The lips are a central feature of the face that attract attention while a person is speaking or conveying expressions. The pout can also contribute to or detract from one’s overall attractiveness as science dictates that women with fuller lips are seen as more feminine, while medium-sized lips best suit a masculine appearance. Modern lip augmentation techniques provide very natural results as an overly prominent mouth can appear caricature-like or unbalanced amongst the other facial features. At Revesse of Toronto, Dr. Mounsey and his staff offer several lip augmentation techniques that can provide either temporary or permanent results depending on each patient’s own needs.
About Lip Augmentation
Lip augmentation, also referred to as lip enhancement or a lip-plumping procedure, is a facial cosmetic treatment designed to create a fuller, plumper appearance of the lips. In many cases, adding volume to thin lips will also reduce fine wrinkling around the mouth and produce symmetry, improving facial aesthetics. A lip augmentation procedure requires skill as even minor changes can offer dramatic results due to the placement and size of the lips. In order to achieve an augmented look that creates facial harmony, the end result should be smooth with no lumps and the doctor must pay attention to certain elements like the cupid’s bow (above the arch of the upper lip) and the philtral columns (the peaks and valley between the nose and upper lip).
Lip Augmentation with Injectable Fillers
Patients interested in a temporary volume boost find that injectable fillers are a great option. When using cosmetic dermal fillers, the experts at Revesse prefer to use hyaluronic acid-based products like Restylane or Juvederm, as the molecules naturally occur in the body and attract water molecules to the skin’s surface. The duration of results will vary amongst patients and how their lips respond to the injections. In general, the fillers used for lip augmentation last about three to six months before repeat injections are necessary in order to maintain the plumping effect.
Fat injections may also be an option and results tend to last longer than synthetic options. The procedure is also termed fat transfer as the patient’s own adipose tissue is first harvested from an area of excess like the abdomen or buttocks, then purified and redistributed to the lips. The doctor first performs liposuction through a small cannula (suction removal tube) to harvest the material to use. This can be dually beneficial as it offers a slight trimming of areas with excess fat and re-injects the tissue to areas of the lips that could benefit from additional volume. Because the body recognizes the tissue as its own, there is no risk for a rejection or adverse reaction to the fat.
Temporary injectables are ideal for individuals who prefer to “try out” fuller lips before committing to a more permanent procedure. Fillers result in a realistic appearance of the lips that maintain their natural feel. These procedures are typically performed in a patient room at the Revesse office using a topical anesthetic. Dr. Mounsey will use a small-gauge needle to inject the filler directly into the lips in targeted areas to produce the greatest results. Administering the injections can take as little as fifteen minutes to complete and involves minimal discomfort. As with any injection, some minor swelling or bruising may result that typically subsides within a few days, though most patients are able to return to their normal routine the same day or the next. During a consultation with Dr. Mounsey, prospective patients can discuss possible treatment plans that may best suit their needs.
Permanent Lip Augmentation
Select facial plastic surgeons offer a permanent solution to enhance lip size and shape through lip implants of one or both lips. The biocompatible material is inserted through incisions hidden within the mouth or at the corner of the lips and remains in place indefinitely. The lip enlargement surgery is more invasive than lip injections and requires local anesthesia, sometimes coupled with a sedative. The fullness in the lips will remain as long as the implants are in place.
Also called cheiloplasty or lip rebalancing surgery, lip reduction is performed to surgically reduce the size of the upper lip, lower lip, or the full pair of abnormally large or protruding lips. In patients who seek to minimize bulk of the lips, the doctor can create bilateral incisions to excise extra lip tissue that is well concealed beyond the dry border of the lips and within the mucus membrane tissue. The incisions on either side of the mouth are then sutured closed to promote aesthetic healing. During a reconstructive procedure, Dr. Mounsey may restructure a portion of the lips through surrounding healthy tissue, creating the patient’s desired contouring. In some cases, the cheiloplasty procedure is used to repair a cleft lip, a condition that is present from birth.
Lip reduction may benefit patients who have experienced a reaction to fillers or an implant that has caused permanent residual swelling or asymmetry of the lips. The procedure may also be advantageous in cases where lip trauma has been sustained as irregularities can be addressed during the procedure.
