When I smile, my top lip gets lost and the shape of my top lip when I smile looks like the McDonald arch. I hate it. What type of lip augmentation would work best for me?
Lip Augmentation for Improving Top Lip Shape?
Doctor Answers (4)
Fillers will improve your top lip volume and shape...but with all the attention to your
upper lip, don't neglect the lower lip...you need some symmetry...typically with the lower lip being slightly larger than the upper with a ratio of 40%:60%...and either juvederm or restylane would be ideal...and painless if done with proper attention to numbing...just see an experienced injector...
Top lip shape
Fillers like Juvederm and Restylane are great for shaping the lips I would just advise you do your research and go to an experienced injector. Make sure you communicate well with the person who performs your treatment to make sure they have a good understanding of the shape you want.
Dr. Cat Begovic M.D.
Several Options for Luscious Lips
There are several options for your upper lip. I don't recommend any of the permanent (silicone or artefill) or long lasting fillers (radiesse) since they tend to get hard and lumpy after 2-3 yrs. Temporary fillers look nice and natural but are costly to maintain (Juvederm $550-700 per syringe and lasting about 6 months in the lips). Collagen was the old standard for yrs but only lasted 2-8 wks. The advancement lip surgeries where the lip is cut open and rearranged are not done very often since the underlying scars are felt very easily by the patients and drive them crazy.
The good news is that the lip implants have done wonderfully and are natural looking and relatively affordable considering that they are permanent and you save money in the long run. There are 3 main types commonly used and cost roughly $1500-2500 per lip. They are soft and natural and are inserted under local anesthesia only. They are easy to put in and easy to remove if you ever want them removed but most patient never do. They just love them. Sometimes we combine fillers and implants together. Most patients will start with a filler to see how it looks and then later switch to an implant for those luscious lips.
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Hyaluronic acids (HAs), which were first approved by the FDA for use in soft tissue augmentation in 2004, have proven to be the temporary fillers of choice for lips when used by skilled and properly trained injectors. HA fillers can last 1 year and, in some cases, longer. They are biologically pure with low protein loads. Commonly used nonanimal stabilized HA gel agents include the Juvéderm family (Allergan, Irvine, California) and Restylane and Perlane (Medicis, Scottsdale, Arizona). These agents are approved by the FDA for soft-tissue augmentation, but presently no HA is approved for use in the lips, although this is one of the most common off-label uses of these agents. HAs are both biocompatible and biodegradable, and the lack of animal proteins provides increased purity and eliminates the need for skin testing. When compared with bovine-derived collagen, they offer much greater longevity, and they provide a natural and aesthetically pleasing result with minimal adverse events.
Perhaps the most common side effect of HAs is swelling, which, through application of ice, generally subsides within hours. Lumpiness can also result, especially in the hands of inexperienced or untrained injectors; however, this can be effectively managed with the injection of a very small quantity of hyaluronidase to dissolve the unwanted accumulation of HA.
In recent years, we have seen an explosion of filling agents available for soft tissue augmentation, including the use of permanent filling agents. However, it is my strong opinion that permanent and so-called semi-permanent fillers can cause permanent problems. As previously noted, no filler is approved by the FDA for use in the lips, and although off-label use is commonplace, some substances should never be used in the lips. The manufacturer of calcium hydroxylapatite (Radiesse, BioForm Medical, San Mateo, California), which is approved by the FDA for the correction of moderate to severe facial wrinkles and folds such as nasolabial folds and the correction of lipoatrophy in people with HIV, specifically warns against the use of this agent in the lips. We have seen disastrous results with this filler when used in the lips and similar adverse events with the use of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and poly-L-lactic acid in the lips, which is currently approved only for use in HIV facial lipoatrophy. In general, when the face changes as the result of aging, certain gravitational changes take place in everyone, and when permanent agents are injected, they do not change or age with the face naturally over time, which can create a very distorted appearance. Furthermore, many of these permanent substances have long-term adverse events; some, such as PMMA, have had foreign body granulomas reported many years after implant. I therefore believe that for purely cosmetic lip augmentation, these agents should be avoided.
Minimally invasive lip augmentation using temporary injectable fillers can dramatically improve aesthetic appearance. When done by a properly trained injector, there are minimal side effects and virtually no down time. Lip augmentation properly done allows patients to look younger, natural, and attractive.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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