What Can You Achieve with Lip Augmentation?

Friday, July 26 2019 11:27 AM
What Can You Achieve with Lip Augmentation?

By Dr. Bethany J. King

Most people are not born with perfect lips. Lips come in a range from paper thin to so puffy that they look too big. The “perfect” lip is in between, and on the side of puffier than not. So, if you get material injected into your lips, it will make the lips look bigger, no doubt about it. However, most patients and most surgeons want a better result than just “bigger”. If “a lot bigger” is all you care about, the ultimate result may be lips that look not just different than normal but frankly unnatural, lips that stick out too far from your face, lips that are so full that the overlying skin is stretched to the point that the natural creases are stretched out, lips that look like tubes of sausage because the natural hills and valleys were not preserved, lips that are not able to move and flex in a natural way because the filling material is so dense that it is too stiff. In my practice, there is no way that I will do that intentionally to a person’s lip…even if they want it.

 

Let me start by saying that lip augmentation is one of my favorite things. I love lips. I love the complex three-dimensional structure of the natural full lip. A fuller lip is always beautiful in a woman, so if it’s done in a careful and thoughtful way, almost every woman can benefit from some degree of lip augmentation, especially as they age, and the lip becomes thinner. I derive a lot of joy from finding ways to focus my technique so that individual subunits of the lip are preserved and accentuated. That being said, the patient must understand that just because I have a very good understanding of what is needed to produce a beautiful lip, the patient’s ideal lip is NOT always attainable.

 

The final result is limited by the original lip. Take Angelina Jolie’s lips. Her lips are actually natural. They were big when she was 13. They are supple when she moves them (because they are not stiff from fillers) and they have plenty of skin creases (indicating that they are not stretched from fillers inside). It is impossible to go from paper thin lips to Angelina’s lips (meaning big lips that are supple and look natural). If you inserted enough filler to get them that big, your lips would be stiff and wouldn’t move and the skin would be stretched out and would look like sausages. My point is, it is critical that the patient have realistic expectations.

 

Furthermore, there are people whose lips are not paper thin, but the various landmarks are not naturally developed enough to easily increase up to the ideal dimension. For instance, in some people, the central tubercle is flatter than ideal which makes the lip look less curvy and straighter. I try to accentuate that central tubercle but sometimes I am not able to produce as much accentuation as I would like to produce a “perfect” result because the lip just won’t play along. But, regardless of the fact that I, as the artistic surgeon, am limited by what your natural lip shape gives me, nearly EVERY single woman (and many men) can benefit from some degree of lip volume augmentation.

 

Some things to expect if your lips are augmented:

Every lip can be augmented to some degree.  And, in my opinion, most women will derive benefit if this is something they chose. In the right hands, there is absolutely no need to fear that you’re going to be stuck with a set of duck bills just because you took the chance to be augmented.

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