Wrinkle Correction – Fillers, Botox and Plastic Surgery – Part 3 of 4

Posted February 08, 2012 in Botulinum Toxin (Botox Dysport Xeomin), Fillers (Restylane Juvederm Perlane Radiesse), Home, Videos, Wrinkle Reduction (Non-surgical)

In the not so distant past, wrinkles were treated with creams or plastic surgery. Now, all that has changed. The new millennium has brought a wide range of treatments that fit nicely between creams and plastic surgery. They offer better, stronger, faster correction than creams, with quicker recovery and lower cost than the gold standard — plastic surgery.

Wrinkle Fillers

Products like Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane and Radiesse allow for quick correction of moderate wrinkles with minimal downtime. They are all dermal fillers, and as the name implies, they are used to fill in unwanted wrinkles and folds. The correction can be increased with increased volume, and the downtime is about 24 hours of mild redness and sometimes longer for resolution of the occasional bruise. The improvement is immediate, and continues to improve for the first month. They can be used anywhere on the face. Since fillers do not inhibit muscle motion, they excel in the correction of lines around the mouth and in the lower face.

Neuromodulators

Products like BOTOX Cosmetic, Dysport and Xeomin are neuromodulators. They relax the muscles that cause wrinkles, like the frown lines found between the eyebrows. These take a few days to relax the muscle, and gradual improvement is seen as the skin is no longer folding from the muscle motion. Since neuromodulators reduce, or even stop, muscle motion, they are used mostly in the upper face. Use around the mouth needs to minimal and requires advanced techniques and good judgement.

Facial Wrinkle Correction Video

Today’s video is about how to use minimally invasive procedures to achieve maximum results. It is from a recent appearance on KRON‘s Body Beautiful. The (415) number in this video was for viewers to call during the live broadcast. If you have questions about dermal fillers or botox, please a call us at (925) 943-6353.

Facial Wrinkle Correction Video Contents

This Facial Wrinkle Correction Video includes:

  • Liquid Facelifts and Facial Wrinkle Reduction
  • Why have a Plastic Surgeon do your non-surgical wrinkle treatments?
  • Is Wrinkle Reduction Art or Science?
  • What happened to Collagen?
  • What are the problems with dermal fillers?
  • What is Hyaluronic Acid?
  • How does Hyaluronic Acid improve wrinkles?
  • Can you get Botulism from Botox?
  • Viewer Question – How can a scar beneath the eye be improved?
  • What can be done at home to improve scars?
  • Does massage or using topical silicone improve scars?

Who Am I?

I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Walnut Creek, California, for 15 years. My practice includes a wide range of plastic surgery, with specialization in cosmetic plastic surgery. To learn more about my practice visit the Meet Dr. Mele page.

Why see a Plastic Surgeon for Non-Surgical Wrinkle Correction?

While I specialize in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, the development of injectable therapies has revolutionized the way I approach facial rejuvenation. Dermal Fillers and Wrinkle Relaxers are no substitute for real plastic surgery; however, they do allow for real improvement in the appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, in ways that were just not possible before. The advantage of seeing a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon for your non-surgical wrinkle correction is two-fold. You get the immediate advantage of a trained plastic surgeon’s advanced knowledge of facial anatomy, and the future advantage having a trusted relationship with that plastic surgeon should longer lasting, surgical correction be desired.

More Wrinkle Correction Information

Information on facial wrinkle reduction is available in English and Español. Please follow the links below:

More Wrinkle Correction Videos

This is part 3 of 4. Below are links to the rest of the series:

Read More

Wrinkle Correction – Fillers, Botox and Plastic Surgery – Part 2 of 4

Posted February 01, 2012 in Botulinum Toxin (Botox Dysport Xeomin), Fillers (Restylane Juvederm Perlane Radiesse), Home, Videos, Wrinkle Reduction (Non-surgical)

Like most Plastic Surgeons, I like to operate. Plastic Surgery is a versatile tool. It can restore function after injury or disease, and it can improve form for even the normal body. But just because I have a hammer, I don’t think the whole world is a nail.

Plastic surgery is extremely personal, and I depend on you to help me know what the best course of treatment will be. Sometimes plastic surgery is the best answer, and sometimes less is more appropriate.

