There are a variety of reasons a patient may seek lip augmentation, ranging from combatting signs of aging to seeking a more symmetrical or proportionate look overall. Just as there are many reasons to choose lip augmentation, there are several procedures available. Consulting with a qualified plastic surgeon or cosmetic professional will help guide you toward the procedure (or combination of procedures) that is best suited to you.
Restylane® is a popular hyaluronic acid-based filler that can be used for many purposes, including non-surgically augmenting the lips. By strategically injecting this product into the lips, a plump, youthful, and natural-looking appearance can be achieved. Restylane®, like other dermal fillers, is a temporary way to alter the shape and size of the lips, but injections can be repeated to maintain the effect. Restylane® offers consistent results. Injections also require no downtime, meaning patients can return to their normal activities with only minimal bruising, redness, or swelling immediately after the treatment.
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Fat transfer for lip augmentation purposes uses injection techniques similar to other non-surgical lip augmentation procedures but offers permanent results. Fat is harvested from the patients own body, usually the abdominal area, then prepared for injection. After being injected into the lips to create a plumper and fuller appearance, the fat is not re-absorbed like other fillers usually are because the body recognizes that it is not a foreign substance. This means that unlike other injectable treatments, fat transfer does not need to be repeated.
Upper lip lifts and lip reductions are each surgical procedures that can be beneficial for patients who are unhappy with the proportions of their lips. If necessary to achieve the desired effects, either of these procedures can be combined with other surgeries, such as rhinoplasty.
An upper lip lift serves to shorten the distance between the nose and the upper lip. Many patients opt for this surgery because they feel that their smile would improve if more of their upper teeth were revealed when smiling. The procedure is completed through a small incision made under the base of the nose, removing a small section of the tissue and lifting the skin upwards. Any scarring that results from this small incision is hidden in the natural crease of the nostrils once healing is complete.
A lip reduction is chosen when the patient feels their lower lip is too large, creating an asymmetrical appearance. The procedure uses a horizontal incision inside the lip through which excess tissue is removed, resulting in a smaller lower lip that is in better proportion with the upper lip and the face as a whole.
Fine lines and wrinkles can form around the mouth from sun exposure, cigarette smoking, or simply genetic aging effects. These wrinkles radiate out from around the lips and are commonly called “lipstick lines” or “smoker’s lips.” Perioral dermabrasion softens the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth by exfoliating several layers of skin around the area while also stimulating collagen production. The result is noticeably firmer and rejuvenated skin with smoother and more youthful texture.
Botox® and Dysport® are both neuromodulators, meaning that they temporarily block nerve signals to the facial muscles that are responsible for creating wrinkles. Professional and qualified injectors can utilize Botox® and Dysport® to minimize smile lines around the mouth, offering a more youthful appearance without impeding the patient’s ability to make natural-looking facial expressions.