Lips are a focal point in a beautiful face. Women have been enhancing them since antiquity by both surgical and non-surgical means. Lipstick, lip liner, lip tattoo, and lip augmentation with injectables are all non-surgical, whereas lip implants and lip lifts are popular surgical treatments. Although the non-surgical means are well-known, let’s look at the surgical options.

Lip implants of today look like giant, but very soft, toothpicks. Currently I am using PermaLip implants that are made of a very soft and pliable rubbery material called Silastic. These are permanent and do not need to be touched up every few months like Juvederm injections. In the past a variety of substances were used for lip implants, including injecting silicone liquid or your own fat, as well as inserting Alloderm (from cadaver skin) or GoreTex (a fabric-like material). PermaLip implants seem to be a much better solution to the need for lip enhancement than these other options because of their softness and permanence.

Lip lifts can be done in a variety of ways. One of the most popular techniques shortens the upper lip with a small scar hidden in the natural crease at the base of the nose. As aging occurs, the upper lip will lengthen, covering up your upper front teeth. By taking out some skin at the top of the upper lip and hiding the scar in the crease at the top of the lip, a rejuvenated look is obtained.

Another way of lifting the lip is by taking out a snippet of skin just above the corner of the mouth. A downturned corner of the mouth can be lifted, giving the person a cheerier look. Although a small scar results, this is usually well hidden in the natural crease line in the area and allows you to avoid something as major as a facelift that also lifts up the corner of the mouth. Botox injection into the depressor anguli oris muscle located just below the corner of the mouth decreases the downward pull of the muscle on the corner of the mouth, allowing for an uplifted look. The injection is only of several months duration, however, and can sometimes alter the smile in an unattractive way.

Should you desire further information about any of these procedures, please contact my office.

George Sanders, M.D.