Posts Tagged ‘lip fillers’

Enhancing Your Lips: Lip Fillers or Lip Augmentation

lip-augmentation-imageYour lips are as unique as your face. Lip shape and volume play an important role in overall facial aesthetics. Today, full, sensual lips are considered the aesthetic ideal, hence the popularity of lip augmentation procedures. But even if you have naturally full lips now, they will change as you age – making it a concern for most women at some point in their lives.

When we’re young, our lips are full, edges are crisp and only the tiniest lines are evident when we smile or frown. As we age, our lips tend to get thinner, the edges soften and permanent vertical lines are set.

Lip augmentation (aka, lip enhancement) procedures are very popular and are designed to highlight original lip features or to improve the shape, the volume and the hydration of the lips. The vertical lines that appear on the skin around the lips can also be erased without changing the lip volume.

Injectable dermal fillers for lip augmentation

Hyaluronic acid fillers and fat are the most commonly used products to enhance the lips and surrounding skin. These products are injected with precision and the results look very natural — providing instant volume and contour to lips that lasts for several months. Because the effects are temporary, lip fillers are often used for special occasions — such as weddings or other important life events — or for experimenting with a new look.

Specific brands of hyaluronic fillers have specific uses in lip enhancement. Some lip fillers will bring more volume to your lips, enhancing them for a sensual youthful appearance. Other lip fillers have a softer affect, improving your lips’ shape and easing dryness with less volume.

Your aesthetic surgeon must select the correct lip filler to achieve your goals and to prevent lumps and irregularities. Our surgeons offer years of experience in lip enhancement and will advise you on the specific product that best suits your goals.

If you and your surgeon decide an injectable filler is right for you, the procedure will be done in your surgeon’s office. You’ll be given local anesthesia in the form of an anesthetic cream or shot to numb your lips and the surrounding soft tissues. The lip filler will be injected just under your skin with needles or blunt cannulas, and usually, takes 30 minutes.

Swelling and minor bruising are common after lip injections. Icing the areas help speed up the recovery and help improve any further discomfort. Your results are immediate and typically last about 6 months.

Fat transfer for lip augmentation

Fat is also used as a natural filler and can be injected into the lips. Small amounts of fat can be taken from your hips, stomach or thighs in a separate procedure. Once it’s purified, it can then be used as a lip filler to improve the volume and shape of your lips, and smooth mouth lines. Several recent studies have shown that injected fat has added benefits – as it improves skin quality and texture.

During the first few months after injection, the lips will absorb some of the fat cells, so the results are somewhat unpredictable. However, the volume that remains is permanent.

In many cases, two procedures are required. The fat is first harvested from your body and purified for the implant process. Then, the fat transfer is performed in a second procedure. (Some surgeons choose to combine both steps in one appointment).

Both procedures will be in the surgeon’s office under local anesthesia. The fat harvesting takes only a few minutes. The fat transfer usually takes 45-60 minutes. As with any other lip filler, it’s common for bruising and swelling to occur.

Is it time for lip augmentation?

If your face doesn’t match the youthful energy you feel, it may be time to talk with a doctor about lip augmentation. Contact the Emory Aesthetic Center to schedule a complimentary consultation with one our expert cosmetic surgeons.

Make an appointment

To make an appointment, use the link below or call 404-778-6880 to schedule a personal consultation.

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How Long Do Lip Injections Last?

Lip InjectionsLip injections have been in the news a lot lately, spawning from recent reports around Kylie Jenner admitting she has used temporary lip fillers. The Kardashian family has certainly popularized the procedure, but it’s important to know what lip augmentation procedures are out there, how long they last and which one is right for you.

Lip augmentation involves injecting or placing a material into the lips to increase the fullness. The procedure generally comes in three different forms: from dissolving fillers such as hyaluronic acid to fat grafting to implants. Each has its own benefits and downsides. It is important to understand these so you can discuss with your physician which is right for you.

Lip injections with hyaluronic acid fillers are likely to be the most popular. Fillers such as Juvederm® , Restylane®  and Belotero®  are commonly used in this instance, though not all are FDA approved for this. They give predictable results, are reversible in cases of dissatisfaction or over-correction, and do not require skin testing or additional surgical procedures. These lip injections require a few minutes in the office and a return to work and regular life immediately. The downside is that these are the shortest duration of all lip augmentation procedures. Commonly, I instruct patients that fillers such as these will likely need to be repeated in three to four months (at most six months) because of the significant motion the lips go through on a daily basis.

Fat grafting is theoretically permanent. Fat is harvested through liposuction or through another surgical procedure often done at the same time as lip augmentation. It is injected with small hollow needles into the lip and needs to be overfilled initially to compensate for the fact that some of it will not survive the transplant. The issues with fat grafting include the need for a donor site and another procedure, and the risk of asymmetric or unpredictable survival of the fat transfer.

