Lip augmentation with lip fillers has become one of the most popular non-surgical procedures in plastic surgery. As the number of available lip fillers continues to grow, it becomes even more important to be educated about the various options.
Lip augmentation with lip injections and fillers is a cosmetic procedure that can give you fuller, plumper lips.
Lip filler injections are the most common method of lip augmentation and can additionally be used to reduce any lines around the mouth.
Lip fillers come in many types. The best lip filler choice depends on your own personal situation and goals and the expertise of your plastic surgeon.
Types of Lip Fillers
Juvederm (Hyaluronic Acid)
Juverderm is a hyaluronic acid lip injection created by Allergan Inc., the same company that made Botox famous. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the human body and is a major component of the skin, where it provides moisture, plumpness, firmness, suppleness, and aids in tissue repair.
Juvederm is injected directly under the skin to help add volume to the lips and helps reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. The entire process of having Juvederm injected takes around 15 minutes during a relatively short office visit.
Lip enhancement with hyaluronic acid lip fillers
Pros of Juvederm
Juvederm is one of the smoothest consistency gels available and tends not to produce any “granular” effects. Here are more benefits:
- The procedure is very short.
- Results appear immediately or within a few days after treatment.
- Since hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in your body, it is unlikely to produce an allergic reaction such as that which sometimes occurs with synthetic materials.
- Juvederm causes less puffiness for the first few days after a treatment.
- Excessive preparation is not required.
- There is minimal downtime mainly due to some mild swelling and possible bruising.
- Once injected the gel in the filler supports and shapes the tissues of the lips.
- The amount of substance injected can be easily controlled, so the plastic surgeon has better control over how much lip volume is created.
Cons of Juvederm
There is a possibility you will develop side effects such as redness, tenderness, swelling, bruising and itching, but it depends on the sensitivity of your skin and on other factors. Here are other things to watch out for:
- Treatments can be expensive.
- You may have some swelling for 24-72 hours, especially with injections in the lips.
- You may have some bruising for 1-2 weeks.
- Cannot be used when patient is pregnant or nursing.
- As with all such fillers, if you’ve previously had cold sores around the mouth, the treatment might provoke an outbreak. Taking a medication (eg. Valtrex) before the injection can reduce the chance of a flare-up.
How long does Juvederm last?
Juvederm can last from four months to one year after a lip injection session. This will vary from person to person and will also vary from injection to injection in some people.
How much are Juvederm lip injections?
Juvederm is usually charged at $450 to $850 per syringe. Your situation will be unique to you and the cost will be dependent on your needs and the expertise and experience of your plastic surgeon.
Restylane (Hyaluronic Acid) Lip Filler
Another lip filler based on hyaluronic acid is Restylane. Restylane was the first stabilized, non-animal-based hyaluronic acid filler on the market and has been used in over 11 million treatments worldwide. It was also the first hyaluronic acid filler to be approved by the FDA for cosmetic injection.
There are several types of Restylane fillers, each of which addresses a unique cosmetic concern. Restylane Perlane is the Restylane filler recommended for use in adding fullness to lips. However, your surgeon will and can use any of the different forms of Restylane based on his expertise and personal experience.
As with Juvederm and other fillers, Restylane is applied through an application of carefully placed injections under the skin.
Pros of using Restylane
- Patients who cannot use other hyaluronic acid treatments because of negative reactions to the proteins they contain, can receive Restylane lip injections without risk of allergic response.
- The procedure is relatively short.
- Results begin to appear within a few days of treatment.
- Side effects from Restylane treatments are normally minimal. Most redness, swelling or bruising that may show up, should be gone within a week.
- Once injected, the gel in the filler supports and shapes the tissues of the lips.
- The amount of substance injected can be controlled, so the doctor has better control over how much lip volume is created.
Cons of using Restylane
- Side effects might include swelling, redness, bruising, tenderness, or pain at the injection site.
- The side effects of hyaluronic acid fillers, such as Restylane, are temporary but may include bleeding from the injection site, bruising, swelling, redness and tenderness.
