Lip augmentation is one of the plastic surgery procedures most often performed. I often get asked questions regarding lip augmentation and why this is so important. When I was in LA lip augmentation was the main procedure which prompted me to look into facial beauty and ultimately lead me to find a new theory on facial beauty. The lip, especially the lower lip, is the center of attention in the mouth area. The location of the lower lip is part of a basic structure of how the face is organized. I recently had a paper accepted by the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery looking into the distance between the iris, nasal tip, lower lip and bottom of the chin which supports the importance of the lips playing a major part in beauty. This is one of the reasons why lip augmentation is so powerful. The other reason is due to what the lips are related to in our daily functions. The lips are the area that we have major association with eating, smiling, talking, yelling, kissing, breathing. Some of our most basic and primitive functions are related to the lips. These basic functions have a strong connection with our limbic system which is also the area where some of strong emotions are. The limbic system has a major control over our heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure etc which gives our emotions the physical aspect that they have related to them. Hence lip augmentation emphasizes these feelings in the subconscious mind. Out of most all the things we do in plastic surgery Lip Augmentation can make the biggest “pow” to your aesthetics or beauty.
In terms of the options, fillers are usually the first thing that most people consider. It is temporary, low risk, low downtime, and you can have almost instant results. On our lip augmentation page we say this about lip augmentation: “Feel more attractive and enhance the area that can have the most impact on your face. Lip augmentation can create that stunning effect.” And, we believe this to be true. The drawbacks with filler lip augmentation is that sometimes it lasts only 3 months when it should last 6 mo to a year. Among the permanent options, Surgisil Permalip implants can be placed. These solid silicone Perma Lip Implants can be placed in the lips wet dry border to enhance your lips. The recovery is quicker than most and takes about a week. Some people loves this option, some (5%) don’t like the feel and the restriction. When this happens the option is taking them out, which I have done many times for people. In its stead, we often carry out fat grafting which works well in this situation. The fat seems to survive better after the permalip implants stretch out the tissues. Which brings us to another more permanent or longer lasting option, fat injections to the lips or the use of the YoungVitalizer for the lips. Fat injections to the Lips is less invasive, lower risk than other options but the complaint is that they don’t survive in the lips. This is a very real complaint. Out of all the areas of the face, the lips have the worse survival rate. Over injections can help this and so can technique. Botox prior to the fat injections can help but your lips may be weak for 3 mo from the botox. The major reason for the lower survival is the high movement of this area. The movement prevents the fat from receiving blood supply. Its like building a house during an earthquake.
Lip VY advancement, VY plasty lip augmentation is another option. This involves taking V’s inside the lips and advancing the tissue forward to augment the lips the result is the V is closed to a Y shape with the V determining the amount and size of the advancement or augmentation. The recovery for this procedure is much longer and more varied. It is sometimes hard to predict how it will heal bu there are things you can do to balance it out. You can do more VY advancing where needed or do Lip Reduction in areas that need it. The main reason to do this procedure is if you want a major change to your lips and are willing to undergo the longer recovery. We have a healing diary for you to see by clicking here: Lip VY Advancement Augmentation Plasty Healing Diary.
The Buffalo Gull Wing Lip Lift is a procedure which shortens the upper lip specifically the distance from the bottom of the nose to the upper lip. This can really make someone look younger and increase their aesthetics. This distance should be about the distance of the width of the iris per Dr. Young’s theory. When should you do this, when this distance is larger than an iris width you could benefit from this. You also have to accept the incision | scar under the nose. This can be hidden really well and controlled based on technique. This can be done to make the upper lip a little larger and more everted and pouty.
A corner of the lip lift can be done as well. The incision however is at the corner of your mouth and many people don’t like this option. This can be used to elevate the corners and there is a way of altering the muscle to weaken the depressors of the lip so that frowning is weaker!! This is obviously something that people would like.
Botox can also weaken the lip muscles to create a pout that is temporary lasting 3-4 months. Our office can also do this as well.
Other options that can be done are fascia grafts to the lips, alloderm (cadaver skin elements) to the lips, solid one piece fat grafts for the lips. These options are not as good, in our opinion, because they get absorbed and very little augmentation will be longer lasting.
A lip lift done just at the top of the lips have been done before but this option is more invasive and leaves a more noticeable scar in this area. Many people do not like this scar and the location of this scar.
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Dr. Young from Aesthetic Facial Plastic Surgery.