Lip Augmentation Beverly Hills

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Beverly Hills and Los Angeles

Contents

Description

Cosmetic surgeons have practiced lip augmentation (also known as lip enlargement or lip enhancement), since the 1960s; however, the popularity of the surgery has skyrocketed in recent years, as the surgical techniques and materials have improved, leading to better results and overall safety of the lip augmentation procedure.  Unlike some plastic-surgery procedures, nearly anyone can be a candidate for lip augmentation, and patients choose lip-enhancement procedures not only to enlarge their lips, but also to correct asymmetries or crookedness.

Lip enhancement procedures can resolve the problems of patients with the following problems in the lip region:

  • Irregular Border: the right side of the upper or lower lip (or both lips) is larger or smaller than the left side.
  • Thin, Flat Lips: a result of genetics and aging
  • Insufficient Upper Lip: augmentation can be performed on the upper lip, and a surgical procedure called a “lip lift” can be combined with lip augmentation to maximize results
  • Insufficient Bottom Lip: although rare, occasionally, the lower lip is significantly thinner than the upper lip
  • Macrochelia (overly prominent lips) Although full lips are currently desirable, excessively prominent lips may interfere with oral function
  • High Lip Line (gummy smile): the smiles of patients with a high lip line expose too much of the gum tissues—lip surgery can rectify this problem
  • Lip Lines: fine lines around the mouth, resulting from natural aging

Lip enhancement treatments at Gabbay Plastic Surgery are relatively quick and simple ways to achieve the plumper, more symmetrical lips you desire. With today’s technology, lip augmentation is a comfortable, safe, and predictable procedure that Dr. Gabbay will customize to meet your individual needs and aesthetic goals.

Options

There are many options to consider when deciding to undergo lip augmentation surgery, and Dr. Gabbay will go over all of these options with you during your consultation, ensuring that you select the best option for your specific aesthetic goals.  During the lip augmentation procedure, lips are injected with collagen or with the patient’s own fat that has been transferred from another region of the body. Both liquid collagen and fat are absorbed by the body, and repeat treatments are necessary in order to maintain the results.

Lip augmentation procedures range from a simple 20-minute office visit, requiring no anesthesia or recovery time, to a surgical procedure, requiring general anesthesia and a longer recovery time. No matter the cause, if you are unhappy with the way your lips look it may be time to consider lip enhancement from Gabbay Plastic Surgery.  If you would like more information about lip augmentation surgery, please contact Gabbay Plastic Surgery and we will be happy to answer any and all of your questions, and schedule an initial, complimentary consultation with Dr. Gabbay. You may also click the link below to read a more in-depth description of the lip augmentation procedure.

What is a Normal Lip

The goal of lip augmentation is to keep the lip size in the correct ratio relative to rest of the face. Although standards of lip attractiveness may vary somewhat by individual preference, in general, attractive lips have the following qualities:

  • The bottom lip is roughly 75% larger than the top lip.  On profile, the upper lips ideally project approximately 2mm beyond the lower lip, which, in turn, projects 2mm beyond the most forward portion of the chin.
  • Slight upper tooth show is desirable when the lips are parted.
  • The top lip, although smaller vertically, protrudes slightly further than the bottom lip, creating an attractive “pout”.
  • A defined philtrum (the vertical groove on the surface of the upper lip, below the septum of the nose) adds the appearance of youth and attractiveness.  It can also cause a lifting effect to the top lip enhancing the top lip pout as well as affecting the amount of teeth that will show.  When the philtrum is undefined, it creates a flat, elongated appearance of the skin between the nose and upper lip.
  • A healthy uniform surface with good hydration
  • A distinct “Cupids Bow” and a defined “Vermillion Border”
  • There is a 4mm depression between the lower lip and chin.

Anatomy of The Lips

Your lips are a tactile organ with an essential role in human anatomy and function.  The lips are responsible for the intake of food and fluids, facial expression and speech enunciation. Age, sun exposure, personal habits (such as cigarette smoking) and the pull of gravity cause the philtral columns (two parallel thickenings of skin extending from the lip up to the base of the nose) to change. As a result, vertical lip lines become noticeable, and lip volume diminishes.

