Lip Sculpting

I find that a significant part of doing cosmetic surgery is sculpture.   Whether I am removing (liposuction), adding (breast enlargement) or rearranging (face lift), the quality of the result and achieving a natural appearance is the direct result of sculpture.   Lip enlargement using injectable materials is no different.  I first start out with  mental image of what normal lips look like.   The lips are then sculpted with the injections to look like normal lips.   Just this past week, I did three lip injections to minimize wrinkles and give the face a more youthful appearance.   All of my patients have a nice improvement in their appearance, no hint of the “sausage lips” look, that seems to be popular in Hollywood.

I have noticed that many injectionists  must think lips look like sausages!   Jimmy Dean fills cylindrical tubes with meat to create this shape.  I do not find this look to be attractive.  Nobody’s lips look like sausages except the ones which have been injected!   Lips have a subtle curve know as a “Cupid’s Bow.”  This complex curve is created by the mirror image of the upper lip meeting the lower lip.   The Cupid’s Bow shape is most apparent along the upper lip where the red lip meets the flesh-colored skin also known as the vermillion border.

Lips  injected with fat, collagen or  hyaluronic acid will look like sausages if they are injected evenly along their  length.  It is a simple matter of physics.  To maintain a normal appearance,  they must be injected differentially, maintaining relative  fullness of the central upper lip compared to the lateral upper lip.   The lower lip should be the mirror image of the   upper lip.   The lower  lip should be fuller lateral to a central relative thinness.   You might think of the lips like gears which mesh.   Full on top meshes with thin on the bottom and thin on top meshes with full on the bottom.

Three  other things to remember.   First, the lower lip is almost always fuller than the upper.   Julia Robert’s lips are an exception to this rule.   In other words, they are not normal.   Seeking this appearance will give you unnatural looking lips.   Second, lips naturally taper toward the corners of the mouth.   Injections here distort this natural shape.   Finally, lip enlargement can be accomplished with about 2 ml or cc.   This equates to two syringes  of most products.   Injecting more than 2 ml, increases the risk of getting an unatural appearance (or sausage lips) and more importantly, the risk of terrible scarring from skin necrosis or skin death.

In other words, there is more to creating a naturally pouty lip than most people might appreciate.

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