Many plastic surgeons use Botox and Restylane in their practices. While non-surgical, these products are complementary to what we Plastic Surgeons do. For example:

Forehead Wrinkles and Frown Lines

Relaxing the frown lines and forehead wrinkles has always been a part of the Brow Lift procedure. If you have droopy eyebrows that are pushing skin onto your upper eyelids, deep wrinkles running across your forehead, or vertical lines between the eyebrows that make you look angry (frown lines), a brown lift might be for you. On the other hand, if you have the frown lines the forehead wrinkles, but the eyebrows and eyelids are fine, Botox, Dysport and Xeomin, may provide you with an equally attractive result.

Lower Face Wrinkles

Lower facial wrinkles include the Naso-Labial Folds (NLF’s), Marionette Lines (ML’s), lip lines and other wrinkles found on the lower face. These areas can be treated with a Facelift, when coexisting with lower facial skin laxity, but when found in isolation, a face lift is more than what is needed. Dermal fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane and Radiesse can pinpoint the treatment to exactly where it is needed, without the downtime associated with surgery.

Naso-Labial Folds (NLF’s)

The Naso-Labial Folds are the lines that extend from the sides of the nose down to the lips. They are the result of muscle attachments to the skin, and are deepened when we smile. The more firmly the muscle is attached, the deeper the resulting fold. Filling the NLF’s with Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane or Radiesse can reduce the appearance of folds without affecting the ability to smile. Unlike botox, dermal fillers do not inhibit motion.

Marionette Lines (ML’s)

The Marionette Lines are a continuation of the NLF’s, extending from the corners of the mouth down to the jaw line. These too are reinforced when we talk and smile broadly. Like the Naso-Labial Folds, the Marionette Lines respond well to fillers. The ML’s often require more volume than the NLF’s for what would seem to be wrinkles of similar depth.

Lip Lines

Lip lines are the fine lines that radiate out from the lips. Often referred to as Smoker’s Lines, the lines are formed when we pucker our lips. Lip lines allow lipstick to bleed, and can make maintaining a clean line at the edge of the lip difficult. By carefully filling in the edge of the lip, a smoothed contour can be formed, and less lipstick bleed occurs. This can be done with or without Lip Augmentation, or purposefully adding volume to the lips.

Facial Wrinkle Correction Before and After Photos

This segment focusses on dermal fillers, and shows numerous before and after pictures illustrating the areas more commonly treated with fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane and Radiesse. Wrinkle relaxers, like Botox, Dysport and Xeomin can complement results in facial wrinkle reduction, but were not used for the areas shown in these before and after pictures.

Facial Wrinkle Correction Video

Today’s video is from a recent appearance on KRON‘s Body Beautiful during which I discuss how to use minimally invasive procedures to achieve maximum results. The (415) number in this video was for viewers to call during the live broadcast. If you have questions about dermal fillers or botox, give us a call at (925) 943-6353.

Facial Wrinkle Correction Video Contents

This Facial Wrinkle Correction Video includes:

  • Liquid Facelifts or Facial Wrinkle Reduction
  • The effects of gravity and aging on the face.
  • Who is a good candidate for wrinkle reduction treatments?
  • Before and After Pictures of Dermal filler treatments
    • Before and After Pictures of Howdy Doody Line treatment
    • Before and After Pictures of Naso-Labial Fold treatment
    • Before and After Pictures of Facial Wrinkle treatment
    • Before and After Pictures of Acne Scar treatment
    • Before and After Pictures of Lip Augmentation
    • Before and After Pictures of Non-Surgical Rhinoplasty
  • Dermal fillers used include
    • Restylane
    • Juvederm
    • Perlane
    • Radiesse
  • Neuromodulators can also enhance the results of fillers. For example:
    • BOTOX Cosmetic
    • Dyport
    • Xeomin
  • The best areas to treat with fillers
  • Temporary vs. “Permanent” Correction

Who Am I?

I am a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Walnut Creek, California, for 15 years. The development of injectable therapies has revolutionized the way facial rejuvenation is approached. While no substitute for real plastic surgery, they do allow for real improvement in appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, in ways that were just not possible before.

