Lip Augmentation

Lip Augmentation for Patients in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, San Jose and Palo Alto

Elegantly shaped lips can make our faces look glamorous. Lip augmentation is one of the most popular procedures in facial plastic surgery today. As we age, our lips lose volume and thin out. Tiny vertical lines appear around the upper and lower lips ("smoker's lines" or "lipstick bleed lines"), the graceful cupid's bow of the upper lip begins to flatten, and the upper lip lengthens and hangs over the teeth. Some people are born with thinner lips, and desire a more defined lip structure and increased lip volume to balance the other features of their face. There are also people who are born with large lips and may desire a lip reduction.

There are several techniques to enhance or alter the appearance of our lips. Our primary goal is to ensure a natural result. We want to avoid lips that look swollen, unnatural or disproportionate to the face. During your consultation, we will discuss both surgical and non-surgical alternatives (lip injections) to lip enhancement and help you choose the treatment option that delivers the most natural, beautiful results.

Technique

Non-Surgical Options for Lip Augmentation (Lip Injections)

The most popular options to enhance the lips today are the injectable dermal fillers (e.g. Juvederm®, Restylane®, Belotero®). Following lip injections, the before and after appearance offers very natural looking results that last six to twelve months. These fillers (which some patients refer to as collagen injections) are placed artistically to offer a natural look. We use fillers to sculpt the lips so the upper lip pout is subtle and the inside of the lip is rolled out, a stylistic touch seen with many models. Lip injections are done in our office with minimal downtime and a quick recovery. There is a possibility of some bruising and swelling after lip injections and applying ice before the treatment can minimize this risk.

The thin, vertical wrinkles that form around your lips as you age ("lipstick bleed lines" or "smoker's lines") are best treated with a combination of Botox® Cosmetic and injectable fillers (e.g. Juvederm® and Restylane®). Botox® or Dysport® will gently weaken the strong muscles around the lips that lead to excessive pursing of the lips, resulting in lines. The injectable filler is used in conjunction with the muscle relaxer to fill in any fine lines and wrinkles at rest to achieve the best results.

We perform the innovative microcannula technique to help reduce bruising, swelling, and downtime. The microcannula is soft and blunt at its end, therefore it does not pierce any arteries or veins when entering the skin.

Those with deep wrinkle lines around the lips may benefit from a skin resurfacing treatment (such as laser or skin resurfacing or dermabrasion). The creases that form at the edge of the lips and mouth known as "marionette lines" can often be sculpted with various dermal fillers.

Results that LAST

Lip augmentation and enhancement with fillers can last anywhere from 6 to 12 months depending on the filler chosen. Individual treatment results can vary. Touch ups are needed at 3-6 months to keep the volume in your lips stable.

Surgical Options for Lip Enhancement

When considering a surgical alteration of your lips, it's important to remember that achieving natural looking results must be age appropriate. For example, the voluptuous lips of a 20-year-old will look unnatural on someone much older. Surgical solutions are a good option for a person with very thin lips, a significant asymmetry between the upper and lower lip or a droopy upper lip.

Below is a list of surgical options for lip enhancement:

  • Fat Grafting/MicroFat Injections/Fat Augmentation - When the lips become thinner as we age, fat can be injected into the lips to achieve natural appearing, beautiful lips. The fat graft can be obtained from the abdomen, inner thigh or by removing it during a procedure such as a facelift (this is called a SMAS graft the SMAS is the fibrofatty tissue under the skin). A SMAS graft/dermal fat graft is placed into the lips through microscopic incisions placed on the inside of the mouth. These are optimal ways to add volume to the upper and lower lips.
  • Lip Lift - A lip lift can help return the upper lip skin, muscle and underlying tissues to a more youthful contour, giving you a younger looking smile. The lip lift is performed with an incision directly underneath the nose placed in fine creases and wrinkles so when healing is complete all incisions are camouflaged.
  • V to Y Lip Advancement Procedure - The V to Y lip advancement procedure produces the fullest lips. This is an operation performed by very few doctors across the country. All the incisions are placed on the inside of the lips making this a great option in select patients.
  • Lip Implants - Other surgical options include insertion of implants such as Alloderm, Gore-Tex or Silicone lip implants.

What can I expect after treatment?

The injection of any fillers or toxins to the lip and mouth area can be done right in the comfort of our office. Common reactions after an injection include swelling, bruising, itching, pain and discoloration at the injection site. Most of these symptoms will resolve in 24-48 hours. This can be covered up with make-up and our skin care professionals can assist you with a complimentary consultation.

We have provided lip augmentation before and after photos of our patients to help you visualize the possibilities.

Post-Operative Recovery Process

What should I expect after my surgical lip augmentation?

Our philosophy is to see you early and often after treatment. So many questions arise in the first two weeks following any surgery that we believe setting up a series of appointments for that time period alleviates any anxiety a patient may have about the recovery process. We will do a careful exam and more importantly answer any questions you may have. Your sutures will be removed four to five days after surgery. Our core objective is to provide a safe, comfortable surgical experience that aspires to restore your appearance and aims to produce natural results.

If performed by an experienced professional, lip augmentation can be an extremely satisfying procedure. Most importantly, lips should look balanced and natural. Please contact us to learn more about lip augmentation and find out if you are a candidate for this procedure. Always feel free to call the clinic or make an appointment online.