The lips swell easily when bruised, hit, or cut, and the soft tissue of the lips is constantly subjected to stress due to high muscle activity and pressure from the environment.  The lip mucosa does not retain water in the same way other skin tissue does making it susceptible to dehydration.  Unlike your eyes and nose, your lips have no solid structure to attach to, making your lips the most variable feature on your face, and a very delicate area to treat.

The areas of the lip that can be enhanced include:

  • The Vermillion Border: The vermilion border is the junction between the white and red part of your lips and it is the most common area treated for lip augmentation.  By enhancing this area, it is possible to define the lips and outline the borders to make them more distinct.
  • Cupid’s Bow: The Cupid’s bow or the “V-shaped” area in the center of your upper lip can be enhanced to make the V more pronounced.  If augmentation is performed in conjunction with the philtrum, it can improve the overall shape of the upper lip.
  • Vertical Lip Lines: Diminishing vertical lip lines creates a more youthful lip appearance.
  • Oral Commissures:  The oral commissures are located in the corners of your mouth–filling this area turns the corners of the lips up, creating a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
  • Philtrum: The philtrum consists of the two lines in the center of your upper lip that connect to the nose. By enhancing this “double-ridge” it is possible to give the upper lip more shape and curve.

Indications

Unlike some plastic-surgery procedures, nearly anyone can be a candidate for lip augmentation. Many patients choose lip-enhancement procedures not only to enlarge their lips, but also to correct lip asymmetries or crookedness. Lip enhancement treatments at Gabbay Plastic Surgery are a relatively quick and simple way to get the plumper, more attractive lips you desire. 

Lip enhancement can benefit patients who have lip problems including:

  • Irregular Border: Occurs when the lip shape is asymmetrical–to correct this, augmentation of the deficient portion of the lip is recommended.
  • Thin, Flat Lips: In this case, the lips are thin and do not have fullness or definition. The upper lip often presents as a straight line with no Cupid’s Bow.
  • Very Thin Upper Lip: For this problem, augmentation can be performed on the upper lip, and a surgical procedure called a lip lift can be combined with the augmentation to create a fuller upper lip.
  • Very Thin Bottom Lip: Although rare, the lower lip is occasionally significantly thinner than the upper lip, which can be rectified by augmentation of the lower lip.
  • Prominent Lips: Although full lips are currently desirable, excessively prominent lips may interfere with oral function. This problem can be corrected with lip reduction surgery.
  • Gummy Smile: A normal smile shows all of the white teeth and only a small amount of gum tissue, the High Lip Line case shows an excessive amount of gum tissue.
  • Lip Lines: Fillers can be used to smooth out lip lines caused by age or smoking.

Evaluation

During your consultation at Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gabbay will examine your lips, fat distribution and facial anatomy to determine if lip augmentation is right for you.  He will look at your lips and philtrum and consider your chin, nose and cheeks when determining what lip size and shape would best suit your individual face.  You should arrive at your consultation prepared to discuss your medical history, including information about any medical conditions you may have, allergies, previous surgeries and the medications you are currently taking (allergies are of particular importance for lip augmentation procedures). Dr. Gabbay will listen to your concerns and ask what you want to change about your lips before determining will tell you which procedure would best match your appearance goals.

Option Details

Temporary Lip Enhancement

  • Injectable Fillers: There are numerous types of injectable fillers that work by stimulating collagen to plump up the injected area (Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero, Perlane, etc.).  Temporary injectable fillers last from a few weeks to over one year, depending on the product used.  Fillers can come from animal sources, donated human sources (fat or tissue) or can be completely synthetic.  Some of the risks associated with lip fillers are: lumpiness, firmness, inflammation and migration of the material.  Depending on the extent of your treatment, the process can last between 15-60 minutes. During the procedure, a syringe will be used to inject the dermal filler into the dermis at several points along the targeted area. After the injections, the volume beneath your skin will increase, restoring a more youthful appearance.
  • Fat Transfer Lip Augmentation: During the lip augmentation procedure using a fat transfer, Dr. Gabbay will withdraw the fat from a discreetly located donor area of your body (such as the stomach or buttocks) using a syringe. The extracted fat is processed by simple centrifugation prior to re-injection into your lip area. The duration of the fat injections varies significantly, and can be long lasting or permanent.

