter distance between the upper lip and nose as well as a fuller or more voluminous shape. This makes lip augmentation procedures a popular choice for facial feminization patients. At the Deschamps-Braly Clinic, patients can consider options including lip lifts and lip fillers to achieve a more feminine look.
The Difference Between a Lip Lift and Lip Fillers
The primary difference between a lip lift and lip fillers is that the former is a surgical procedure while the latter is performed using injections.
A lip lift is also referred to as an upper lip reduction. In a lip lift, a small section of skin below the nose is removed, raising the upper lift slightly higher. This exposes more of the pink tissue of the lips, creating a fuller appearance, and shortens the distance between the upper lip and nose. The results of a lip lift is a more typically feminine and youthful look. Some patients may also choose a lip lift for the corners of the mouth. This creates a more pleasant resting expression by focusing on the corners of the mouth alone, improving the “sweep” of the lips while still creating the appearance of more volume.
Lip fillers, or lip injections, typically involve using hyaluronic acid-based products such as Juvéderm, Restylane Kysse, or Belotero to create fuller lips. In some cases, fat transfer may also be used to create longer-lasting results. Lip fillers can be completed quickly and are a significantly less invasive option compared to a lip lift. However, results from hyaluronic acid fillers are not permanent.
Recovery After a Lip Lift vs. Lip Fillers
Recovery is a significant consideration for patients to make when choosing between lip lift and lip fillers.
After a lip lift, sutures will be in place, and you can expect some bruising and swelling. Incisions will heal within several weeks, and a short amount of downtime is typical.
After lip fillers, no downtime is required. You may notice minimal side effects including redness or swelling at the injection site. However, results are immediately noticeable.
Choosing Between Lip Lift and Lip Fillers for Facial Feminization
The best option for your facial feminization will vary depending on several factors. First, patients can consider which facial features they are most concerned about. Some facial feminization patients may have a noticeably long distance between the nose and upper lip, creating a masculine effect. Others may only have concerns about the fullness of their lips, which can make lip fillers a better option. It is also worth factoring in pairing your lip procedure with other facial feminization options. If you are including a lip procedure as part of an overall facial feminization surgery, the downtime required after a lip lift is less of a concern.
Longevity of your results is another important consideration. Some patients opt for lip fillers first as results are not permanent. This gives them the opportunity to see how they feel about the results before committing to a permanent change.
Finally, it is possible to combine a lip lift and lip fillers in many cases. While a lip lift will result in the appearance of fuller lips, fillers can then be used to enhance these results. Dr. Deschamps-Braly and Jennifer Fick can help guide you toward the best options to achieve the results you’re looking for.
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Dr. Deschamps-Braly is a board-certified plastic and craniofacial surgeon specializing in facial plastic surgery, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, and craniofacial surgery for adults and children. He is also one of the world’s foremost leaders and innovators in facial gender confirmation surgery.