Which Lip Procedure Is Right for Me?

Which Lip Procedure Is Right for Me?

wearing gloves and injecting patient's lips


Once you have made the decision to enhance the look of your lips, you can begin researching the many different lip augmentation or lip enhancing procedures available to fit your individual needs. Lip augmentation encompasses a variety of cosmetic and surgical procedures that are used to shape and add volume to the lips, and trying to figure out which procedure will best suit your individual desired outcome can be daunting. But whether you are looking for a less invasive approach or a permanent, surgical procedure, Dr. Pearlman will help you to find the lip enhancement procedure that fits your individual needs.


The most commonly used technique for lip augmentation is the use of fillers, and this is because of the many options and benefits they offer. The most popular fillers used in lip augmentation are hyaluronic acid fillers such as Restylane®, JUVÉDERM®, and JUVÉDERM VOLBELLA® XC. Fillers add shape and volume to your lips to obtain the desired results. Injectable fillers are best for individuals who desire fast results, are not sure how much augmentation they want, and desire a minimally invasive approach with very little recovery time and aftercare. Possible side effects of either type of filler are short-term bruising, swelling, and redness at the injection sites.


Hyaluronic acid fillers are FDA approved. Considered more biocompatible, safer, and longer lasting than previous generation fillers, hyaluronic acid fillers provide almost immediate results and last up to six months. Although the results are not permanent, this augmentation gives the patient the option to have the procedure repeated if they are happy with the results, or the patient can try another option if they are not satisfied with the outcome. If there are any lumps or bumps following your injection, part of the filler can actually be dissolved with an enzyme treatment.


Lip implants are used to alter the shape of the lip permanently. The most common materials used for implants to mimic natural tissue are non-biodegradable polymers, collagen, and saline. Currently, Dr. Pearlman uses SurgiSil Perma Facial Implants™. While these implants are designed to be permanent, they can be easily removed if necessary. This naturally contoured implant is made of a soft, silicone elastomer that has a smooth surface and will not rupture or deflate over time. The surgical placement of the implant can take one hour. Swelling and bruising are common after the procedure and usually subside in about one week. The total recovery time typically takes about one month, and the final results will be evident at that time.


Lip lift surgery has become a lot more popular in recent years. This procedure is great for shortening the distance between the base of your nose and your upper lip. The upper lip also turns outward appearing like it has been enhanced, but naturally. Many patients have dental hooding as they age, that means even when you smile people can’t see your upper teeth fully. In younger patients, some people’s facial anatomy is such that no matter how well your filler is performed, your upper lip still appears like a duck or fish. By raising the upper lip, this will yield a larger, yet more natural-appearing lip and cupid’s bow This procedure is also an outpatient procedure that is performed under local anesthesia. The incision is at the base of the nose where it joins your upper lip. A carefully performed procedure can yield an incision that is barely visible to the naked eye unless looking up very close. Lip lift is a surgical procedure, so there may be a week of more of downtime, and swelling may persist up to a few months.


A lip reduction is usually performed on patients who have naturally large lips, but this procedure can also be performed on patients who are unhappy with the results of a previous lip enhancement procedure with permanent fillers that should not have been put into the lips in the first place. A lip reduction can be performed on the upper and/or lower lips to balance out features. This is an outpatient procedure that is performed under local anesthesia. Patients can usually return to work within one week, but the lips may remain swollen for a number of weeks. It will take a few months for the final results to be seen. Post-surgical discomfort is usually controllable with over-the-counter analgesics and ice packs can be applied to help reduce swelling.
If you would like further information about lip enhancing procedures or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pearlman, contact our office at 212-223-8300.