The lips are one of the most prominent areas of the face and a primary point of direct focus during interpersonal communication and intimate human connection. As such, the mouth and the surrounding area provide major opportunities for individuals looking to rejuvenate and feminize their appearance.
Some of the most common procedures for feminizing the lips are purely for rejuvenation purposes, this makes them ideal if your lips are showing signs of aging such as fine ‘lipstick’ lines or wrinkles, loss of volume (thinness), and/or sun damage.
Surgical lip rejuvenation procedures include the lip lift (upper lip reduction), the corners of mouth lift, and perioral dermabrasion. If you’re seeking a less-invasive lip rejuvenation treatment, you may want to explore popular non-surgical procedures like around the mouth such as dermal fillers and Botox® or Dysport® injections.
A well-qualified, Board Certified surgeon with experience and training in facial feminization surgery can advise you on which of these procedures would be most suitable for you depending on your unique facial features, age, and skin condition.
The upper lip is “lifted” via a simple surgical procedure whereby the surgeon creates an incision directly beneath the nose and a small strip of facial tissue skin is removed. The lip is then elevated upwards to expose about 3-5 millimeters (1/8”) of the teeth into a more youthful and female position. This makes the previously hidden and pinkest part of the lip more visible, exposing a portion of the upper teeth as is common with female faces. The resulting look is very youthful and feminine and since the procedure is done without the use of fillers or plumping agents the results appear to be very natural with very little minimal visible scarring because the incision is hidden under the nose.
Lip augmentation is a procedure that involves the surgeon augmenting (or filling) the lips via injection. There are two options for lip augmentation:
Fat transfer involves the surgical relocation of fat from your own body, most likely from the abdomen or thighs. The fat is then injected in multiple injection points into the lips. Fat transfer is highly recommended for lip rejuvenation because it is a safe and more natural way to plump and increase the volume of the lips. Since the fat that is transferred is from the patient, the body is less likely to absorb or remove it and the results are usually permanent for most people.
The injectable dermal filler option has the advantage of being a non-surgical and less invasive procedure. There are many commercially available fillers such as Restylane®, a proven commercially available product. However, it is important to note that artificial fillers are resorbed by the body over time and necessitate repeat injections
The lips at the corners of the mouth are usually less visible and less pink in color than the rest of the lips, and with natural aging, may become downturned creating a ‘sad face’ look. The corners-of-mouth lift works to give the lips a fuller and brighter pink continuous sweep across the entire mouth. The corners-of-mouth lift improves the ratio of the natural “sweep” of the lips and increases the visibility of the pink portion of the lips. This procedure focuses exclusively on lifting the very corners of your mouth and does not affect lip movement, which is necessary for the expression of your full range of emotions.
Dermabrasion is a safe and effective treatment for reducing the appearance of acne scarring, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also alleviates sun-related skin damage and uneven pigmentation (sun spots). Dermabrasion is relatively painless, and although it removes several layers of skin, it and can be performed as a day procedure in the operating room with very little downtime.
The process involves literally ‘buffing’ the skin with a high-speed, rotating dermabrasion instrument. The depth and degree of the treatment are customized depending on the desired results and the amount of resurfacing required. While dermabrasion is usually performed on the face it can also be done on other areas of particularly dry or damaged skin such as the back of the hands or decolletage.
BOTOX® and Dysport® injections are frequently recommended for rejuvenating and softening the lips and surrounding area. Both products have been proven to be safe, effective, and long-lasting. When these popular injectable treatments are applied by a skilled and qualified provider–and performed with skill and artistry–the results can be quite dramatic and still yet very natural-looking.
Worry lines and deep wrinkles smooth and soften almost immediately, giving the face a rejuvenated and refreshed appearance that lasts for 4 to 6 months or more. Subsequent treatments may produce an accumulative effect in with results lasting much longer, up to 8 to 10 months in some cases.