In Pursuit of the Perfect Pucker
Women’s lips have always sign of youthfulness, fertility, and beauty. It is one of the first things you notice when you look at someone’s face. One of my favorite poems regarding this subject is below…
“A man had given all other bliss
And all his worldly worth for this
To waste his whole heart in one kiss
Upon her perfect lips.”
We have all seen a friend, co-worker, celebrity, socialite or relative with suddenly puffier, fuller lips. Sometimes it looks great, sometimes not so great. For example, Meg Ryan, Cher, and Lisa Rinna. Even Lindsey Lohan showed up at the courthouse with noticably larger lips.
The correct shape of the lips should have the bottom lip larger that the top, but we have all seen duck lips, trout lips, fish lips, and giant lips! I can’t count the number of times I have seen women walking Beverly Hills around with the suspicious ice pack hiding their lips.
For a while, having your lips “over done” was a huge trend that I think is finally calming down. The hugely overinflated, bee-stung look is evolving into a more reasonable,
Natural look. People like Lisa Rinna went on the air and filmed her lip reduction explaining that her over done lips didn’t feel sexy to her anymore. I have recently done several lip reduction cases with surgeons who essentially removed product or scar tissue from the lips.
I myself have dabbled in the array of injectables that has been introduced over the last 10 years. Collagen, which I needed a skin test for to make sure I was not allergic to, Restylane, Juvederm, and another one where they took a piece of my skin, sent it to a lab, and it came back in a syringe that we promptly injected into my lips. (That one didn’t last).
Let’s go over all of the ways in which patients enlarge their lips in order to achieve a sexy, pouty pucker…
Lip advancement, or a v-y procedure done by a plastic surgeon with general anesthesia. Incisions are made on the inside of the lip and it is rolled forward exposing more of the pink tissue of the lip itself.
Fat transfer to the lips. Fat is harvested from another part of the body and injected into the lips for permanent fullness.
Upper lip lift. An incision is made right under the nose, and the lip is pulled up, exposing a portion of the upper teeth. (As we age, the upper lip gets longer).
Corner lip lift. An incision is made in the inside corner of the mouth so that the lip is turned upwards. (As we age, the mouth turns down).
All of these can be done on an out patient basis, and can be permanent. There is swelling and you might have to take a week off of work. Make sure that you have a surgeon who does this procedure frequently.
Collagen- Made from bovine (cow) or human collagen. Collagen has been around the longest. This is the one you need a skin test for to make sure you are not allergic to. Some physicians still like using it on patients because they love the result it gives.
Juvederm and Restylane
Both are made out of Hyaluronic acid and no allergy test is needed. It is essentially the same ingredient, just made by two different companies. Some patients have a preference, I do not. Both of them provided great results for me and patients who have tried both. Numbing cream or a numbing shot in your mouth is sufficient…and your doctor or nurse can do it in less than an hour. Results are immediate and you can go out that night.
3. Permanent injectables
You need a really good injector, as is it a permanent result. However, some results have been less than desirable such as lumps, bumps, hardness, and migration of the product, resulting in surgery to remove it. However, when done by a professional who uses the product a lot, the results are fabulous!
4. Lip implant:These can be done under a local anesthetic or sedation. To me, they often produce the “trout lip” or duck lip on the upper lip. Although they are a permanent implant, there is risk of infection, asymmetry, and extruding or showing of the implant.
So, it is important to keep in mind that everyone has a different version of what they think is beautiful. Bring pictures of examples with you, and really talk to your plastic surgeon or doctor or nurse and tell them what you want. Make sure that they have before and after pictures, and that they do the procedure A LOT. Start out with a non-permanent filler first to see how you like your new look. The cost will vary form office to office.
Having luscious lips is like having a new beauty accessory…its fun and makes you feel good!
Sylvia Silvestri, R.N.