Question: My lips have a lot of fine wrinkles on them. If I plump them up with a filler, will this also smooth out the lines?
Answer: Yes, if you plump up the lips with a filler, the fine wrinkles that are on the lip itself or along the lip line will be stretched out just like the concept of a raisin as opposed to a grape. I have not found that the enlargement of the lips creates worsening of the wrinkling over time.
Question: After you get lip augmentation, is there a period of time we’re you’re extra aware of your lips? Does it take a while to get used to them?
Answer: I think most people feel as if their lips are overly large after a lip augmentation and this is mainly due to the swelling that occurs after the injection but also is due to having larger lips from the filler. It really does not take long to get used to this and for most people it is just a matter of a few days and their lips feel as if they are completely normal.
Question: My lips have been thinning with age and it’s really been bothering me. I used to have great luscious lips and I’d love to have them back to how they used to be, but I’m very hesitant of lip augmentation. The results I’ve ever seen look so unnatural. Are there other options that can augment the lips more naturally?
Answer: Unfortunately, I think you have just seen some bad injections giving the appearance of very unnatural appearing lips. This is not the filler agent’s problem but the injector’s fault since when properly performed; we can do a very natural appearing lip augmentation with fillers, such as Juvederm and Restylane. In fact, since it is an injectable filler agent as opposed to an actual implant that gets placed there, we can highly customize where volume is added to the lip and give a patient a very natural but also very rejuvenated and luscious lip.
Question: Are injectable fillers permanent or do they need to be replaced often?
Answer: Injectable fillers for the lips are not permanent, and I would highly recommend that you stay away from any permanent fillers for the lips since you have an extremely high likelihood of a future complication. I prefer the temporary filler materials Restylane and Juvederm for lip augmentation since they are very soft, can be easily customized for each individual’s lip anatomy, and last a relatively long time at about six months. If you are very insistent upon permanent improvement in the lips then I would consider a lip implant before I would consider a permanent injectable filler since the lip implant, should it shift or move, could easily be removed whereas a permanent filler material, if it shifted or moved, would be very difficult to remove in the future.
Question: I’d like to get a fuller appearance to my lips. I’ve heard that silicone strips can be implanted. How does this work and is it a good choice?
Answer: Silicone strips can be inserted into the lips and it is basically performed using local anesthetic and a very small incision is made into the corner of each lip. A tunnel is created in the lip where the implant is then inserted and this implant obviously has volume to it and enhances the lip in this way. Historically, I have placed many implants into patients’ lips and overall they have had a relatively low success rate since long term they tend to migrate or move slightly and ultimately in many instances need to be removed. Silicone implants may be better than the old style Gore-Tex implants, but for now I still prefer the injectable fillers like Restylane and Juvederm.
Question: Do you think Juvederm is the best option for lip augmentation? Is it better than Restylane?
Answer: I think Juvederm is an excellent option for lip augmentation since it is very smooth and soft and I can do an excellent job of contouring the lip with it. I do, however, know injectors who prefer Restylane due to the fact that it is slightly thicker and they feel they can contour better with it. In my hands, Juvederm seems to work better, but I think that your injector should be the one who recommends a preference of one over the other.
Question: I have an uneven upper lip line. Would injectable fillers make it look more even?
Answer: In almost all patients that have an uneven upper lip line, injectable fillers can be customized to create a more symmetric appearance, but it really depends on the reason behind the uneven lip line as to whether or not we would actually be able to get a symmetric lip or simply make it look more symmetric.
Question: Is collagen still used for lip augmentation or are hyaluronic acid fillers now the best choice?
Answer: I am sure that in some offices collagen is still used for lip augmentation but, in my opinion, it is rather inferior to the hyaluronic acid products due to the fact that the hyaluronic acid products last a significantly longer time than standard collagen. There are newer collagen injectables that seem to last just as long as the HAs, but I do not have any personal experience with those injectables at the time of this blog. I think, overall, clients should listen to the recommendations of their injector assuming that the injector is extremely experienced with a variety of different filler agents and has performed treatments to the area that you are interested on a frequent basis. At Quintessa Aesthetic Center, we actually train injectors so that we minimize less than desirable results in our community since I think that overall helps everyone, including us, who is in the aesthetic business.