Permanent Lip Enhancement

  • Lip Implants: For those patients who want permanent lip enhancement, Dr. Gabbay offers lip implant surgery, which generally lasts 30 mins-2 hours.   The implants he uses are composed of saline or silicone, which cannot rupture, deflate, or degrade over time. The implants are available in a variety of diameters and lengths to create customized results.  Lip implant surgery is more invasive than lip augmentation with injectable dermal fillers, and local anesthesia with IV sedation is the typically preferred anesthesia source. For this procedure, Dr. Gabbay will make a total of four incisions at each corner of your mouth.  He will then insert the implant into the lip through the incisions, before suturing the incisions closed with dissolvable sutures and dressing the wounds.  Lip implants do not shrink, are never absorbed into the body and never shift in place. Although they are designed to be permanent, lip implants can be removed if your aesthetic preferences change over time.
  • Lip Lift: If a patient’s upper lips are too long, or the patient is displeased with the appearance of their thin lips, they may be a good candidate for a lip lift.  This procedure is usually accomplished with minimal sedation in an outpatient setting and involves the removal of excess skin and the tightening of corresponding lip muscles.

Recovery

When performed as a stand-alone procedure, most non-surgical lip augmentations are considered a “lunchtime” procedure, meaning that you can resume your normal routine immediately after your treatment, although you may experience some swelling and bruising, which can last an average of 3-7 days.  Surgical lip augmentation procedures require 1-2 days off work, and 2-3 days away from exercise and vigorous physical activity. Following surgical lip augmentation, temporary swelling, bruising and numbness are usually resolved within a week, however, some residual swelling may last several weeks.  Lip movement, including talking, chewing and laughing should be limited for the first week following surgery. Keeping your head elevated during recovery will minimize swelling, as will icing your lips the first 48 hours after surgery.

Although lip augmentation is considered a very safe procedure, potential complications include: numbness, swelling, tightness, asymmetry, bleeding, infection, scarring, unnatural movement when talking, implant migration, lip hardness, allergic reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is lip augmentation?

Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure designed to create fuller, smoother lips; and it can also reduce the fine lines around your mouth. Lip augmentation can be accomplished with the use of injectable fillers, implants, or surgical procedures. Lip augmentation is mainly chosen as an anti-aging procedure because thinner lips are one of the most noticeable signs of aging.

Who is a good candidate for lip augmentation?

The best candidates for lip augmentation are non-smokers, who are in generally good health, and who have a positive outlook, plus realistic expectations, about the lip augmentation outcome.  Patients with very thin lips, fine lines around the mouth, or asymmetry of the lips can benefit from lip augmentation.

Will my lips look artificial after a lip augmentation?

For every lip augmentation, Dr. Gabbay’s goal is to improve the size and shape of your lips, while maintaining their natural contours.  The biggest concern people express when it comes lip augmentation is that they do not want it to look artificial.  Dr. Gabbay takes great pride in the artistry of his work and creates only natural appearing lips. After your consultation, he will explain to you exactly how he would enhance your lips, based on your aesthetic desires.

Can I just have my upper lip augmented?

Having only the upper lip enhanced can be done, however, Dr. Gabbay usually does not recommend this because if the upper lip is enhanced alone the result can appear unnatural.

Can Dr. Gabbay subtly enhance my lips?

After your consultation, Dr. Gabbay is very aware of the size and shape of lips that you desire, and if you request a conservative lip augmentation, he will comply with your request because he bases every cosmetic procedure he performs on a “natural look.”

Does lip augmentation hurt?

