Lip Lift vs Lip Fillers

Lip Lift vs Lip Fillers

As the popularity of lip fillers, or dermal fillers, continues to rise, the development of new filler brands and formulas keeps cosmetic patients coming back for more. Dermal fillers are commonly injected into facial skin to fill in wrinkles, to restore youthful pliancy to aging skin, and to enhance thin lips.

While the effectiveness of dermal fillers for wrinkle removal and facial rejuvenation is certainly acknowledged, the use of dermal fillers for lip augmentation is often falsely touted as the sole method for successful lip enhancement. Lip lifts are minor cosmetic surgery procedures that offer a permanent means of defining and enhancing thin lips. Is one option better than the other? Here are some things to consider about both methods before undergoing lip augmentation treatment.

More About Lip Lifts

Lip lift surgery is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to enhance the shape and appearance of the mouth, either by augmenting the lips, or by altering the natural positioning and symmetry of the mouth. Lip lifts are fairly minor surgical procedures, and have become popular permanent alternatives to lip fillers. The lip lift technique that's used will depend on a patient's specifications for their lip augmentation results. Currently, three main types of lip lift procedures are performed today:

  • Bull-Horn Lip Lift: The bull-horn lip lift, also called a subnasal lip lift, is arguably the most popular method of lip lift surgery. The bull-horn procedure is performed by removing a bit of skin tissue, shaped like a bull horn, from underneath the nose. When the incision is closed, the removed tissue creates a slight lift in the upper lip.
  • Gull-Wing Lip Lift: sometimes referred to as the direct lip lift, gull-wing lip surgery removes tissue directly from above the upper lip line border. The end result is similar to the bull-horn technique, in that the upper lip is slightly raised.
  • Italian Lip Lift: The Italian lip lift requires two incisions, one beneath each nostril. A bit of skin tissue is removed at each incision, and then the upper lip is lifted on each side as the incisions are closed up.

Depending on the natural shape of their lips, patients may want to combine lip lift surgery with a corner lip lift. Since the bull-horn, the gull-wing and the Italian lip lift techniques don't specifically lift the corners of the mouth, the corner lip lift can help create a more uniform lip line post procedure. The corner lip lift uses tiny incisions above the outer corners of the mouth to subtly raise and even the overall mouth contour. This can prevent lip lift patients from winding up with a slightly down-turned lip line. Other options for surgical lip augmentation include lip reduction and permanent lip implants.

More About Lip Fillers

The selection of lip fillers available today is plentiful, but in terms of quality and popularity, there are a few major formulas that stand out from the rest. Currently, the most favored dermal fillers use hyaluronic acid as their main ingredient. Among this group, Restylane, Perlane and Juvederm are the most popular brands. Lip fillers are injected into the lips at varying points, with the desired result being fuller, more voluptuous lips. Hyaluronic acid lip fillers use a naturally occurring protein that is long-lasting, safe, and won't cause allergic reactions.

Lip fillers can be a good choice for patients who want a temporary, quick fix for thin lips, with little required down time. The reasonable cost per treatment can be enticing as well, with most lip filler injections ranging from $400-$900 per treatment. By comparison, lip lift surgery can cost anywhere from $1000-$2500 depending on the patient's individual needs and the area where the surgery is performed.

Choosing a Lip Enhancement Procedure

The decision to get a lip lift or use lip fillers will largely depend on your personal needs with lip enhancement. For correcting lip asymmetry, irregular or low lip placement, and disproportionate lips, lip lift surgery may be your best option. If you are seeking fuller lips for a certain special occasion, or want increased lip volume on a smaller budget, then lip fillers may be more fitting for you.

It's important to keep in mind that lip fillers are not permanent treatments, whereas lip lifts can yield permanent lip enhancement results after a one-time, minor surgery. Some lip lift patients have even found that the procedure can create that fuller, more youthful lip appearance that's always promised with lip fillers. Additionally, lip lift surgery can be combined with fat injections to give patients' lips that extra "oomph" if necessary.

To learn more about the pros and cons of lip lift surgery or lip fillers, it's best to discuss your goals and concerns with a qualified plastic surgeon or cosmetic professional. By meeting with a plastic surgeon before choosing a lip enhancement treatment, you will have a better idea of what to expect post procedure, and can discover which lip treatment is best suited for you.

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