Dr. Charlotte Ann Rhee is a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in Huntington, Long Island NY that provides lip augmentation to increase the size of the lips through a variety of surgical and non-surgical techniques to provide temporary or permanent results, depending on the type of material used. This procedure may be performed on one or both lips and offers patients noticeable yet natural-looking results through a single treatment session.
This procedure is often combined with others, such as a facelift or chin augmentation to achieve a fully rejuvenated, balanced facial appearance.
What are some lip features that can be changed?
Dr. Rhee’s goal with lip augmentation is unique to each patient. You may want to erase some vertical lip lines. Or you may want to make your lips more symmetrical. Or maybe you simply want plumper, more kissable lips.
These are some specific areas Dr. Rhee considers with lip augmentation:
- Cupid’s bow — This is the name of the area in the middle of your upper lip. This is thought to be the focus of the lips, and Dr. Rhee adds definition.
- Center fullness — Signature lip beauty means they are fuller in the center, tapering off at the corners.
- Profile projection — When viewed from the side, your upper lip should project slightly above your lower lip.
- Side-to-side symmetry — Augmentation can balance asymmetrical lips.
Lip Augmentation Procedure
There are several different options to enhance the lips, each offering patients different benefits. Injectable fillers such as Restylane®, Hylaform® and Artecoll® are performed on an outpatient basis and are injected directly into the lips for safe, noticeable results that can last for several months. Additional injections can help maintain the results of this procedure.
For more permanent results, implants can be placed in the lips during a surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia. During this procedure, an incision is made inside the mouth to place an implant material taken from the patient’s own body, a donor or made from synthetic materials.
How will I know which Lip Filler is right for me?
There are dermal fillers that have been created specifically for the lips, and there are other dermal fillers that work well in a variety of areas, including the lips. Each filler has a slightly different profile, such as the size of the hyaluronic acid particles, that affects how they work. Some provide more visible volume; others provide subtle volume increase and work to define the lips.
As a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Rhee has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy and lip anatomy. She has been trained with all of the fillers we use for lip augmentation, so she understands the subtle differences between them. Once she understands your goals for your lip augmentation, she can guide you to the correct filler to meet your needs.
What are Restylane Lip Fillers?
Restylane was first approved by the FDA in 2006 and has been the world’s most popular dermal filler (along with Juvéderm) ever since. Made from hyaluronic acid, the naturally occurring sugar found throughout our bodies that is responsible for plumping, hydrating, and firming the skin, all Restylane fillers are classified as “natural fillers.”
From the beginning, Restylane has been used “off-label” for lip augmentation. Over time, as the line has expanded, Galderma (the manufacturer) has added Restylane Silk and Restylane Kysse specifically for lip augmentation. Both have received FDA approval specifically for lip augmentation.
Kysse is the newest addition to the line. It is the first lip filler designed with what is called XpresHAn Technology. Galderma has said this technology allows for flexible movement and natural-looking volume increases in the lips. It also enhances the texture and color of the lips.
What is Hylaform?
Hylaform was approved by the FDA in 2004, before both Restylane and Juvéderm. Like those more well-known fillers, Hylaform is also a hyaluronic acid dermal. Hylaform is made from a purified avian-based hyaluronic acid. This can create some issues with allergic reactions in some patients, so you need to tell Dr. Rhee if you have any allergies, especially to avian products. Hylaform provides results that last between 4 and 6 months. It adds more visible volume than the Restylane lip fillers, which is what some patients are looking for.
What is Artecoll?
Artecoll is a synthetic dermal filler that is made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) microspheres that are suspended in an aqueous bovine collagen gel. Artecoll has been used in Europe since about 2005. In the U.S., it can also be known as Artefill.
Artecoll/Artefill provides longer duration results than the hyaluronic acid fillers because of the way it works. When Dr. Rhee injects Artecoll, it does provide the instant filling due to the aqueous gel used to place the PMMA microspheres. But this isn’t the main result of this filler. The PMMA microspheres are the key. After being injected into the lips, the PMMA microspheres slowly begin to be broken down by the body. This causes a reaction where the body produces new supplies of collagen in the injected areas. Since collagen is the protein responsible for providing the underlying structural latticework under our skin (and lips), this plumps and firms the lips from within. These are natural results created by your body’s own collagen.
Artecoll/Artefill is used “off-label” for the lips. This is not unusual; it simply means the FDA has not specifically approved Artecoll/Artefill for the lips. The FDA has approved this filler for use on nasolabial (smile) lines that run from the nose down to the corners of the lips.
Our patients love Artecoll/Artefill because it can deliver increased volume for up to five years. This makes this the longest lasting dermal filler.
What are the side effects of dermal fillers for lip augmentation?
The main side effect/risk with dermal filler lip augmentation is redness and swelling at the injection sites. This usually lasts a day or so but is not severe. There can also be some mild bruising, but it can easily be covered with lipstick or makeup. To minimize any swelling or bruising, gently icing your lips immediately after your session is helpful. There is a chance of developing lumps, but that is rare and can be reversed immediately with an injection of an enzyme that neutralizes the hyaluronic acid.
Is there recovery after having lip augmentation?
Lip augmentation with dermal fillers does not entail any recovery. You may have some slight swelling and redness as discussed above, but this should pass within a day or so.
There is some recovery after Dr. Rhee surgically places lip implants. You’ll likely need just 1 to 3 days, but you’ll want to lay low during this time. For at least a week, and more likely two, you’ll need to not open your mouth too wide. You can’t place any pressure or cause pulling around the lips, as this can make your implants shift. It usually takes from 1 to 2 weeks for the tissue to begin scarring, which holds the implants in place.
For at least the first couple of days, you’ll want to keep your head elevated, even when sleeping. You’ll probably need prescription pain medication for the first day or two after your surgery.