Lip augmentation is one of Dr. Vendemia’s favorite procedures because of the meticulous nature of the technique, and the artistic skill required, to produce a consistently excellent result, and he commonly combines lips with his other favorite nonsurgical procedure… cheekbone augmentation.
When performed properly, lip augmentation produces poutier, fuller, smoother lips that not only look prettier and more feminine, but also very natural. Natural results with lip augmentation are extremely difficult to accomplish, and special techniques are required to make sure you get the most natural result possible. It is also important that your surgeon have experience with a variety of injectable fillers and lip augmentation techniques so he can match the procedure to the anatomy of your lips in particular, and to your desires and personality.
Dr. Nicholas Vendemia performs lip augmentation for women and men in the New York metro area. We encourage you to contact us online or give Manhattan Aesthetic Surgery a call at 917-703-7069 to schedule a visit. Dr. Vendemia is a leading cosmetic surgeon in New York City with a reputation for custom care and beautiful results.
Keep reading to learn more about your lip augmentation options, or take a look at the amazing results that real women like you achieved in our practice with Dr. Vendemia’s lip augmentation techniques in our Before & After Lip Augmentation Photo Gallery.
The Classic Lip Ratio
The aesthetic rule for lip augmentation says that the lower lip should be precisely 1.6 times fuller than the upper lip. To put it another way, the upper lip should be just a touch more than half the size of the lower lip in order to look natural and in proportion. If the upper lip is much smaller than this, that’s when lip injections work well. A thin upper lip can be augmented with fillers to match the classic ratio with the lower lip. The ratio is precise, so the injections must also be precise, and that’s where Dr. Vendemia’s meticulous technique shines.
The Top 5 Techniques for Luscious Lips
- Injectable Fillers for Lip Augmentation
Lip augmentation with injectable fillers is by far the most popular method of lip enhancement because it offers the best combination of immediate results, minimal downtime, reversibility, and safety. Fillers like JUVEDERM and Restylane, which are both in the “HA” (Hyaluronic Acid) category, are an easy and inexpensive way to plump your ‘pout. Each of these products has a slightly different look and feel, so be sure to ask Dr. Vendemia about the advantages and disadvantages of each before you choose. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, and you’ll see the results immediately. Your lips will swell a bit over the next 24 hours, and then settle and heal over about 2-3 days. Most HA last about 4-6 months depending on the product you choose. Non-HA fillers like Radiesse, Artefill, PMMA and silicone are not recommended for lip augmentation because they are more prone to lumps and nodules after a few weeks, and they are not reversible like the HA’s.
- Fat Transfer for Lip Augmentation
Using fat for lip augmentation is a good alternative to injectable fillers for women who want a more permanent result. The procedure can be performed under local or twilight anesthesia, and it involves your plastic surgeon taking a small amount fat from your abdomen, hips, or thighs using small volume liposuction techniques, and then using fine cannulas to inject the fat into your lips. The main benefit of this procedure is the obvious one of it being a permanent treatment, but it is also important to know that a touch up treatment or two is commonly needed to get the perfect result because of the unpredictable nature of fat transfer. On average, about 50% of the injected fat will dissolve, but this is not an exact figure so occasionally more or less than 50% will be left behind. Whatever fat is left behind after 3-6 months will likely stay there permanently, but this may or may not be the exact volume you like, so a touch up procedure may be necessary. Injectable fillers are much more predictable in their volume, and the results are visible immediately, but the tradeoff is that they usually need to be repeated 2-3 times per year. With fat transfer, a permanent result is theoretically possible, but you will have to wait much longer to see that result and a few additional treatments may be required for perfection. The downtime after fat transfer can also be quite a bit longer than with injectable fillers, so this is another consideration that must be taken into account.
- Lip Implants for Lip Enhancement
Lip implants are another permanent option for lip enhancement, but they should be reserved for only the thinnest of lips. Lip implants do come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they usually produce a result that is more exaggerated and less customizable than what is possible with lip injections. For women with extremely thin lips, lip implants are definitely worth considering, but for everyone else, injections usually produce more natural results.
- Alloderm for Lip Augmentation
Alloderm used to be a very popular lip augmentation product, but it has slightly fallen out of favor recently because of the availability of the newer fillers. Like fat transfer and lip implants, Alloderm also offers a permanent result, but it carries the additional benefit of producing a slightly more natural result than an implant, and less downtime with more predictability in the final result than fat transfer. The disadvantage of Alloderm as compared to lip injections is that it is less customizable in terms of volume and shape, and it is a fairly expensive product. The Alloderm lip augmentation procedure can be performed under local anesthesia in the office, or under light twilight anesthesia for added comfort and a better overall experience.
- Muscle Tissue for Lip Augmentation
Some surgeons use a strip of tissue from one of the major muscles in the neck, called the sternocleidomastoid muscle, to augment lips. This is the same basic idea as the Alloderm augmentation, but you get a strip of your own muscle instead of an artificial product. This procedure is not very popular for a variety of reasons, so it is not generally recommended.
- Silicone Injections for Lip Augmentation
Silicone and other permanent injectable products like Artefill or PMMA should NEVER be used for lip augmentation, or for any other kind of augmentation. Injectable products carry a significantly higher risk of infection, inflammatory granulomas, visible lumps, and irreversible contour irregularities that are very difficult (or impossible) to fix. While it may seem like a good idea to avoid repeated treatments by using a permanent product, the risk of doing so is too high to be a recommended for any type of injectable augmentation procedures in our practice.