- You may have swelling for 24-72 hours, especially with injections in the lips.
- Bruising may occur and can last for up to 1-2 weeks.
- Cannot be used when patient is pregnant or nursing.
How long do the results of Restylane treatments last?
The results of Restylane can last for any period of time between six months and eighteen months. This will vary from patient to patient and from injection to injection.
Cost of Restylane lip injections?
Restylane is usually charged at $450 to $850 per syringe. Your situation will be unique to you and the cost will be dependent on your needs. The cost will also depend on the expertise and experience of your plastic surgeon.
Results of Treatments with Hyaluronic Acid Lip Fillers
Most patients put their make-up on and go right back to their normal activities after their treatment. It’s advised that you do not take Aspirin, Excedrin, Advil, Ibuprofen, or any related products about 10 days before your procedure. If the patient follows this rule then there is a much lower chance of bruising. Some puffiness or swelling for a day or two is normal.
There is a small group of patients who really (really) swell after Restylane treatments, especially in the lips. Some of these same patients do not have this response to Juvederm and do fine after changing to it.
All of these fillers require maintenance 1-4 times a year depending on which filler, the area injected, and your own particular body chemistry.
Radiesse Lip Filler
Radiesse (also known as Radiance) is a synthetic filler made from calcium hydroxyapatite, a product similar to bone. It is injected into the skin for lip augmentation and for smoothing fine lines and wrinkles.
Juvederm and Restylane are usually considered a better solution to lip enhancement, due to the tendency of this filler toward nodule formation. The white color of Radiesse can sometimes show through the thin skin of the lips.
Pros of using Radiesse
- Almost no allergic reactions are associated with this filler.
- Most patients return to normal activities the next day.
- One of the advantages of Radiesse is that it can last up to 2 years if it is touched up.
Cons of using Radiesse
- Risks include allergic reactions, infections, pain, and scar formation.
- This filler can be expensive and may require repeat treatments.
- Using Radiesse in the lips comes with a higher risk for lumps and bumps (granulomas).
How long do the results of Radiesse treatments last?
One of the advantages of Radiesse is that it can last up to 2 years but touchups are usually required.
How much are Radiesse injections?
Pricing varies depending on the amount of filler material required. Treatments can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars.
Fat Injection as a Lip Filler
Autologous fat transfer, is a procedure in which a patient’s own body fat is used to plump up areas of the face and to add volume in places where it’s desired, such as the lips. The word “autologous” simply refers to the use of one’s own tissues or fat. The fat transfer procedure involves three steps. The first step involves the gentle liposuction of the necessary amount of excess fat from a place on the patient’s body (such as that found in the abdomen, buttocks or thighs). The second step involves the isolation and cleansing of the fat cells. The third and final step involves the injection of the fat cells into the lips.
Pros of fat transfer
- Fat transfer doesn’t introduce a foreign material into the body.
- There are no restrictions associated with allergies.
- Results can last for two years or even longer.
Cons of fat transfer
- A fat transfer procedure is longer and more involved than a simple dermal filler.
- Because a fat transfer is far more involved than other lip enhancement procedures, it is also much more expensive.
- Swelling usually lasts longer.
- Without proper injection technique and proper care after injection, the fat can be lost, leaving no result.
How long do the results of fat transfer treatments last?
Generally, the effects of fat injection can last from several months to two years or more. In some cases, the effects last indefinitely.
Cost of a fat transfer procedure
The total cost for a lip enhancement with fat transfer ranges from $2500-$8200. Every case is individual.
Lip augmentation should be subtle. A small increase goes a long way and gives a natural, sexy fullness to the lips. It’s always important for your plastic surgeon to have not only the certification, experience, medical training and expertise, but to have a true sense of what is beautiful.
To make the choice of which lip injection or filler is best for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ganchi to learn more about lip augmentation. He will be happy to discuss with you the options you have and which is the best to suit your unique needs.