More Wrinkle Correction Information

Information on facial wrinkle reduction is available in English and Español. Please follow the links below:

More Wrinkle Correction Videos

This is part 2 of 4. Below are links to the rest of the series:

Read More

Wrinkle Correction – Fillers, Botox and Plastic Surgery – Part 1 of 4

Posted January 24, 2012 in Botulinum Toxin (Botox Dysport Xeomin), Fillers (Restylane Juvederm Perlane Radiesse), Home, Videos, Wrinkle Reduction (Non-surgical)

Wrinkle correction used to mean either small improvements with creams or major improvements with surgery. The ground betwen is now covered with the introduction of wrinkle fillers, like Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane and Radiesse, and wrinkle relaxers, like Botox, Dysport and Xeomin.

San Francisco Bay Area – Leaders in Wrinkle Reduction

San Francisco Bay Area Plastic Surgery patients have always been at the forefront of facial wrinkle correction with fillers. It began in the 70’s with the local development of Collagen, and carries on today with its replacement, hyaluronic acid or HA.

Wrinkle Fillers – Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane & Radiesse

Like collagen, HA is a normal component of the skin, and is also found in our joints. HA dermal fillers are sold under many brands names, with the most popular being Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane. These clear gels allow for the correction of moderate to deep facial rhytids (lines) with minimal down time and quick improvement.

Wrinkle Relaxers – Botox, Dysport & Xeomin

Botulinum toxins have been used for years for the treatment of blepharospasm, a disabling chronic spasm of the muscles around the eyes causing functional blindness. For many years it was the plastic surgeons “secret” weapon, and used off-label, but a few years ago Allergan received approval for a new indication – the cosmetic treatment of frown lines. BOTOX Cosmetic was born. Others have followed with similar approval and results including Dysport and Xeomin.

Facial Wrinkle Correction Video

Today’s video is from a recent appearance on KRON‘s Body Beautiful during which I discuss how to use minimally invasive procedures to achieve maximum results. The discussion includes the use of fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane and Radiesse, and wrinkle relaxers, like Botox, Dysport and Xeomin. The (415) number in this video was for viewers to call during the live broadcast. If you have questions about dermal fillers or botox, give us a call at (925) 943-6353.

This Facial Wrinkle Correction Video includes:

  • Liquid Facelifts
  • Freshening up for special occasions
  • Dermal fillers
    • Restylane
    • Juvederm
    • Perlane
    • Radiesse
  • Neuromodulators
    • BOTOX Cosmetic
    • Dyport
    • Xeomin
  • The best areas to treat with fillers
  • The best areas to treat with neuromodulators
  • Who is a good candidate for wrinkle reduction treatments?

As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Walnut Creek, California, for 15 years, the development of injectable therapies has revolutionized the way facial rejuvenation is approached. While no substitute for real plastic surgery, they allow for real improvement in appearance of facial lines and wrinkles, in ways that were just not possible before.

More Wrinkle Correction Information

Information on facial wrinkle reduction is available in English and Español. Please follow the links below:

More Wrinkle Correction Videos

This is part 1 of 4. Below are links to the rest of the series:

Read More

Non-Surgical Plastic Surgery San Francisco Bay Area – Walnut Creek, CA

Posted November 19, 2011 in Home, Wrinkle Reduction (Non-surgical)

Dermal Filler to Treat Facial Wrinkles - Immediately after Perlane injections to Facial Wrinkles in the Naso-Labial folds with typical post-injection redness and swelling. The redness lasts about 24 hours, and can often be concealed with makeup.

Dermal Filler to Treat Facial Wrinkles – Immediately after Perlane injections to Facial Wrinkles in the Naso-Labial folds with typical post-injection redness and swelling. The redness lasts about 24 hours, and can often be concealed with makeup.

Time flies when you are having fun, and I really enjoy being a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. Clear sunny skies the weekend before Thanksgiving, and the rich diversity of the Bay Area’s culture remind me daily that it’s a great place to live, and to practice plastic surgery.

Experienced Hands

I am a board certified surgeon, who after completing my general surgery chief residency, spent three years as a fellow, specializing in plastic surgery right here in San Francisco. As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, my practice incorporates a wide variety of plastic and reconstructive surgery, but the majority of my time is spent performing cosmetic plastic surgery in Walnut Creek, San Ramon and Concord, California.

More Than 10,000 Procedures Performed

Time really does fly when you are having fun. A few years ago I performed my 10,000th procedure in private practice. Whether I am performing immediate breast reconstruction in the hospital, complex body shaping procedures after massive weight loss at an accredited surgery center, or a straight forward scar revision in my Walnut Creek plastic surgery office , the goals remain the same: maximum results, minimum recovery and happy patients.

