The lips are the aesthetic centerpiece of the lower face. Full lips convey beauty, youth, and sensuality. With age, the lips lose their fullness and become thin. Radial furrows or smoker's lines develop in the surrounding skin which can cause lipstick to bleed. Lip augmentation restores volume to the lips resulting in fuller, plumper lips and reduces the radial fine lines around the lips.
Lips may be injected with a number of filler agents including hyaluronic acid (Restylane) and collagen (CosmoDerm and CosmoPlast). Both of these materials are natural components of the skin, and our skin makes less of each as we age resulting in decreased volume and resiliency.
With which product should I have my lips injected?
Restylane is a hyaluronic acid product and is our most popular filler agent. It lasts about 4-6 months in the lips compared with 1-2 months for collagen. Collagen loses its volume steadily over this time, so that your lips are fullest immediately after injection. Restylane retains its volume as it is degraded so that your lips look fuller and as our physicians intend for them to look until it's completely degraded. Some patients prefer collagen because it has a softer consistency and feels more natural in the lips. However, most of our patients prefer Restylane for its longevity.
|Treated with 1 cc of Restylane to the upper and lower lips and 1 cc Restylane to the radial rhytids.|
|This patient desired subtle augmentation of the upper lip to accentuate its shape. She received 0.4 cc Restylane in her upper lip. Note the subtle increase in the vertical show of her upper lip.|
|Individual results may vary.|
What are the side effects?
There is a small risk of bruising at the points of injection. This manifests as a small purple spot which can usually be covered with lipstick and resolves within a week. To minimize the chances of bruising, avoid taking aspirin-like products, Vitamin E, and other blood thinning products for a week prior to injection. Swelling is almost universal after Restylane and lasts for 1 - 3 days. Most patients are able to return to work the following day but avoid planning important social events within this time period.
Are the injections painful?
Nerve blocks may be performed to anesthetize the lips. Lidocaine injections are placed through the mouth similar to how a dentist would numb your mouth. Many patients do not find these injections to be painful. The anesthesia lasts for 2-3 hours. During this time, you should avoid eating anything hot or cold as you may inadvertently cause injury. Because your lips are numb, you may find your speech to be slightly slurred. This typically resolves within an hour.