Before & Afters
*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.
Doctors Edward Buckingham and Erin Smith offer Lip Augmentation solutions for patients in Austin & Sunset Valley, TX. Sensuous, full lips are a hallmark of youthful beauty. Unfortunately, we’re not all born with them. Those lacking the pout they desire can undergo a cosmetic plumping through lip enhancement. The lips are one of the most mobile and expressive regions of the face, and only select materials should be used to enhance lip fullness without risking an unnatural appearance, infection, extrusion, or permanent deformities. The double-board certified facial plastic surgeon performs treatments out of his practice, Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Austin, Texas.
What is Lip Enhancement?
Lip enhancement is a facial cosmetic procedure designed to give patients fuller lips. The procedure can also help to diminish wrinkling near the mouth. There are different lip enhancement methods to choose from, including injectable collagen replacement therapy (lip fillers), and the SurgiSil Perma Facial Implant. The former technique utilizes injectable materials like JUVÉDERM® or Restylane®. Collagen replacement therapy carries lower risks, but the results are temporary. Alternately, the latter procedure of lip implantation offers permanent results and carries its own set of risks.
Lip enhancement is performed as either a temporary or permanent solution to lips that may be small, wrinkled, or asymmetrical in their appearance. The procedure is typically considered an elective cosmetic solution for enhancing the lips, but it may also be part of lip reconstruction due to facial trauma, disease, or deformity. Lip enhancement is more common in women, though some men opt to undergo this procedure. It can be modified to ensure an optimized feminine or masculine appearance, depending on a patient’s preferences.
Temporary and Permanent Lip Enhancement Procedures
Dr. Buckingham offers several options for lip enhancement. A popular temporary option among patients is injectable collagen replacement therapy, also known as dermal fillers. The materials most often used are JUVÉDERM® and Restylane®, which have been deemed safe to use by the FDA for aesthetic procedures. The formulations are not composed of collagen but rather hyaluronic acid, which is naturally found in the body. This ingredient attracts water molecules to create a lifting effect of the injection site. Lip injections can be performed during an office visit after the initial doctor-patient consultation. Patients should be aware that collagen replacement therapy requires repeat treatments about every 6 months to maintain the desired results.
A permanent alternative to lip augmentation can be performed through the placement of a SurgiSil Perma Facial Implant. This minimally invasive procedure creates the patient’s desired fullness by surgically placing a silicone implant into the lips. Typically, incisions are hidden inside the mouth or at the corners of the lips, and the implant can be surgically removed at any time. Some patients recognize that other implants in plastic surgery are at risk of rupture, such as those placed during breast augmentation. The Perma Facial Implant will not rupture or become deflated in appearance as it is a semi-solid, nonporous implant that does not contain any liquid or gel in its interior. The material is available in a variety of shapes and sizes and has the ability to provide a wide array of results among patients.
How is Lip Enhancement Performed?
Patients who opt to undergo a temporary lip augmentation can visit Austin’s Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery by appointment to undergo a series of lip injections. Dr. Buckingham and his expert aesthetic nurse injectors will work to determine the best placement of the product to create results the patient is seeking. Typically, the border and rosy-colored portion of the lips are injected. While JUVÉDERM® tends to be smooth in texture, Restylane® is more granular and can actually be molded in the lips. The area is numbed with the use of injectable nerve blocks and/or topical anesthetic. Next, the injections are administered to the lips until the desired size and contour are reached. It can take about a week for the lips to take on their permanent shape and size after swelling has subsided.
Surgical lip enhancement may also begin by the doctor marking the treatment site and administering a local anesthetic and mild sedative, if necessary. The doctor will then create an incision at one corner of the mouth and use surgical instruments to create a tunnel along the wet-dry border of the lips, performing the same step on the other side of the mouth as well. The implant can then be inserted with a special SurgiSil instrument and massaged into place. Sutures will then close the lip incisions. The Perma Facial Implant can be placed in the upper lip, lower lip, or both for the desires results, and it can be adjusted in its length. The diameter of the implant are 3mm, 4mm, or 5mm. It can take two weeks to several months to heal. from the surgery, after which patients will not experience issues speaking, eating, or moving their lips in any way.
Consultation for Lip Enhancement
Men and women seeking Dr. Buckingham for lip augmentation should set up a consultation to meet with him in person at Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery. The doctor will learn about the prospective patient’s medical history and ask about his or her aesthetic preferences. The doctor can assess the condition of the lips, discuss potential treatment options, and answer any questions about each method available.
Lip Enhancement Recovery
Temporary Lip Fillers
Most patients experience minimal pain and bruising after undergoing a lip injection treatment with JUVÉDERM® or Restylane®. Recovery time can vary, but typically it will be one day until the patient can move the lips normally, though discoloration and puffiness may remain up to one week. Though rare, hyaluronic acid solutions can cause minor reactions of the injection site which may last up to two weeks. The doctor may recommend icing the area to minimize swelling. Any bruising can be safely camouflaged with cosmetics the day following the procedure.
Permanent Lip Implants
Following the surgery, patients can return home and will be asked to follow set instructions for a faster recovery period. The lips can be iced, and patients may be asked to remain upright (even during sleep) for several days to one week postoperatively. The swelling will subside noticeably each day, and by the first week any numbness or tingling will be minimal. Patients may be prescribed an oral narcotic to control pain and antibiotics to stave off infection. It can be months before the lips return to their pre-surgical state but with the modified size.
Candidates for Lip Enhancement
Both female and male patients looking to make the lips a more noticeable feature may be eligible for temporary or permanent lip enhancement. Patients should be healthy (both physically and mentally) and not have any serious allergies to either the hyaluronic acid injectable fillers or the silicone Perma Facial Implant and associated numbing agents, depending on their preference of treatment. The skin of the lips must be healthy and void of conditions like orofacial herpes (fever blisters/cold sores), cancerous lesions, or other conditions.
These cosmetic solutions produce natural results, and patients should be aware of limitations imposed by both the product and their facial anatomy. In patients with facial deformities, lip enhancement alone may not improve the function of the lips but may be part of a more involved reconstruction process. Patients can learn if either of these lip enhancement procedures will best correct their cosmetic concerns during the first consultation appointment with Dr. Buckingham. Prospective patients are encouraged to call the office to schedule an appointment at their earliest convenience.
Lip Enhancement Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What is Restylane®?
What is JUVÉDERM®?
What is Advanta?
What is the SurgiSil Perma Facial Implant?
What is the best lip filler?
What can I expect during a consultation for Lip Enhancement?
How is the actual lip enhancement procedure performed?
Where is Lip Enhancement performed?
Is anesthesia required for Lip Enhancement?
How long does the Lip Enhancement procedure last?
Is lip enhancement a painful procedure?
Where are the incisions created for Lip Enhancement?
What is the recovery like after Lip Enhancement?
When are the stitches removed after surgical Lip Enhancement?
How long do the results of lip enhancement last?
Schedule a Lip Enhancement Consultation
Edward D. Buckingham, M.D. is double board certified by The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology, and he is an expertly qualified facial plastic surgeon. He earned his education in Texas, and treats local, out-of-state, and international patients at his Austin practice.
Dr. Erin Smith is a Beverly Hills trained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who specializes in both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures.
Prospective nonsurgical or surgical lip enhancement patients are invited to call the office to schedule an appointment at (512) 401-2500 to book your doctor-patient meeting. Those who prefer email communications can fill out Dr. Buckingham’s Patient Contact Form.