“The noblest art is that of making others happy” – P.T. Barnum

Minimally Invasive Treatments

Sometimes less is all that is needed. A facelift is more than is necessary to correct moderate nasolabial folds (the lines that run from the sides of the nose to the corners of the mouth). As shown in the picture above, we have effective minimally invasive options in the form of dermal fillers like:

  • Restylane
  • Juvederm
  • Perlane
  • Radiesse

These provide a quick fix with minimal down time. They are called liquid facelifts, but they are not meant to be a substitute for facial plastic surgery. These dermal fillers reduce facial wrinkles in three ways:

  • Physically filling the wrinkle
  • Reducing skin folding by thickening the skin
  • Coercing the body to build collagen

Correction – Right Where You Need It

The beauty of facial fillers is the simplicity with which they work. They do not require an extensive medical work up, and treatments are well tolerated. Brand-name fillers are supplied in pre-filled, single-use syringes that provide a sterile, consistent product. Since Restylane, Juvederm and Perlane are HAs, a normal component of your skin and joints, the risk of allergy is extremely low. They are great products to work with, and they work well, right where I put them.

Experience Counts

Now matter how great the product, the most important factor in having your wrinkles treated, is the person doing the injections. Precise correction is imperative. Enough filler must be used to maximize improvement. Too much will give unnatural results; too little leads to under-corection and minimal results. It is also important to place the dermal fillers smoothly to avoid lumps and bumps.

Injectables, by their very natural, are fluid. Care must be taken in the initial placement, and caution used in the hours after injecting to avoid displacement. Forceful squeezing of Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane of Radiesse can mold the result, for better or for worse. After a few hours, the gel is set, and displacement is unlikely.

Recovery After Injectables

Another attractive feature of injectable fillers is the relatively short recovery period. There may be some initial swelling and redness over the area injected, but this tends to resolve in a day or two. Bruising occurs in 10-15% of injections, and this can take several days to resolve.

Ice and elevation help speed the return to normal activities. It is important to inform your doctor if you are taking any blood thinners, and this includes over the counter pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), Aleve, as well as, vitamin and herbal preparations like Vitamin E, Fish Oil, Ginsing, Ginko and many others. It is best to let your doctor know before you show up for your injection to avoid a delay in treatment.

Timing of Treatments

Dermal Fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, Radiesse) and Muscle Relaxers (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin) last for months. If you are planning your wrinkle treatments around a specific date, do not procrastinate. Since swelling and bruising can last several days, it is ideal to have the treatments three weeks before your goal date. This provides time for correct, recovery and touch-ups in the event that it is necessary.

Dermal Filler Treatments

Dermal filler treatments are offered and performed every day in my office. For new patients, the procedure can be performed at the time of consultation, as long as there are no contraindications. If you are interested in finding out more about dermal fillers, give us a call at (925) 943-6353 or use the contact form on the left.

Also ask about Botox and Dysport. Since the Botox and Dysport not packaged for individual use, treatments are grouped around the first and third Wednesday of each month, or by special arrangement.

Read More

Juvederm XC and Vivite Give Away

Posted August 05, 2010 in Home

Juvederm & Free Vivite Defining Lip Plumper with Dr. Mele before 09/30/2010

Shape of Beauty 2009 Winner

Allergan, the manufacture of Juvéderm XC and Vivité, is giving away a free Vivite Defining Lip Plumper to patients receiving a Juvederm XC injectable filler treatment.

Free Vivite Defining Lip Plumper with Juvederm Purchase by 09/30/2010

Juvederm is now available as Juvederm XC with Lidocaine added for comfort. All qualifying patients receiving Juvederm between now and September 30, 2010, are eligible to receive a free Vivite Defining Lip Plumper (a $45 value).

Receive a Free Vivite Defining Lip Plumper with Juvederm Purchase by 09/30/2010

If you are not familiar with Juvederm, it is an HA filler similar to Restylane and Perlane. This year, all three were reformulated with Lidocaine (a local anesthetic). This significantly decreases injection site discomfort compared to the HA products without Lidocaine. HA is a filler used to attenuate the appearance of moderate to deep facial wrinkles. The most frequently treated areas are the nasolabial and marionette lines, which can give the appearance of parenthesis around the mouth. (Thus the clever logo at the top of this article.) Juvederm is also used for lip augmentation, to add volume to lips.

