These days when it seems everyone is doing something to look younger, rounder or thinner and many procedures are routine, you can still find cosmetic options that just don’t quite cut the mustard. Some, like the designer pinky toe, seem so incredibly frivolous it’s hard to believe surgeons actually offer them. Others seem to result in as many unhappy patients as those who are pleased they took the plunge.
Lip augmentation is in the latter category (if not in the former as well). In fact, a quick check of www.realself.com, the site where patients review and rate the cosmetic procedures they’ve had, reveals that exactly half the women who had lip augmentation said it was worthwhile. Compare that to the satisfaction ratings of other procedures: breast augmentation--78 percent, tummy tuck--87 percent, facelift--81 percent.
So why is lip augmentation so iffy? Many of the plastic surgeons who answer questions on realself.com believe that inexperienced injectors can be overly aggressive with lip fillers. One advised that the key is to start out with a conservative amount of filler. If more is needed, so be it. The reverse situation is not so easy to deal with.
Another potential issue is the filler itself. Hyaluronic acid-based injectables, like Juvederm and Restylane, seem to be the products of choice for many surgeons. Yet the parade of new products coming to market continues, seeking to catch attention as “new and improved” versions of the tried and true. One such product is Hydrelle, a hyaluronic acid filler with an anesthetic called lidocaine added for the sake of patient comfort. A desirable enhancement, right? It would seem so, until you read report after report of infections, scarring and granulomas (lumps) all over the Internet.
Other lip augmentation options are the so-called permanent implants—Permalip is one, Surgisil is another. One potential issue with implants is that sometimes they don’t end up exactly in the optimal spot. As one doctor put it, “The appeal of permanent implants for lip augmentation is that they are permanent.