What do your lips say about you? If you have thin, severe lips, then you probably don’t feel like they reflect who you really are. Even if you’re happy with the fullness of your lips, poor contour can make you feel self-conscious or unhappy with the way you look, and even affect the overall aesthetic balance of your face.
If you’re dissatisfied with the appearance of your lips, there are some great options for lip enhancement that could work for you and boost your confidence. Lip augmentation is a very popular procedure that can make even you forget that your lips aren’t naturally luscious and full. But how does it work? To help you get started, we’ve put together lip augmentation 101. You’ll learn everything from the difference between Restylane Silk and Juvederm, to how to avoid duck lips/LA lips. Let’s get started!
What is Lip Augmentation?
Lip augmentation is a procedure that is performed to enhance the lips. The goal may be to add volume, improve the lip contour, or both. Some lip enhancement procedures also treat the vertical lines that can form around the mouth with age. This is most often achieved with hyaluronic acid fillers, an injectable treatment that quickly augments the lips. The process involves a simple procedure with little to no downtime and no incisions. The results are usually very natural and, when skillfully done, no one should be able to tell that fillers were used. However, this is a custom procedure that can produce everything from subtle results to dramatic augmentation. The results of this procedure are temporary, typically lasting 6-9 months before another treatment is needed.
What’s the Difference Between Fillers?
There are a number of different brands/formulas of hyaluronic acid fillers that are used for lip augmentation. Many patients are confused by the options, since all hyaluronic acid fillers work in much the same way. However, there are small differences between fillers, such as how long they last, how much they spread, and how well they augment the lips.
Restylane Silk and Juvederm Ultra or Ultra Plus the most popular fillers for lip enhancement, and they’re both high-quality products. However, plastic surgeons have extensive knowledge and finesse for these treatments, and they typically have a preference for which to use according to a patient’s needs. Dr. Stuart Bentkover feels that Juvederm tends to be better for more significant augmentation to make the lips fuller, and Restylane Silk for subtle adjustments to the size and contour of the lips. These options will be discussed prior to the treatment so that everyone is on the same page.
Keeping it Natural
Nobody wants to leave the office looking like a duck. Choosing the right plastic surgeon will make a big difference in avoiding “duck lips” or “LA lips,” which refer to very overfilled lips that resemble a duck’s bill. Duck lips/LA lips are a dead giveaway that filler has been used to enhance the lips—not a natural look at all! Experienced plastic surgeons know that less is more when it comes to augmentation and will tailor the procedure to suit the individual patient’s needs.
The Treatment Process
The lip augmentation treatment only takes 5 minutes or so of active time when performed by an expert plastic surgeon. However, patients are typically in the office for about an hour to allow time for the local and topical anesthetic to take effect. The procedure involves minimal discomfort, but local anesthetic makes the process more comfortable. Once the patient is comfortable and the area is numbed, the gel filler is carefully injected into the lips using a fine needle. Even patients who are only concerned with one lip (the upper or lower) usually need at least some filler in both lips for a more even contour. Once the treatment is complete, ice is applied and patients can return home.
Lip Augmentation Recovery
The lips will be swollen, bruised, and tender initially, but this should fade quickly. There is little downtime, and it’s safe to go back to work the next day. Ice should be applied as needed on the first or second day. Exercise should wait until two days after treatment. Patients can expect the lips to be larger than normal for the first three weeks, but the final results should become apparent after this period. Results last for several months.
How to Get Started
Think lip augmentation is right for you? The first step in getting started is to choose your plastic surgeon. Remember, to avoid duck lips and LA lips, you’ll want to choose an experienced provider with a track record of providing patients with natural-looking results, like Dr. Stuart Bentkover. Before your procedure, you will have a consultation with your surgeon to determine if you are a good candidate for the treatment and to give you a chance to ask questions before you make a decision.
Ready to find out if Restylane or Juvederm is right for your lip augmentation? If you’d like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bentkover at Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery & Laser Center in Worcester (508-363-6500) or Stoneham (617-247-0033), MA, call either location today!