Juvederm XC - now with Lidocaine anesthetic added

If you have wanted to try Juvederm, or you are ready for a refresher, now is a great time to schedule a consultation appointment. Just give us a call at (925) 943-6353. Juvederm treatments must be completed by September 30, 2010 to qualify for the Vivite Defining Lip Plumper give away.

Free Vivite Defining Lip Plumper with Juvederm Purchase from Dr. Mele before 09/30/2010

Read More

Plastic Surgery San Francisco Bay Area

Posted March 20, 2010 in Breast Augmentation, Breast Reduction, Breast Reduction (Men), Breast Reduction (Women), Eyelid Lift (Blepharoplasty), Home, Liposuction, Rhinoplasty (Nasal Surgery), Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty), Wrinkle Reduction (Non-surgical)

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) have released their annual statistics on cosmetic plastic surgery for 2009. Surgical and non-surgical procedures are tallied and compared to previous years. Overall the numbers are down 2% from 2008, but still up 147% since 1997, when the statistics were first compiled. Of the almost ten million procedures performed in 2009, 85% were non-surgical and 15% were surgical. He are some quick facts, a link to the full statistics can be found at the end of this article.

The Top Five Non-Surgical Procedures

The Top Five Surgical Procedures

The Top Five Surgical Procedures for Women

The Top Five Surgical Procedures for Men

Additional information can be found on the ASAPS web site, or downloaded here. It is a large file, and may take a while…

*Dr. Joseph Mele offers these procedures through his Walnut Creek Plastic Surgery Office. Call (925) 943-6353, today, to schedule your private consultation appointment. Search the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog categories to the left, or click on the links above for more detailed information available on DrMele.com.

Read More

Lip Augmentation San Francisco (Lip Enhancement): Lip Advancement

Posted March 16, 2010 in Home, Lip Enhancement/Augmentation, Wrinkle Reduction (Non-surgical)

Lip Augmentation takes on many shapes. If the red color of the lips (the vermillion) is with barely visible, adding volume may not be enough. If the vermilion is short, over filling may lead to increased projection without adequately increasing the height of the vermillion. This can result in “duck lips” or a “trout pout”, rather than fuller more Voluptuous Lips.

What Is Lip Advancement Surgery?

Lip Advancement Surgery can help. This is not the most mainstream lip enhancement, but in carefully selected patients it is the best option. Originally designed to improve the function and appearance of the lips after removing lip cancer, it preferentially enlarges the red part of the lip (the vermillion). The upside, Lip Advancement Surgery will reveal more vermillion and can be done with or without increasing lip volume. The down side, it leaves a scar along the border of the skin and the vermillion of the lip.

Lip Advancement Surgery Before And After Pictures

Here is an example of an average scar at 4 months after surgery. The volume is stable at this point in time, and the scar will continue to improve, it is hard to see already. Most patients can cover the scar one week after surgery with lipstick.

Lips before lip advancement with reduced height.

Lips after lip advancement with full restored height.

Lips before lip advancement with lip skin projecting farther forwards than the vermillion.

Lips before lip advancement with lip vermillion now projecting farthest forwards.

If you have very Thin Lips, that are barely visible when the lips are at rest, Lip Advancement Surgery may be the answer to how to achieve fuller lips. If Dermal Fillers increase lip projection forward, but are not revealing more vermillion, lip advancement may help. Lip Advancement Surgery is the most direct and effective method of increasing the amount of red lip that shows.

Available Lip Enhancement Options

Several alternative methods are available for enhancing your lips. To learn more click on the links below:

Read More

Lip Augmentation San Francisco (Lip Enhancement): V-Y Flaps

Posted March 12, 2010 in Home, Lip Enhancement/Augmentation, Wrinkle Reduction (Non-surgical)

Dermal Fillers (Restylane®, Juvederm® and Perlane®) are the most popular way to enhance the lips. The procedure is safe, effective, predictable and relatively simple. It is the best way to “try out” large lips, as it is reversible. In order to maintain your results with lip filler, you need periodic touch-ups. These can be from 3 to 12 months apart depending on your lips.

