A lip enhancement procedure is a more permanent way to boost volume in your lips. Known as cheiloplasty, soft, silicone implants can be placed in the upper and/or lower lip to address naturally thin, less prominent tissue in the area. Unlike fillers, which must be “topped up” every few months, you can experience plumper, more striking lips without having to come in again and again when fillers wear off.
Lip augmentation has seen numerous advancements in the form of hyaluronic acid fillers, and other “trendy” procedures like the Botox “lip flip”. But, most of these treatments last no longer than a few months. This is because the body breaks down the injectable, and metabolizes it, causing the lips to gradually return to their natural size over time.
Book a personal consultation with board-certified surgeon Joseph Michaels, M.D. to talk about the benefits of lip augmentation with implants. With two offices in the Washington D.C. area, Dr. Michaels can assess your needs and find the most effective lip augmentation procedure for you! Call Rockville, MD at (301) 468-5991, or Fairfax, VA at (703) 957-8610 to get in touch with us. You can also complete an inquiry form on our website.
- 1 Before and After Photos
- 2 About Lip Implants
- 3 Implants vs. Fillers
- 4 Aesthetic Aims
- 5 Benefits of Lip Implants
- 6 Candidates
- 7 Personal Consultation
- 8 Your Lip Enhancement Procedure
- 9 Results
- 10 Cost of Lip Implants in Fairfax, VA
- 11 FAQ
- 12 References
Before and After Photos
About Lip Implants
Having thinner lips can be frustrating. It can make facial features look unbalanced, and we may feel it diminishes our feminine beauty. Like mascara for shorter eyelashes, and tints for thinner brows, many women adjust the appearance of their lips with makeup every day. But although over-lining and using lip-accentuating products is common, there are ways to achieve a beautiful, natural-looking pout without the hassle. As a proven, convenient, low-risk option for augmenting the lips, implant procedures are gaining popularity and have high satisfaction rates. (1)
Implants vs. Fillers
Hyaluronic acid fillers are a popular way to enhance lip volume, as well as a great way to highlight other areas of your face, such as the cheekbones. The most commonly known brands include Restylane and Juvéderm, and there are even formulations specifically designed to address thinner lips. As hyaluronic acid is produced naturally by the body, many people choose fillers as a convenient body-safe treatment. But naturally, like all injectables, they don’t last forever. However this can work to your advantage!
If you’re not sure about committing to implants, Dr. Michaels may recommend getting fillers first, to see if you like your new look. This is a short procedure with a short recovery time, and can really help you to decide if a more permanent solution is the right fit for you.
Nobody wants so-called “duck” or “sausage” lips. So, it’s important to find the right shape implant in each case, as well as balancing the goals of the patient with the practicalities of their unique anatomy. However you augment your lips, the key to success is a natural look. To achieve this, Dr. Michaels abides by certain widely-accepted aesthetic guidelines.
- Lip width should be approximately 40% of the width of the lower face.
- There should be a roughly 50% increase in lip surface area from baseline.
- The lower lip should be taller. Upper to lower lip ratio should be between 1.6:1 and 2:1.
- The upper lip should project slightly more than the lower lip in a profile view.(1)
Benefits of Lip Implants
- A single-procedure solution for thinner lips
- Achieves plumper lips with better definition
- Uses ergonomically-shaped, body-safe silicone
- Customizable to the patient, with a selection of projections available
- More cost-effective in the long-term than lip fillers
- Very few preoperative instructions to follow
- Fast, simple recovery with minimal downtime
- Permanent results but fully reversible when requested
Resists Tissue In-Growth
Silicone is widely used in cosmetic procedures, most commonly in breast implants, but also in facial augmentation. One of the benefits of solid silicone is that it resists tissue in-growth. This is where the surrounding tissue may “tether” itself to the implant, causing an unnatural appearance with lip movement.
Can Men Get Lip Implants?
Although fuller lips are more commonly associated with femininity, some men with thinner, less distinctive lips may desire a procedure to change them. Regardless of your gender, it’s important to find an aesthetic that you appreciate. As male plastic surgery procedures increase in popularity, and men realize that they have options too, more and more are choosing facial procedures such as eyelid lifts, gynecomastia treatment, liposuction, and yes, even lip implants!
Allergies and intolerances to silicone lip implants are rare. Candidates for lip augmentation with implants are healthy adults with no serious underlying conditions that could adversely affect healing. There are two other factors Dr. Michaels will take into consideration.
