The lips have been an inspiration for poetry and is repeated throughout plays, movies and songs. We are mesmerized by their scarlet hue and caressed by their silky softness. The eyes may be the windows to the soul but the lips are definitely the gateway to sensuality.
There are multiple products out on the market now that can be used to augment and restructure lips. It is the art of the fill that is most important regardless of which product is used. Being just bigger is not all that is required in a lip augmentation rather the medical professional should use his or her skill to enhance and augment. Each persons anatomy is different. Not only in their lips but as their mouth relates to their face as well.There are however some basic rules one should go by. The bottom lip should be 2/3 the size of the upper lip. The upper lip should be complimented by a cupid’s bow and upturned corners. The lower lip consists of two pillows separated by a cleft in the middle The perfect lip shape is a natural one that duplicates that of a baby’s.
To achieve a natural augmentation to one’s lips we want to work within these anatomical constraints. It is when people go just for volume and size then they get that unnatural “duck” look.
What products are available for lip augmentation?
Is made of unique calcium-based micro spheres that are suspended in a natural gel that is injected into the skin through a simple, safe and minimally invasive procedure. It is not recommended by the company use in lip augmentation because 50% of the patients will have visible white nodules on lip stretch.
This is a cosmetic dermal filler made of Hyaluronic acid a natural substance that already occurs in the human body. This is the same ingredient in Perlane and Juvederm but they have different degrees of concentration and cross linking. The hyaluronic acid in Restylane is a crystal gel called NASHA or non animal stabilized hyaluronic acid. All hyaluronic acid are hydrophilic or water loving. As hyaluronic acid degrades each molecule binds more water over time and the same volume can be maintained with less hyaluronic acid. With Restylane the lips may be swollen for the first one to two days The final results are on day four. Your lips will be soft and touchable. The length of time the augmentation will last is variable but will be about 3 to 6 months.
This is the big sister of Restylane. It has been used in Europe and Canada for years and just recently got FDA approval in the states.
This is another of the hyaluronic acid products. The cross linking in Juvederm is about 20% as apposed to Restylane which is 10%. This allows it to last longer than Restylane. The concentration of hyaluronic acid particles is slightly more in Juvederm than in Restylane. This means it will bind more water. Both Restylane and Juvederm (unlike Captique) are not completely concentrated in their injectable form. This means they will continue to bind more water once injected. In clinical terms this means your lips will get larger over the next few days so in some ways it is best to undertreat in the initial injection. The highest degree of swelling with juvederm is noted on day three. Lips are soft and supple at the end of the first week. The duration is at least six months but the some results from the product are probably still visible up to a year
Silicone is now available as a off label use. The molecular weight that is used today is 1000mw. It is done with a micro droplet technique. That means patience is required with this. Silicone is a permanent product that really can give a beautiful and soft result. Only .4cc should be injected per session however because migration is always a risk. We require 30 days between treatments for total encapsulation to occur. Then at thirty days another treatment will be given. Most patients require 3-4 but some require more depending on their desired final result.
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In addition to dermal fillers, there is a procedure called Thermage Lips that also offers smoother, fuller and more defined lips without the use of injectables. You can find out more about this procedure here.
Our doctors consult with you first at our San Francisco office before making the best recommendation for your particular needs. Dr Humble is one of the most referred doctors on the Lip Augmentation Board and has performed countless lip augmentation procedures.