Lip filler is one of the most common treatments carried out by Dr. Scott Allison. The lips are an extremely important structure when it comes to facial aesthetic enhancement and are considered to be an area of beauty in the face of both women and men. Consequently they are one of the first areas that highlight the tell-tale signs of ageing.
Some patients are looking to replace volume and structure in an ageing lip, whereas younger patients may be looking for enhancement of their lips or beautification. Different techniques and types of filler can be used to achieve the desired effect.
The lips are a specialised feature of the lower face that are comprised of wet & dry mucous membranes, connective tissue and muscles. The structure and anatomy of the lip are vitally important to keep in mind when injecting so as to maintain a natural outcome for the patient.
An often neglected area of lip enhancement is what is known as perioral rejuvenation (or treatment of the area around the lip). This is often performed filler, anti-wrinkle injections or a combination of both and it leads to a more natural aesthetic outcome.
What we can improve
A patient with small lips may want to add volume to create a more balanced size to the lips. Younger patients may be looking for ‘beautification’ or enhancement of their lips.
In Caucasian patients the “golden ratio” of upper to lower lip is considered to be 1:1.68. This is considered by most observers to be the most aesthetically attractive. Some patients may have an imbalance in this ratio which can be addressed by filler. It should be noted that in Asian or Polynesian ethnicities that this ratio is not used as it creates an unnatural appearance. In this group of patients a 1:1 ratio is more natural.
- Lip border and shape
As we age we tend to loose structure to the lip. This is evidenced by loss of the border and projection resulting in a flat, curled in appearance to the lip. It is sometimes necessary to define the cupids bow and philtral columns to give a more youthful appearance.
- Perioral rejuvenation
An often neglected aspect to creating beautiful and age-appropriate lips. The area around the mouth is prone to loss of bone resulting in hollowing and atrophy of soft tissue resulting in peri-oral wrinkles & jowling. If the lips are treated without consideration of the peri-oral area this leads to an unnatural aesthetic outcome.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
It is important to have a good knowledge of the various dermal fillers that are available and their properties. They vary in the degree of lift they produce in the tissue, the stiffness (or softness) they produce in the tissue, the degree of hydration and their longevity. It is important to consider what if trying to be achieved in choosing the best type of filler for a particular patient. In a younger patient where volume is the main aim and where there is already good existing structure, a softer filler is ideal. In contrast, when we are trying to re-create structure in the lip as well as volume we would choose something with slightly more structure.
A numbing cream is applied to the lips 15-20 minutes prior to the procedure. This creates a good level of pain relief and allows for a very comfortable procedure. If required regional nerve blocks can be used (similar to what you would receive at the dentist), however this is rarely necessary.
The lips are cleaned with antiseptic and numbing cream is applied. This is allowed to sit for 15-20 minutes to achieve a good level of anaesthesia. There are various techniques used to achieve different outcomes, however the most common is to use a needle to inject filler as required.
This is a very safe procedure, however, as with any medical procedure there are some risks to consider. Most patients will have some degree of swelling associated with this treatment, but this will settle over the following few days. There may be some discomfort, bleeding or bruising. There have been cases in Australia of vascular injury whereby filler is inadvertently injected into a blood vessel. It is very rare but if it occurred could lead to necrosis of the skin or visual loss. A thorough knowledge of facial anatomy and safe injecting techniques can greatly minimise this risk, however if any signs were to occur the filler would need to be dissolved immediately.
Most patients can go back to work immediately, however as mentioned there may be some degree of bruising or swelling present. Pain is minimal with Panadol adequate if required.
No makeup or lipstick for 4 hours. No exercise for the next 24 hours. Avoiding alcohol that evening will minimise any bruising. Applying ice will also help with swelling and bruising