Lip Augmentation

Lip augmentation has become a very popular procedure in facial plastic surgery. Fuller lips are a symbol of youth, health, and sexual vitality. In some of us thin lips may be a family trait. However, thinning of the lips occurs in all of us with advancing age. As lips lose fullness, the corners of the mouth also tend to sag giving a sad appearance to the face. A variety of non-surgical and surgical options are available to enhance the volume and shape of lips.

Before lip augmentation with fat, face liftAfter lip augmentation with fat, face lift

Before                                                          After
Lip augmentation and face lift by Sam Naficy, MD

Lip Augmentation Photo Gallery

You may wish to browse through the gallery of representative before and after lip augmentation pictures. Click on any of the thumbnails to enter the slide show. All procedures were performed by Dr. Sam Naficy and the staff at the Naficy Plastic Surgery & Rejuvenation Center. The text accompanying the photos describes the details of the lip augmentation procedure performed.

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Temporary Fillers

The most common techniques for lip augmentation involve placement of a temporary filler substance into the lips. Traditionally, the only filler substance available had been collagen, but today a number of more exciting options are available. The most popular fillers used today include Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, and fat. Filler techniques for lip augmentation are performed in the office under topical (ice or numbing cream) anesthesia or local anesthesia (small injections to numb the lips). The recovery time for fillers is quite brief and the longevity of the results depends on the type of filler material used to augment the lips, but typically is in the range of 3 to 4 months. Other fillers used for lip augmentation include Cymetra, CosmoDerm, CosmoPlast, Zyderm, and Zyplast.

Injectable Micro-Implant Fillers

Many of these techniques are not yet approved for lip augmentation in the US, but a few of them are on the horizon for being approved by the FDA. Injectable micro-implant fillers are non-absorbable (i.e. permanent) synthetic beads which are so small, that they can be injected into the lips with a needle. All of these fillers have a gelatinous component in which the beads are suspended and which gradually absorbs, much the same way as temporary fillers. The combination of the synthetic beads that will stay permanently and some collagen production surrounding these beads will produce the permanent lip augmentation. Newfill, or Sculptra, was recently FDA-approved as an injectable micro-implant filler for cheek and midface augmentation, Sculptra can be used for the white lip but not for the rid lip (or body of lip). Some of the other injectable micro-implant fillers available in Europe and Canada are Aquamid, DermaDeep, and DermaLive. Artecoll or Artefill are approved for filling the nasolabial folds but are not recommended for lips due to potential of firmness or granuloma formation.

Surgical Implants

Lip implants typically last longer than fillers and are able to produce a more dramatic degree of augmentation. Implants are performed either under local anesthesia or using IV sedation. They typically require a few days of recovery since there will be a moderate amount of lip swelling for the first 2-3 days. The most common lip implants are Gore-Tex (also known as Softform or Advanta) implants, dermal grafts (derived form patient's skin), and fat implants. In the near future (by Spring of 2008) the FulFil saline lip implant will be available for patients in the United States. The FulFil saline implant is designed with highly biocompatible materials with a long track record of safety in the human body. The design of the FulFil saline implant allows the implant to maintain its flexibility. Furthermore, the Fulfil lip saline implant is adjustable as the saline volume used in the implant may be customized to achieve a desired result. The FulFil lip implant procedure can be performed under local anesthesia and recovery time is minimal. For additional patient comfort, Dr. Naficy may recommend IV sedation for the procedure.

Before lip augmentation using Gore-TexAfter lip augmentation using Gore-Tex

Before                                                         After
 Lip augmentation using Gore-Tex (Goretex) lip implants by Sam Naficy, MD

Post-operative care instructions [12kb PDF]

Lip Lift and Corner of Mouth Lift

The lip lift procedure may be used to shorten an excessively long and thin upper. This procedure involves removal of skin in a hidden location under the nose. The corner of mouth lift procedure addresses drooping of the mouth corners, a telltale sign of aging. Dr. Naficy uses an innovative yet simple approach to surgical lip lifts, which may be performed in the office under local anesthesia.

Before lip lift, corner of the mouth lift, and lip augmentation with fatAfter lip lift, corner of the mouth lift, and lip augmentation with fat

Before                                                         After
Lip lift, corner of the mouth lift, and lip augmentation with fat by Sam Naficy, MD

Before lip lift, corner of the mouth lift, and lip augmentation with fatAfter lip lift, corner of the mouth lift, and lip augmentation with fat

Before                                                         After
Lip lift, corner of the mouth lift, and lip augmentation with fat by Sam Naficy, MD


Juvederm, Restylane, & Perlane

JuvedermRestylane, and Perlane are the most popular method for temporary lip augmentation. These fillers are made up of hyaluronic acid, a clear gel that is naturally present in the skin and other body tissues. Because it is naturally present in the body, no allergy testing is required. Juvederm, Restylane, and Perlane injections generally last between 4-6 months. The material has a very soft consistency and the results of augmentation are similar to those achievable with collagen. Other than lip augmentation, JuvedermRestylane, and Perlane are used to treat nasolabial creases, marionette lines and droopy corners of the mouth, and the deep vertical lines seen in aging lips.

Before lip augmentation using RestylaneAfter lip augmentation using Restylane

Before                                                          After
Lip augmentation using Restylane, performed by Stacy Williams, HCA at the Naficy Plastic Surgery & Rejuvenation Center

Before lip augmentation using RestylaneAfter lip augmentation using Restylane

Before                                                          After
Lip augmentation using Restylane, performed by Stacy Williams, HCA at the Naficy Plastic Surgery & Rejuvenation Center

Before restylane lip augmentationAfter restylane lip augmentation

Before                                                          After
Lip augmentation with Restylane by Sam Naficy, MD

Fat Injections

Unwanted fatty tissue is gently removed from the patient (usually from the belly or sides of the thigh) and is injected as a completely natural filler. The technique is known as fat grafting, fat injections, or fat transfer. There are no incisions on the lip and the injected fat typically has a soft and natural feel. A portion of the injected fat goes away over time but some of the fat will stay permanently. Fat injections may be repeated over time to gradually increase the permanent portion of the fat.

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