Lip augmentation is one of the most popular procedures in general population and the number one in female patients under 25. It is a cosmetic procedure that gives volume to the lips and modifies or enhances lip’s shape.
Dr Pagkalos performs lip augmentation, using the most modern techniques and materials to increase lip size, correct asymmetries, create protrusion or adjust the ration of the top and bottom lips.
Although the majority of patients seeking lip augmentation is young females, an aging face is in absolute need for lip enhancement in order to restore fullness, lift the droopy upper lip and rejuvenate the perioral (around the mouth) area.
Regardless patient’s age, the ultimate goal of lip augmentation is to look completely natural. Pumped lips that look artificial can hardly be beautiful; on the contrary, they can distort facial proportions and harmony. That is why, the last couple of years, there is a shift in trends from the artificial-looking lips to a more natural, classy, yet sexy look.
What can lip augmentation do:
In the hands of an experienced, artful plastic surgeon or dermatologist, lip augmentation can:
Correct unbalanced or uneven lips
Lift the corners of the mouth
Define the Cupid’s bow
Enhance lip borders
Correct a gummy smile
Smooth lip lines
Plastic surgeons are using fat extracted through liposuction to augment thin lips. Fat can either be injected into lips, as a filler, or surgical placed through an incision in the inner side of the lips. Although fat is a natural material, harvested from patient’s own body and has long lasting results, is not as popular as one would expect because it is associated with post-OP recovery in both the donor and the recipient (lips) site, the degree of fat absorption can not be precisely assessed pre-OP and the results are not easily reversible. Furthermore, patients opting for fat transfer tend to end up with overfilled lips that are far from looking natural.
Artefill® is a permanent, FDA cleared, injectable that can be used to permanently augment thin lips. Since the results are permanent, Artefill® is a cost-effective option for lip augmentation. However Artefill® is a heavy material that can be visible in thin lips and the microspheres (PMMA - polymethylmethacrylate) it contains can form nodules or small lumps that are annoying to patients. Being a permanent filler, Artefill® can only be removed surgically in case of complications or not aesthetically satisfying results.
Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
HA is the most commonly used material for lip augmentation. Injected HA has a structure and molecular composition very close to the HA found in our body. Although the results are not permanent, HA is a precious tool in the hands of a good plastic surgeon or dermatologist, as it allows for precise placement, gentle lip enhancement and soft feel.
HA is the gold standard for lip augmentation. The type of HA used depends on each patient individual needs:
Juvéderm® Ultra XC™ is known to add volume for a pillowy effect. Although Juvéderm® Ultra XC™ was one of the first HAs used, nowadays is considered “old school”.
Juvéderm® Volbella XC™ adds volume while also smoothing vertical lip lines.
Restylane® is a classic material that can add or restore natural-looking lip volume. It gives lips a soft feel, although some patients consider it “too soft”.
Restylane® Silk™, a formula with smaller hyaluronic acid molecules, offers more subtle enhancement.
Restylane® Kysse™ plumps lips and diminishes wrinkles (smoker’s lines) along the vermillion border of the lips.
Dr Pagkalos thoroughly assesses his patients’ individual needs and desired and uses Restylane® or Juvederm® to give full, yet natural, fresh and sexy lips.