As one of the most popular procedures in facial plastic surgery, lip enhancement is also one of the most controversial. Many of us have seen the unsightly results following “over-injection.” Our board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Jess Prischmann, feels strongly that lip enhancement can be performed with care to give a very natural result. The key is to maintain facial proportions and individualize a plan for each patient.
There are several ways to enhance lips:
- Cosmetic Injectables
- Restylane® – We offer a full range of Restylane® products, including Restylane® Silk, that can enhance the contours of the lips for a fuller appearance. These advanced injectable solutions can yield results that look both natural and beautiful.
- JUVÉDERM® Ultra XC, and JUVÉDERM® Volbella® – The JUVÉDERM® family of dermal fillers include some of the most popular cosmetic injectables available. These non-surgical treatments can be used to provide fuller, more defined lips and a more youthful appearance.
- Subnasal lip lift
- Vermillion advancement
- Lip implants
Injectables are by far the most common method for lip enhancement. Injections work extremely well for most patients and have minimal risks or downtime.
In patients who have advanced aging of the lips or extremely thin lips, surgical procedures generally give better results than injectables. Dr. Prischmann performs subnasal lip lifts and vermillion enhancements. A consultation is required to determine candidacy for one of these procedures.
Dr. Prischmann does not perform lip implants or advise them for her patients.
Who is a good candidate?
- Thin lips
- Lips lacking definition or volume
- Lips out of proportion with the rest of the face
For injectables, the best candidates have a defined “cupid’s bow” and have sufficient “show” of the red portion of the lip.
How is the procedure performed?
Injection enhancement is performed in the office. Since the injections can be uncomfortable, numbing creams and local blocks are commonly used. This can make the procedure relatively painless. Injections usually take 15 minutes. In patients who have never had injections before, Dr. Prischmann commonly advises injecting smaller amounts in a few sessions. This graduated approach can lead to the most natural result.
Surgical enhancement is performed in a procedure room or operating room under mild sedation and local anesthesia. For a subnasal lip lift, the incision is planned under the base of the nose. A small amount of skin is removed, sutured, and the upper lip is “lifted,” resulting in more show of the red portion of the lip. For vermillion enhancement, incisions are made above the border of the upper and/or lower lip. Internal and external sutures are placed.
What is the recovery?
For injectables, there is minimal downtime associated with the procedure. Lips usually are swollen for 3 days. Bruising can take up to one week to resolve.
For surgical procedures, there are usually one or two weeks of downtime. Sutures are removed on day 5 following surgery. Local skin care is performed until the incisions completely heal. Occasionally, “touch-ups” are required following surgery.
Read more from an actual patient of Dr. Prischmann and her experience with lip enhancement.
Please contact Dr. Prischmann for more information on lip enhancement procedures, or to schedule a confidential consultation here at our practice.