Lip Augmentation: What to Look For in a Doctor?

Posted August 26, 2016

A lip augmentation procedure is performed to improve the shape, size and overall contour of the lips relative to the other features of the face. The most common approach used for lip enhancement is injecting dermal fillers because they are non-invasive and involve little to no downtime. Other techniques include fat transfer, lip implants and a lip lift which offer results that are more permanent in nature. As a result, the price of lip augmentation can greatly vary between $500-$10,000 depending on your location, the expertise of the doctor and the extent of the procedure.

How to Find a Board-Certified Doctor for Lip Augmentation

It is best to have a board-certified dermatologist, plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon perform this procedure as it requires great experience and understanding of how the facial anatomy behaves with cosmetic adjustments. Visiting the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS) or the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) to find your doctor is a great place to begin your search.

Lip Augmentation Results

Results from lip augmentation vary depending on the technique. These days, hyaluronic acids are the most commonly used lip filler and it is also the safest because it is a naturally occurring substance in your body. Since it takes roughly 6 months for the results to go away and there are no known side effects, patients are actually encouraged to return every 2-4 months to maintain optimal results.

For patients looking for more permanent or drastic improvement, there are other alternatives:

  • Fat transfer takes a small amount of the patient’s own fat grafted from the abdomen or thighs and re-injects it into the lips to produce long lasting results that are sometimes permanent.
  • Lip lift elevates and re-contours the lips via surgical means. Strategically placed incisions under the nose or inside the lips improves the shape of the lips and is commonly used to achieve a more pouted look.
  • Soft tissue or silicone implants can also be placed inside the lips to achieve permanent, durable and long lasting results.

Keep in mind that the 3 alternatives listed above increases downtime drastically in comparison to lip fillers. Consult with your doctor to see which technique will be the most beneficial to achieve your specifications.

Getting Feedback from Real Patients

Finding patient reviews of your doctor is crucial to your search. However, reviews found directly on your doctor’s website can easily be manipulated so it is best to look elsewhere. Many doctors have profiles available on third party website like Yelp which is useful if you are looking for unbiased and first hand reviews by real patients. This still does not guarantee complete transparency so the best thing to do is find a family or friend who has undergone lip enhancement. This way you can get an honest account of what the doctor is like from a trusted source.

Another way is to ask your doctor for before and after photos of previous patients. Ask specifically to see ones that are similar to your case, so that you have a better idea on what your results will be. Quantity trumps quality here so the more photos the doctor has, the more experienced he or she is with lip augmentation.

Types of Lip Fillers

Before hyaluronic acids, collagen fillers were widely used to enhance the lips. Both are natural compounds found in the body so there are no major side effects. However, older forms of collagen fillers lasted a shorter amount of time than hyaluronic acids. Newer forms of collagen have been introduced with comparable longevity but hyaluronic acid is still more advantageous since the results can be seen immediately as well as reverted by dissolving the filler with an enzyme called hyaluronidase.

There are a few types of hyaluronic acids with the most common being Juvederm Ultra, Restylane and Belotero. Ask your doctor to see which filler is the most advantageous to use in your specific case.

What Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Your consultation is arguably the most important part of your transformation. It is crucial to have your questions ready before you meet your doctor. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Which lip augmentation technique is the most beneficial for my case?
  • How much will my lip enhancement cost?
  • How should I prepare for the procedure?
  • What is recovery like after lip augmentation?
  • What are my options for anesthesia?
  • How were you trained in injectable treatments?
  • How many people have you treated with similar case as mine?
  • What is the percentage of your patients experiencing post-op complications?
  • If the agreed goals are not met, will you charge me again for a repeat/corrective procedure?
  • How long will my results last?
  • Do you offer any patient financing?
  • When can I safely resume normal daily activities?
  • What brand of filler do you recommend for my case?

Once you have the answers to your questions, you can discuss scheduling a lip augmentation procedure with your doctor.



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