Depending upon which product or method that you have chosen, you will possibly experience minor discomfort during the initial anesthetic injection, the injection of augmentation fillers, or during recovery from lip lift or lip implant surgeries.  At Gabbay Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gabbay uses a dental block to numb the targeted area and the anesthetic will wear off between 30 minutes to one hour, allowing you to resume your normal routine.  With lip augmentation fillers, the injections are usually over very quickly, and a topical anesthetic can be used.

What is the recovery like after lip augmentation using fillers?

Generally, lip augmentation with fillers is a less invasive procedure than surgery, and it will require some downtime (3-4 days) for the swelling to subside.  There may also be temporary distortion of the lips and you will be advised to apply ice packs to minimize this side effect.  Pain usually lasts between 4-6 hours, and can be controlled by applying filler with local anesthesia, and using NSAID type medications such as Ibuprofen.

Who is not a good candidate for lip augmentation?

If you have taken the following medications or have the following diseases or conditions, you may not be a good candidate for lip enhancement including:

  • You have used Accutane in the six months prior to your procedure because Accutane can increase chances of excessive scarring
  • You have a history of allergies
  • You have diabetes
  • You have any connective tissue disorder or you have a history of poor scarring
  • You have lupus erythematous, because bovine or porcine collagen, as well as other products, may cause flare-ups of lupus
  • You have any active diseases that can affect the outcome or increase the risks of lip augmentation including heart disease or asthma
  • You have problems with blood clotting
  • You have poor dental health, especially dental abscesses or excessive plaque
  • You have oral herpes

What will I look like after lip augmentation surgery?

The healing process can be difficult and you may go through a short period where your lips are swollen and look too large.  During your consultation with Dr. Gabbay, you will discuss the desired results of lip augmentation to ensure the goals can be attained through surgery. Looking at before-and-after lip augmentation photos will help both you and Dr. Gabbay agree on how you want to look after lip augmentation surgery.

What are the common lip problems that respond well to lip augmentation?

  • Thin or flat lips
  • No upper lip
  • Fat lips
  • No bottom lip
  • Lopsided lips
  • Poorly defined lips or Cupid’s Bow

What if my lips are too large?

In cases where the lips are too large, or asymmetrical, a lip reduction might help. Lip lifts are used in patients that have a large top lip and no teeth show when their lips are parted. These options are usually permanent as the structure of the lips is drastically altered.

How is lip augmentation with injectable fillers performed?

Before beginning your treatment, the skin on and around your lips will be cleansed and you will be given an anesthetic to minimize any discomfort.  There are two sites where the injections will be placed: either where the skin beneath your nose meets your lip or where the wet and dry parts of your lips meet.  Dr. Gabbay will increase the size of your lips by injecting a conservative amount of the injectable filler decided upon during your consultation.

What happens after my filler treatment?

When you leave Gabbay Plastic Surgery, the effects of the anesthetic may linger for a couple of hours and it is possible that you will experience some swelling of the lips, but this will dissipate quickly.  After 2-3 days, you will be able to see the full effect of your lip augmentation treatment, and on average the effects can last 3-6 months.  As your body breaks down the filler, you may wish to return to Gabbay Plastic Surgery for touch-up treatments.

Why should I choose Gabbay Plastic Surgery for my lip augmentation?

The plastic surgery team at Gabbay Plastic Surgery understands the structures and anatomy of the face, as well as how to perform lip augmentation that improves the appearance of your lips, while still maintaining their natural shape.

Should I be concerned about the side effects involved with lip augmentation?

Side effects from lip augmentation are usually not long lasting, but can include swelling or bruising on or near the lips. The application of an ice pack helps control this.

What type of anesthesia is available for lip implant or lip lift surgery? 

Common types of anesthesia used for lip implants and lip lift surgery can include a regional block or local anesthesia with IV sedation.  Depending upon the procedure, you may be awake or sedated. For surgeries that take over one hour, sedation known as a “twilight sleep” is often used and that method is not as deep as general anesthesia.

What is the average amount of product that is needed to augment the lips?