Lip implants cannot correct asymmetrical lips. Where patients have an imbalance on one side of the face, or wish to address smile asymmetry, hyaluronic acid fillers are the preferred treatment.(2)
“Razor Thin” Lips
Where a patient has insufficient tissue or vermilion (lip border) for the fitting of the smallest implant available, fillers may be offered as an alternative.(2) Other approaches to cheiloplasty involve strategic excising of the skin under the nose to increase the length of the vermillion, and are referred to as “lip lifts.”
Dr. Michaels will assess if cheiloplasty is right for you at a personal consultation at either our Rockville or Fairfax offices. He will find out what your aesthetic goals are, then examine the dimensions of your lips. Some patients choose to enhance only the upper or lower lip, while others choose to accentuate both. Once he has established that the treatment is suitable for you, he will provide information about the implant choices you have.
Your Lip Enhancement Procedure
Dr. Michaels will provide detailed information for you to prepare for your surgery. These include the following:
- If you are prone to cold sores, start taking antiviral medication 72 hours before your surgery.
- Dr. Michaels may also prescribe antibiotics and arnica, to mitigate infection and aid the healing process.
- Avoid taking aspirin and other NSAIDS (such as ibuprofen and naproxen) two weeks before your procedure as these medications increase bleeding.
- Buy the specified items such as cotton swabs and hydrogen peroxide for aftercare.
- Buy a suitable lip balm (such as Vaseline or Carmex) to keep your lips moist.
- Arrange transportation to and from our office with a trusted friend or relative.
On the Day
Dr. Michaels can perform lip augmentation with implants under local anesthesia. He begins by applying a topical anesthetic to the lips. He then places incisions in the upper and lower lips. A long surgical tool, usually a trocar, is then passed through the central area of the lip to avoid interfering with the labial artery. After creating a tunnel, Dr. Michaels carefully passes the implant through from one side to the other. He then repeats the process in the other lip when this is indicated in the treatment plan. After he has placed the implant(s) in a suitable position, he closes the incisions with sutures.
Lip Implant Aftercare
Dr. Michaels provides extensive post-operative advice, which includes the following:
- Avoiding excessive lip movement where possible for the first few days
- Limiting food intake to soft, easy to chew foods only for the first 48 hours.
- Regularly hydrating with multiple glasses of water per day (No drinking through straws)
- Sleeping on your back only with your head at a 30-40 degree angle
- Avoiding opening the mouth excessively (a small children’s toothbrush may be purchased for brushing)
- Using cold compresses and either prescription pain medication or over-the-counter Tylenol (Acetaminophen) to relieve discomfort
You may wish to arrange some time off work after your surgery. Usually, our patients take 2-3 days off to recover at home. You may experience bruising, itching, and swelling in the lips in your recovery period. There may also be some mild drainage at the incision points. Most patients see these resolve completely 1-2 weeks after their procedure, though swelling may take longer to resolve fully.
Patients can expect to see their final results in a few weeks, after the swelling has resolved completely. We will arrange a follow-up appointment with Dr. Michaels to ensure you are healing well!
Cost of Lip Implants in Fairfax, VA
Every patient receives tailored care. Dr. Michaels assesses the suitability of every treatment for the unique needs of the individual, therefore, the cost of your personalized treatment plan may vary. Financing is available for qualified candidates. Book your personal consultation with us and find the most beautiful, permanent lip volume! Call (301) 468-5991 for Rockville, or (703) 957-8610 to reach our office in Fairfax.
Please visit our website for general information about our office hours, and booking from out of town. You can also stay up-to-date with our procedures by reading Dr. Michaels’ informative blog, and join 221K followers (and counting!) on Instagram!
Can silicone lip implants rupture?
No. Unlike silicone breast implants, which contain a silicone gel, lip implants are made of solid silicone, so there is no risk of rupture.
Are lip implants better than fillers?
It depends on your preferences! Many patients are content with getting regular HA filler top-ups to boost their lip volume, however for others this is a costly, time-consuming inconvenience. In just one procedure, patients can get permanent volume with implants, but also have the benefit of knowing they can be removed later if they want to go back to their original look.
- Brody-Camp S, Raggio BS. Lip Implants. PubMed. Published 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546691/
- Raphael P, Harris R, Harris SW. Five-year Experience with Perma Facial Implant. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. 2014;2(5):e153. doi:10.1097/gox.0000000000000091 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4174082/