We get asked this question over and over again and the answer is simple. A lip lift is a procedure where a small bit of skin below the nose is actually removed so that we can raise the lip a little higher. It involves making an incision in the crease at the base of your nose and removing some of the skin of the upper lip. You can think of it as a facelift for your mouth!
Lip augmentation means making the lips more full. This can be done in a number of ways. The most common is by injecting a hyaluronic acid filler. The newer fillers out there have improved significantly, are a lot softer, and last a lot longer. It’s a great option for many people who aren’t quite sure how full they want their lips and want to “test drive” some added volume. A more permanent option for lip augmentation is by adding in either a dermal graft or a product called Permalip. I prefer using a dermal graft because it is using skin from your own body to fill in the lips. Permalip can often be felt afterwards, can move, and doesn’t look as natural. A dermal graft, on the other hand, is soft and feels like your natural lips.
Recovery is going to look a bit different between the two procedures. After a lip lift there are sutures at the base of the nose hidden within the skin crease which are removed one week after the procedure. These are kept clean and moist with ointment to prevent any scabs from forming. Mild swelling occurs, and bruising generally is minimal. The incision can appear tight and slightly pink for several weeks to months which all improves over time. During the healing process, the scar can be easily covered with concealer. Adding a dermal graft just adds slightly more swelling to your normal recovery.
With lip fillers you can expect some swelling after and maybe a little bruising (depending on the person). Swelling usually peaks the day after the injection and subsides over the next 1-2 weeks. Most newer fillers last anywhere between 1 and 2 years, but most want a touch up at about a year after their initial injection.
Depending on the type of filler products used and your personal metabolism, your lip injections can last anywhere from 3-18 months and can be dissolved at any time if you choose to use a hyaluronic acid filler. Both a lip lift and a dermal graft, on the other hand, are more permanent procedures with results lasting a lifetime.
Some patients want both a shorter and a more full upper lip. For those people, a permanent option would be to perform a lip lift and a dermal lip augmentation at the same time. A dermal augmentation means that I can take either the skin removed from the lip lift along with extra skin from behind the ear and tunnel it through the lip for a more plump look that is long-lasting. For those that aren’t interested in a dermal graft, I can certainly do fillers instead. If fillers are done with a lip lift I recommend injecting the product one week after the lip lift (when the stitches come out). That way I can judge how much product to put in when the swelling goes down from the procedure.
To truly determine whether you’re a better candidate for a lip lift or lip augmenation it’s best to have a consultation with Dr. Saxon. Some general rules of thumb to consider however, are:
To schedule your consultation with Dr. Saxon to determine if one or both of these procedures may be right for you click here or reach out to us via phone at (512) 537-4191 or email: [email protected].
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