The amount of product needed to augment lips depends upon your own lip anatomy and condition.  For a first time patient, one, to one and one half syringes, is common; although some patients may only need one half of a syringe.  The unused product can be labeled with your name, placed in the refrigerator, and used for touch-ups at a later time or you can choose to have other areas injected such as your nasolabial, cheeks, or chin.

Is lip augmentation safe?

Although rare, some risks for lip augmentation include:

  • Seroma
  • Hematoma
  • Infection
  • Necrosis
  • Nerve damage
  • Hyperpigmentation from bruises
  • Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) breakouts in those who have the virus
  • Allergic reactions to the anesthetics
  • Over injection resulting in distortion
  • Prolonged swelling
  • Sensitivity to the product
  • Rejection

If I have lip augmentation surgery, how long will I have to wait to get the sutures removed?

Suture removal may be anywhere from 5 to 7 days.

How long will the bruises from my lip augmentation last?

The time your bruises take to heal will depend upon your body’s own healing ability and the preparation you took before your procedure will also come into play.  Abstaining from alcohol, aspirin-containing products, herbal supplements, Vitamin E, and other medications will help decrease your chances of excessive bleeding during the procedure.  Proper icing before and after your procedure can help alleviate the possibility of bruising and after the first 48 hours, you may be instructed to alternate between warm compresses and cold compresses to encourage good blood flow to speed up the healing process.  Bruising may last up to two weeks in severe cases, but it usually dissipates in 4-7 days.

How long does it take for the swelling to subside after a lip augmentation procedure?

The swelling from your lip augmentation usually subsides within a few days for lip injections; although some products, such as Perlane® may cause more swelling.  This is a common side effect, and it should dissipate in a week with proper icing techniques, as well as sleeping with your head elevated.

Will anyone be able to tell I have had lip augmentation?

If you had thin lips before lip augmentation, people may notice when you return to your normal routine, and while you have swelling or bruising, people may suspect that you had lip augmentation.

What other procedures are sometimes necessary to balance my face after lip augmentation?

Larger lips often make a nose look smaller and in some cases a receding chin to look even smaller.  During your consultation, after Dr. Gabbay examines your facial anatomy he will discuss what procedures you may need to complement your new lips and most procedures can be performed during the same surgery.

How do I avoid “Trout Pout” or “Fish Lips”? 

With modern techniques and a qualified plastic surgeon, these conditions can be avoided and that is why it is important to choose Dr. Gabbay.  He believes in the natural approach, and he will show you photos during your consultation so you can choose the look you want to achieve.

What if I previously had lip augmentation and I do not like the results?

Most permanent products can be corrected, which is essentially a lip reduction.  The procedure involves removing the tissue and this can cause depressions that in turn may require a slight augmentation procedure to be performed again to achieve symmetry.    When too much hyaluronic acid has been injected, you can seek treatment with hyaluronidase; although it takes one week to see approximately 80% dissipation, and another week to see a 100% reduction in detectable traces.

Are there any pre-operative considerations I should know about?

With certain filler materials, Dr. Gabbay may require a skin allergy test prior to performing the procedure and if you exhibit a reaction to the skin test, you have a serious allergy history, or you are allergic to lidocaine you should not undergo lip augmentation.  In addition, if you have an active infection (such as a herpes outbreak) or other inflammatory skin condition present, the procedure will be postponed until the condition is gone.  As with all other cosmetic procedures, you should let Dr. Gabbay know about any medications or herbal supplements you are currently taking.

How long will it take my incisions to heal?

Even with surgical lip augmentation procedures, incisions are usually tiny and heal quickly so no special wound care is required.  Applying intermittent applications of cold packs will help with any swelling and bruising.

Can I fit lip augmentation into my busy schedule?

Most non-surgical lip augmentations are considered a “lunchtime” procedure, and this means you can resume your normal routine immediately after your treatment.  Swelling and bruising is normal however, and depending on how quickly you heal, these side effects can last an average of 3-7 days.  For surgical lip augmentation, it can take up to one week to recover, depending on the technique and type of procedure you had.