What treatments are available for the lips?
There are a variety of procedures available for changing the appearance of the lips and these can all be done wihtout the need for hospitalisation or general anaesthetic. They can also be combined with other more extensive plastic surgery procedures.
Many people would like to have fuller lips. This is most usually achieved by using ‘dermal fillers’. Fillers are synthetic gels which mimic natural structural molecules. The gel is injected to the upper and/or lower lip with a fine needle. The effect of the injection lasts for approximately 6 months.
Fillers can also be used to mask vertical lines which radiate from the edge of the lip vermillion and to soften a ‘down turn’ at the corners of the mouth.
Ageing has the effect of lengthening the upper lip (distance from base of nose to the mouth) as well as thinning the vermillion of the lip. This can be corrected by removing a small ext ion of upper lip skin adjacent to the base of the nose. The effect of this is to shorten a long upper lip and it also rolls the upper lip slightly to give some more ‘lip show’. This is usually an awake (local anaesthetic) operation.
Valentine Lip Lift
Where the corners of the mouth droop to give a sad appearance, it may be possible to lift the mouth edges by removing a small triangle or quadrangle of skin. This is re stitched so that the corner of the mouth is lifted or straightened.
A recent innovation is the introduction of a lip implant (‘Permalip’™). This is inserted as an awake operation (‘local anaesthetic’) and offers a permanent alternative to having injectable fillers.
Botox can also be used to treat vertical wrinkles around the lips.
Some patients are concerned with a ‘gummy smile’: strong muscles in the upper lip contract to show the whole of the upper gum when smiling. These muscles can be weakened with botox injections to reduce the amount of gum which is exposed when smiling.