TO FLIP OR TO LIFT: THE NEWEST WAYS TO GET FULLER LIPS
LIP LIFT 101
Traditional hyaluronic acid filler is a non-invasive procedure wherein the HA is injected into the lips according to the amount of volume you and your physician are looking to achieve. A lip lift, on the other hand, is a surgical procedure performed under local anesthesia (or sometimes sedation) that changes the appearance of the lips by enhancing the vermillion border—the line where the reddish tissue of the lip meets the surrounding skin—and reducing the distance between the nose and the lip. To accomplish this, tissue is removed from the area just below the nose, which causes the upper lip to advance upwards. The end result gives the lips a fuller, more youthful appearance.
LIP LIFT CANDIDATES
The biggest factor in being a good candidate for a lip lift is if you have a long philtral distance, or the distance between the nose and upper lip. Says Dr. Rabach, “The ideal philtral distance in women is 11–13 mm and in men is 13–15 mm.” Simply having thin lips is not an adequate enough reason to undergo this procedure—increasing volume can still be accomplished less invasively with HA fillers. But if the balance and proportion between the lips and nose is larger than the suggested standard (which of course is just that, a suggestion), a lip lift could be a good option for that patient. Dr. Levine recommends pulling on your middle upper lip in the mirror. “If you like the way it looks, that’s a good sign you will be happy with the surgery.”
LIP FLIP 101
Most of us would prefer not to have surgery. If you’d rather keep your lip augmentation non-invasive, then a lip flip might be your best option apart from fillers. It is similar in that it involves an injectable, but rather than using a hyaluronic acid to increase the volume of the lips, a neuromodulator like Botox, Juveau, Xeomin, and Dysport is injected into the orbicularis muscle of the top lip. This in turn relaxes the muscle and encourages the top lip to flip outwards, thereby giving the illusion of fuller lips. It can also reduce vertical lip lines (known as bar code lines) which typically worsen with age, and is one of the more conservative methods of augmentation since the actual volume of the lips is not altered.
Patients who want zero downtime with their lip augmentation might decide to lean towards this type of procedure, or those who are worried about looking “done” with traditional HA fillers in their lips. Lynn Worthington, from Fountain of Youth Medical in Farragut, TN also recommends it for patients who have a wider smile and aren’t looking for a ton of extra volume. If the vertical lines on your lips are bothering you, this might be a great option to treat them non-invasively, or if you have a gummy smile, a flip lowers the top lip and can make the lips look fuller.
Best idea for your lips. Make an appointment and talk it over. Free consultations available.