Lip Procedure Candidates
Potential female and male patients of cosmetic lip treatments must meet certain criteria to ensure patient safety and optimal results. Patients should be in good health with no active lesions on the lips or diseases of the tissue in order to undergo lip injections or a minor surgical procedure. They should not have sensitivities or allergies to materials used, including the Restylane and Juvederm fillers as well as lip implant material, depending on which option is elected. Any adverse reactions to anesthesia and sedatives used in the past should also be reported. Candidates for lip procedures must have realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure, understanding the limits of both modern medicine and their individual anatomy.
Lip Augmentation/Lip Reduction Consultation
During the first scheduled appointment with Dr. Mounsey, prospective patients will have the opportunity to present their aesthetic concerns to the doctor and explain their preferred method of intervention. The doctor will thoroughly examine the lips and may take notes and measurements for future reference. In some cases, he may suggest certain tests, imaging, or primary care physician clearance if he has any concerns about the patient’s health.
Dr. Mounsey can provide detailed information of each option available to the patient. Because the doctor is an expert in facial plastics, he may suggest additional treatments or even correcting other features to help balance the look of the lips. The doctor-patient consultation takes about one hour and, in some cases, patients can receive same-day injectable fillers to the lips.
Procedures that Complement Lip Augmentation and Lip Reduction
When a patient is dissatisfied with the appearance of his or her lips, the doctor will assess other facial features to determine if they may play a role in the lack of facial harmony. In some cases, the nose may hide part of the upper lip. Rhinoplasty, or cosmetic nose surgery, is a great way to address both a droopy nasal tip and lips that appear too small for the face. The nose surgery may be paired with lip injections for a full makeover.
In aging patients who seek treatment for thinning, wrinkled lips, facelift surgery, dermal fillers of the face, laser skin tightening, or chemical peel may add a youthful glow to the rest of the face so the newly restored lips do not negatively impact the overall facial harmony.
Lip Procedure FAQs
What is lip augmentation?
Lip augmentation refers to a cosmetic enlargement of the lips through injectable fillers like Restylane or Juvederm, fat injections or, less commonly, through lip implant surgery to treat thin or aging lips depleted in volume. Prior to undergoing these treatments, Dr. Mounsey sees patients at Revesse of Toronto to meet with them, discuss their concerns, and put together a customized treatment plan for each patient.
What is lip reduction?
Whereas lip augmentation seeks to enlarge the lips and can be performed non-surgically, lip reduction minimizes the prominence of the upper, lower, or both lips through a minor surgery. The doctor can treat asymmetry, correct past work performed by another doctor that may have led to permanently oversized lips, or lessen the appearance of excessive protruding of the lips.
Where are lip procedures performed by Dr. Mounsey?
Typically, the doctor sees patients on site at the Revesse office location in Toronto to perform cosmetic procedures of the lips. Even during a surgery, only local anesthesia is necessary to sufficiently numb the lips, and the patient will be conscious during the procedure.
How long will the procedure take?
Lip augmentation with fat grafting will require the most time to perform because the procedure is a three-part process. First, Dr. Mounsey procures fat through liposuction, then the fat is treated and purified for re-injection, and finally the doctor injects the fat into the lips. Lip fillers require about fifteen minutes to complete, and a more extensive lip reconstruction can require thirty minutes to hours to complete.
Will there be any scarring after lip surgery?
Each lip surgery will require surgical incisions, but these cuts are expertly hidden in different areas of the lips and mouth. An incision may follow the natural line of the lip, be disguised in the corners of the mouth (lip augmentation with implants), or hidden in the underside of the lip (lip reduction), also called the mucus membrane portion of the lips.
Is a lip augmentation or lip reduction painful?
While there is minor discomfort associated with each procedure, any sensation during the procedure is controlled with anesthesia, and medications and special instructions can help to ensure a comfortable recovery period. Prior to the procedure, the doctor will prescribe any necessary medications, and staff can provide detailed instructions about home care.
About Dr. Mounsey and Revesse of Toronto
Dr. Robert A. Mounsey, MD, FRCSC, FACS, is a skilled facial plastic surgeon of Toronto, Ontario also serving North York, Brampton, Mississauga, and surrounding areas. The doctor has limited his practice to facial aesthetics and works to educate upcoming practitioners as an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Division of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Mounsey to learn more about ways to improve your appearance through the art and science of facial plastics.
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Revesse offers financing to help patients pay for elective procedures. Cosmetic improvement is not out of reach for anyone. Learn more about financing or apply online.