Question: I recently heard of something called silicone microdroplets for enhancing the lips. What is this?
Answer: Silicone droplets are simply medical grade silicone that is injected into the lips. This is an FDA-approved product for treatment of retinal detachments but is not FDA approved for use as a facial filler, so this product is not only off label, but it is actually not FDA approved for this use at all, and I would highly recommend that you not have anyone inject silicone in your lips simply because of the fact that it is truly permanent and will be there for the rest of your life. Having said that, if the silicone migrates to an area where you do not like it, this will also be there for the rest of your life and be rather difficult to correct. That is the biggest reason why I try to direct my patients away from any sort of a permanent filler material.
Question: I would love to have fuller lips, but I’m very leery of lip augmentation. Most celebrities you see have what I think of as porn star lips that are just too full and swollen looking. Is there some way to avoid this and get very natural results?
Answer: The best way to avoid getting unnatural looking lips from lip augmentation is to go to a very experienced surgeon or injector since it is a simple matter of appropriate diagnosis of lip shape and then appropriate treatment of that lip shape to enhance it without giving it an unnatural appearance. In other words, I would argue to say that I have never had a patient walk out of my office from a lip augmentation that had unnatural looking lips. They may have some swelling to make the lips look overly full, but they still do not look unnatural since the overall shape of the lip still is retained. The biggest key is to prevent augmentation near the corners of the mouth since this gives a very artificial appearance. The majority of the augmentation is placed on each side of the center of the upper lip whereas in the lower lip it is placed actually in the center of the lip and this can give a very natural, luscious augmentation without looking overdone or unnatural.
Question: Do you have any type of injectable filler for the lips that is dyed to change the color of my lips?
Answer: No, I have never heard of an injectable filler that has color in it that can actually change the color of the lip, but one option would be to have injectable filler to change the volume and shape of the lip and then to undergo micropigmentation of the lips for added color. Micropigmentation is essentially tattooing a shade of red into the lip especially along the lip line to enhance the appearance of the lip.
Question: I am a ChapStick addict and I am constantly applying it. After I receive my injectable filler in my lips, will I have to cut down on the ChapStick use?
Answer: No, there is no reason that you would have to cut down on ChapStick use just because you have had filler placed in your lips, so I would go ahead and keep using it as you need to.
Question: I would like to get injectable fillers in my face. I would like to plump both my lips and my nasolabial folds, which have gotten quite pronounced. I would like hyaluronic acid because the reports that I read indicate it is longer lasting than collagen. Is hyaluronic acid appropriate for both areas?
Answer: Yes, hyaluronic acid is an excellent filler for both your lips and your nasolabial folds, and though it typically does not last as long in the lips as it does in the smile lines, it is still a very long lasting option and overall it is extremely safe and effective.
Question: I have seen people who have gotten collagen in their lips and they look horribly disfigured. Are there better products now for enhancing the lips?
Answer: I am not sure that collagen was truly disfiguring or if the injector simply placed too much product in certain areas giving the illusion of a disfigurement. Ultimately, I highly prefer the hyaluronic acid fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane due to the fact that they are extremely safe and they are extremely natural appearing when injected appropriately and can last a relatively long period of time in the lips somewhere around six-plus months. These injections can be highly customized for each individual to give them the luscious lips that they desire.
Question: My daughter is asking for work on her lips for her high school graduation present. Is this a procedure recommended for children so young?
Answer: If she simply wants fuller, more plump lips then this certainly can be performed on someone her age, and if she is under age 18 this will require the consent of a parent or guardian, but if she is over 18 she can obviously sign her own consent. Fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm are excellent at producing fuller and more luscious lips and are extremely safe and relatively long lasting.
Question: I am 28 years old and interested in receiving a collagen treatment for my upper lip. How would we decide on whether to use a human or bovine derived injectable?
Answer: If you came to see me I would personally recommend that you avoid the collagen product simply because the hyaluronic acid products are so superior, in my opinion. If you were insistent upon using a collagen, I would sway you against the bovine collagen and either recommend human collagen or porcine collagen since you are not suppose to need any sort of allergy testing for these, otherwise I feel that the hyaluronic acid fillers are such wonderful products, I would guess that after a long discussion you would agree as well and be very happy with a Restylane or Juvederm-type product.
Question: Would repeated lip injections permanently disfigure my lips over time?
Answer: I have not seen any circumstances where repeated injections of the lips have created any sort of disfigurement, but I certainly would be cautious about how much filler is placed in the lips since if we truly over augment the lip with multiple syringes of a filler, you could theoretically stretch out the tissue to the point that when the filler disappears you could have some residual abnormalities. As long as patients and the injector are relatively conservative in their augmentation of the lips, you really should not get into any long term problems.
Question: I have very thin lips and would like to have them enlarged and possibly re-sculpted. I have what looks to be a natural scowl even though I am not. Can this be corrected with lip enhancement or would I need some other type of plastic surgery?
Answer: It really depends on your exact anatomy as to what I would recommend but if you have an overly long upper lip that completely covers your upper teeth then we may want to consider a surgical procedure to not only lift the lip but to also enhance its appearance and shape. If the length of your lip is otherwise relatively normal then we might want to consider something simple such as filler injections or a fat transfer. Ultimately lip enhancement needs to be extremely customized for each individual so that we create a very natural appearing lip that the patient can be very happy with.