Lip Enhancement with Fillers
I use Restylane injections for lip enhancement. Restylane is a clear gel made of hyaluronic acid, a chemical that is found in healthy normal skin. The function of hyaluronic acid in normal skin is to keep it well hydrated. Young skin has more hyaluronic acid in it than older skin, and this is part of the reason why the appearance of skin changes with age. Because Restylane is made of this naturally found chemical, it is less likely to cause the problems seen with some other fillers. Restylane is made synthetically, not derived from animal material.
Lip enhancement requires a good understanding of aesthetics, it is not a purely technical undertaking. I assess each patient carefully, and decide with them how they want to improve the appearance of the lips. I use the minimum amount of filler to achieve the desired effect. The changes that can be achieved with filler include:
- Fuller lips (more volume)
- Better definition of the border of the upper lip
- Turning up the corners of the mouth
- Improving 'lipstick lines'
Lip enhancement with Restylane takes about 30 minutes. It involves multiple tiny injections with a very small needle and the treatment is somewhat uncomfortable or sore. If you are having lip enhancement, I recommend local anaesthetic injections are used to numb the lips, as this is a very sensitive area (these are similar to the injections you might have at the dentist). After lip enhancement the lips swell quite a lot, and this sometimes alarms patients; this usually mostly settles within 12 hours or so.
Lip enhancement with Restylane is not permanent; it lasts 3 - 4 months, and can of course be repeated.
There are other techniques for lip enhancement, including permanent fillers and Coleman fat transfer. I do not use permanent fillers as lips treated with these often feel lumpy. Lumpiness after permanent filler injections is a difficult problem to put right, and may require surgical removal. Coleman fat transfer is the best long-term technique of lip enhancement. It involves taking some fat from another part of the body (usually lower abdomen), and injecting it into the lips. I offer Coleman fat transfer for lip enhancement; this treatment is done in the operating theatre, usually with local anaesthetic.