Finally, lip implants are usually the longest lasting and most predictable, though as with any type of implant, there are risks of infection and movement of the implant material that can compromise the length of the result.

Overall, there are several good options for lip augmentation, but lip injections with fillers are currently the reigning champion due to ease of use, no downtime and relative low cost. The repetitive need for intervention is certainly a factor to take into consideration, but at the same time, as we age and our anatomy alters, a permanent intervention may not always remain the right solution.

The board certified physicians of the Emory Aesthetic Center can consult with you to determine which lip augmentation procedure would be best for you. Make an appointment for your complimentary consultation.

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About Dr. Sethna

Anita Sethna, MDAnita Sethna, MD, understands that facial plastic and reconstructive surgery demand a marriage of science and artistry, and she enjoys using precision, skill, and vision to make her patients’ dreams reality. Dr. Sethna’s meticulous attention to detail and her passion for maintaining a natural look ensure optimum results for her patients. A dedicated teacher, Dr. Sethna is devoted to assisting residents in facial trauma or reconstructive cases at Grady Hospital. She relishes the opportunity to educate residents and medical students in all aspects of patient care. Dr. Sethna has a strong interest in several areas of facial plastic surgery research and has presented at national meetings on the importance of resident and fellow education in rhinoplasty techniques and adjunctive measures to decrease discomfort during cosmetic procedures.

Lip Fillers vs. Lip Augmentation: Which Will Achieve the Results I Want?

Lip Fillers AugmentationPlacing Hollywood starlets aside, lip augmentation is certainly not a new phenomenon. History proves it has been around in some areas of the world for hundreds of years, and in the Western world since at least the 1900s.

As we age, the lips lose volume just as other areas of the face; the upper “white” lip (or the area between the bottom of the nose and the Cupid’s bow area,) gets lengthened, turning the lips inward and making them appear thinner and less full. When we restore volume to this area, it makes the lower portion of the face more youthful in appearance. But with all good things, of course, the key is moderation!

Lip augmentation can come in two main forms: surgical and non-surgical. Prior to the advent of modern-day fillers (such as Restylane®, Juvederm®, etc.), surgical lip augmentation was quite popular, and remains part of the surgeons’ treatment options. Lip implants made of preformed silicone, Gore-Tex®, or even fat harvested from other sites of the body can be placed into the lips via small incisions at the corners. This is often done at the same time as other facial surgery, or can be done in the office under local anesthesia with ease. The upside of surgery or fat transfer is that it is a procedure that is very long-lasting, and in most cases permanent. The risks of extrusion (the implant coming out,) or infection is relatively low, and the downtime is usually just related to swelling and/or bruising. The immediate cost is often greater than non-surgical options; however, the long-term cost is relatively low, as these will likely last for years. Downsides include a week or few days of prolonged swelling, risk of future infection or motion of the implant. Something else worth discussing is that as we age, the volume and position of these implants do not remain static. Patients who have undergone lip implants 10 years ago may feel their implants have to be camouflaged with other injections to limit visibility as the position and volume of the lips themselves have changed over the years. In some cases, this requires the implants be removed for either comfort or visibility.

Alternatively, lip injections have been done in many shapes and forms over the years—from free silicone (not recommended and not FDA-approved) to collagen injections in the 80s and 90s, to the modern-day injections with hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane. Modern day lip fillers are done in the office with some topical anesthetic and take about 10-15 minutes to perform. Generally very well tolerated, they result in little to no recovery time and at a relatively lower cost to surgical alternatives. The upside to these procedures is clear: low downtime, low risk, and reversible. The downsides include lack of permanence (the longest results usually are between 4-6 months), and cost of repeat injections. However, they do allow change with time and age, which should also be taken into consideration.

These days, options regarding lip augmentation abound. The decision hinges on a few issues: what is your surgeon most comfortable with? Would you rather incur the higher cost now (surgery), or be able to parse the cost out over time depending on the trend, changing times, or your assessment of your appearance (injections)? Finally, how committed are you to enhancing this area? Have you done it before and liked the results? Or are you considering this for the first time? First-timers or younger patients may want to at least experiment with fillers initially before jumping into surgical augmentation. Though removing or reversing the surgical procedure is not impossible by any means, injections in most cases can be reversed much more easily (if hyaluronic acid fillers are used).

A well-performed lip augmentation surgery and/or artistically-injected lip can restore much-needed volume to a sometimes under-appreciated area of the face. As with all things, research the options, talk to friends, and make sure your surgeon is able to answer and address your concerns to your satisfaction. You will, I’m sure, appreciate the fantastic results!

With questions about lip fillers, implants and augmentation, or to schedule a consultation with the Emory Aesthetic Center, please call: 404-778-6880