Lip shape and volume can be improved in numerous ways other than filler injections. The majority of techniques involve utilizing your own body’s tissue (autologous lip augmentation)
What are the Permanent Lip Augmentation Techniques?
Lip shaping: lip lift, diamond procedure and VY mucosal advancement
Lip Volume: fat grafting, palmaris tendon graft, SMAS grafting, dermal fat graft
What are the Advantages of Volumetric Fillers for the Lips?
- Most lip fillers are an injectable hyaluronic acid gel with variable cross-linking that can last up to one year.
- Hyaluronic acid is naturally occurring substance in the body and your body gradually breaks it down. It can be dissolved with an injection of enzyme (Hyaluronidase)
- There is little to no allergic reaction potential.
- Predictable volume enhancement per amount of filler injected.
- No donor site and easily accessible with pre-filled syringes of Juvederm™ or Restylane™
What are the Disadvantages of Volumetric Fillers for the Lips?
- Longevity in the lips is variable and is typically shorter than one year for most hyaluronic acid fillers
- Expense of fillers every 6 to 8 months in the lips
- Inconvenience of injections in the lips with associated swelling and bruising
What technique is right for my lips?
- Shaping indications include a flat and long upper lip or downturned corner of the mouth. Typically the patient will draw the lip line above the lip and apply heavy lip stick.
- Volume indications include a thin lip without much mucosal show or red part of the lip.
- Combination techniques can help to define and fill the lips, which can include shaping and volumizing the lips
What Autologous Lip Augmentation Procedures are available?
- Lip Lift helps to shape the upper lip though an incision under the nose and removal of skin in a gull wing pattern that helps to lift the long upper lip. This can volumize the upper lip as well as stabilize the upper lip so that it can be volumized without rolling inward.
- Diamond Procedure lifts the corners of the mouth to help with a down-turned mouth. Diamond shaped skin incisions are made and closed in a straight line along the lip line.
- VY Mucosal Advancements involves incisions on the under-surface of the lips to give more mucosal tissue show. This is typically performed with some type of dermal or SMAS filler.
- Fat Grafting utilizes your own body’s fat, which is harvested with a suction technique, prepared and then injected along the upper and lower lips
- Palmaris Tendon Grafting utilizes an expendable tendon in the wrist to act as a collagen implant in the upper and lower lip.
- Dermal Fat Grafting involves harvesting a segment of scar or expendable skin and utilizing the under-surface with the fat as a natural graft for the lips.
- SMAS Grafting is similar to a dermal fat graft, but utilizes the fibro-fatty layer often discarded in a SMAS facelift and is threaded through the lip as a natural lip implant.
Silicone Implants are only mentioned out of completeness and are similar to a palmaris tendon graft though they are foreign bodies and not autologous making them prone to infection, extrusion and malignment.
Andrew P. Trussler MD is an experienced plastic surgeon in Austin Texas with advanced training in facial aesthetics including lip augmentation including autologous techniques and injectables.
Dr. Trussler’s Austin plastic surgery office can help guide you in your choice of lip augmentation techniques.