Lip Enhancement Surgeries

Lip Fillers remain the most popular method of Lip Augmentation; however, sometimes an alternative treatment is desired that has the potential to last years. Lip surgery can give longer lasting results. The local lip tissue can be advanced from inside the lip to provide fullness (V-Y lip advancement), or dermal tissue can be taken from elsewhere on the body and used as implant (dermal grafting).

This entry focusses on V-Y lip advancement, a procedure that rearranges the lips tissues to preferentially give fullness to the vermillion (the red part) of the lip. For information on other methods of Lip Enhancement, please see the links at the bottom of the page.

Lip Enhancement with Local Tissue Rearrangement

The upper row shows before and the lower row shows after lip enhancement with V-Y flaps.
The soft tissue of the lip is moved forwards to enhance the fullness and natural curves of the lips.
(Click picture for an enlarged view.)

This particular type of Lip Enhancement borrows fullness from the inside of the lip to enhance the outside. The soft tissue inside the lips can be pushed forward to enhance lip fullness and the central pout.

The Pro’s and Con’s of Surgical Lip Enhancement

  • The Advantages:
    • No artificial materials are necessary … no allergies or foreign body reactions.
    • Stability … Soft tissues won’t migrate.
    • Softness … Since lip is enhanced with lip, it feels like lip.
    • Results … Longer lasting results
  • The Disadvantages:
    • Recovery … weeks rather than a few days with the fillers.
    • Size … maximum volume is limited to the soft tissue available.
    • Cost … more than one filler treatment, but often less costly over time .
    • Complications … overall complications rates are low, but slighter higher than with fillers.

Alternative Lip Augmentations

Several alternative methods are available for enhancing your lips. To learn more click on the links below:

Read More

Lip Augmentation San Francisco (Lip Enhancement): Implants

Posted March 08, 2010 in Home, Lip Enhancement/Augmentation, Wrinkle Reduction (Non-surgical)

The two main goals of Lip Enhancement Surgery are to:

  • Increase lip volume, and
  • Increase the amount of vermillion (the red part of the lip) seen.

To accomplish these different goals, different procedures may be selected.

Lip Enhancement Surgery – Volume, volume volume

Lips: Woman in her late 50's with thinning lips before lip implants (dermal grafts taken during a facelift)

Lips: After lip enhancement with dermal grafts. Notice restoration of the balance and projection of the lips.

Adding volume to the lips is how lip fillers work. Dermal fillers like Restylane®, Juvederm® and Perlane®, add volume from right off the shelf. The amount of volume is virtually unlimited, and can be added directly to where it is needed.

Surgery can add volume too. This can be accomplished with:

  • Lip Implants
    • Natural Implants (Dermal and/or Fat Grafts)
    • Man-Made Implants (Gortex, Silicone)
    • Man-Made Natural Implants (Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, Collagen – man made but normally found in the lips)
  • Rearranging the soft tissue already present in the lip (V-Y flaps, lip advancement flaps)

This article focuses on Lip Implants, information on the other available methods of lip enhancement San Francisco, and lip augmentation can be found via the links at the bottom.

Lip Augmentation With Man Made Materials

Gortex® and SoftForm®

Lip implants have been used for years. The most frequently used artificial lip implants are made of Gortex®. It was selected because it is soft. In fact, one of the most popular Gortex® lip implants is named SoftForm®. While it can work well in carefully selected patients, unfortunately, it is not soft enough. I am not a fan of artificial lip implants for several reasons.

Because lips move, and because lips are softer than artificial lip implants, lip implants can:

  • Tether the lips, and prevent the lips from stretching when smiling fully (even when the implants is sectioned).
  • Be felt along the edges.
  • Can cause a visible bulge at the ends of the implant (especially with motion).
  • Can erode through the skin causing exposure and infection requiring removal of the implant

Silicone Lips

Silicone is available in two forms for lips: Solid (Silicone Lip Implants) and Liquid (Injectable Silicone). I am a fan of neither. Solid implants have the same problems as Gortex® implants, except worse. They are more stiff and thus more likely to erode and get infected.

Liquid silicone injections are even less predictable. They may give you the softest, poutiest lips one day, and then become hard, lumpy and uncomfortable without warning. Once this happens, it is rarely correctable, ask Lisa Rinna. Last year, while touring for the release of her book, Rinnavation, she confessed to having silicone injected into her lips. She also disclosed her personal silicone lip injection problems.

