Augmentation of the lips or tissue surrounding the lips is performed by precisely injecting small amounts of hyaluronic acid filler. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring carbohydrate sugar in the body, and binds to water 1000 times its original volume. The HA fillers we prefer are JUVÉDERM XC® and JUVÉDERM VOLBELLA®, developed with lidocaine in the syringe for comfort. JUVÉDERM® naturally supports and shapes the tissues of the lips while being injected in a slow, controlled fashion in order to visualize the amount of volume being created. JUVÉDERM XC® lasts approximately six months, and JUVÉDERM VOLBELLA® can last up to a year or more. The exact longevity of the results will depend on the person’s metabolic rate, health and lifestyle. Side effects may include redness at the injection site, bruising, mild bleeding, and swelling. Once you have healed, the lips should feel natural.
Lip augmentation is performed in the office after a consultation and examination of your lips. Each patient’s lip anatomy is unique, and no two people can achieve the same outcome with injections. Whether you desire to increase the volume of a flattened upper lip, correct an asymmetry in lip proportion, or plump the lips to their original volume, each procedure will be customized to match your goals. Before injections, a topical numbing agent is applied for 15 to 20 minutes along with ice to ease discomfort and control swelling. A very fine needle is used to gradually inject filler into the lips, dependent on your needs. Areas typically injected are the vermillion border, where lip liner is applied; vermillion, where lipstick is applied; oral commissures, or corners of the mouth; and philtrum ridges, the raised lines extending between the nose and upper lips.
It is not uncommon for lips to swell during injection. For this reason, a small amount of your filler may be saved and stored in order to provide a “touch-up” once swelling has subsided. A two-week follow-up appointment will be made before you leave the office, in order to reevaluate your lips or use the remaining filler in your syringe. In addition, our patients find it helpful to have two separate appointments when one desires fuller, more voluminous lips. This allows individuals to become accustomed to the slightly larger size of their lips before proceeding to plump the lips more, thus achieving their desired outcome.