Lip Augmentation With Your Own Cells

Dermal Grafts

Because of the recent advancements of Dermal Fillers, I rarely use artificial lip implants any more. Instead, when injectable can’t do the trick, I rearrange what is already there. Dermal tissue can be taken from elsewhere on the body and used as an implant (dermal grafting), or the local lip tissue can be advanced from inside the lip to provide fullness (V-Y lip advancement discussed in the next article).

A small incision is made hidden in the corner of the lip, and the dermis is inserted under the vermilion. The results are similar to adding volume with a filler; however, can be much longer lasting. The swelling after this type of surgery lasts longer too. Instead of a couple days, it may take a couple weeks.

Fat Grafting

When more volume is necessary, fat can be retained on the dermal graft. This adds volume, with better volume predictability and better contours than injecting free fat grafts.

Free fat grafting is when fat is removed (liposuctioned) from one area, and reinjected into an area where more volume is desired. For small volumes this can be safe and predictable, and I use this technique most frequently for the nasolabial folds (the parenthesis around the mouth). On the lips it can be more problematic. We want soft lips, especially when kissing, and free fat grafting can cause firm lumps in the lips. Because better alternatives are now available, I rarely use free fat grafting to the lips.

These are minor surgical procedures, and can be done as an outpatient with local, sedation or under anesthesia. Lip augmentations can be done as a stand alone operation, or can be incorporate as part of plan for overall facial rejuvenation. My patients considering a facelift are frequently also experiencing lip thinning. A lip enhancing procedure can be incorporated to solve two problems at the same time.

Alternative Lip Augmentations

For information on other methods available for enhancing your lips, click on the links below:

Read More

Lip Augmentation San Francisco (Lip Enhancement): Fillers

Posted March 04, 2010 in Home, Lip Enhancement/Augmentation, Wrinkle Reduction (Non-surgical)

Nothing says youth like full lips. Research shows that full lips are a requirement for a youthful face. Grace Gold of AOL’s StyleList reports in The Pursuit of Beauty: The Secret to Youth: Full Lips. Her inspiration? An article in the DailyMail.

Thin is Not Always In

It is an unfortunate truth that as we age, our lips shrink. Whether conscious or unconscious, the size of the lips is one of the most important variables programmed into our brains’ youth calculator. In other words, thin lips are aging. There are several ways to turn back the clock on lip aging, and Dermal Fillers are currently the most popular treatment.

Off the shelf dermal fillers, are safe, effective and convenient. These lip fillers are supplied as prefilled, single use syringes. Any volume can be used, and a simple block with local anesthesia, makes the procedure an in office option. All three of these products have received FDA approval for new formulations with Lidocaine in the mix to ease the injections.

What Makes Lip Fillers so Popular?

Lips before enhancement with a Dermal Filler (Restylane®, Juvederm® and Perlane® are the most popular in the US)

Lips after enhancement with a Dermal Filler. Notice the augmentation and preservation of the normal curves.

The advantage of this type of Lip Enhancement is its simplicity. I can choose different products for different lips. Lip enhancement can be performed in the office, with local anesthesia if needed, and the results are quickly apparent. There is sometimes mild discomfort, swelling, and bruising, which normally resolve quickly. While the enhancement is instant, it is best to have a few days for the lip augmentation to settle before an important event.

Dermal Fillers provide two main benefits for the lips: increased volume, and wrinkle reduction. Lip enhancement is performed for small, thin lips, to increase volume. In this situation, the main goal is to increase the size of the lips. Lip enhancement can also be used to smooth the wrinkles that can form around the lip. Sometimes called Smoker’s Lines, they can occur without smoking. Often radially aligned, the wrinkles that form around lip edges can cause the lipstick to bleed. For lip wrinkles, the primary goal of lip enhancement is to attenuate the aged appearance. Both volume enhancement and wrinkle reduction may be desired for the same pair of lips, and these techniques can be easily combined for optimal results.

The longevity of the results can vary. Most results last 3-6 months, and many patients experience longer satisfaction. It is the perfect product to try out larger lips. The volume can be gradually increased to your comfort, and maintained.

But, what if you are looking for a longer lasting result? The are several surgical alternatives for enhancing lips. While no results are permanent, surgery can give longer lasting, natural results.

To learn more click on the links below:

Read More