One of the most sensual and evocative parts of a woman’s face – the lips. Without saying a single word, subtle constant messages are sent nonetheless. The shape, contours, shadows and fullness of the lips intrigue us and captivate us all at a very unconscious level. Different shades of lipstick, glosses and other techniques to highlight the lips are almost an art form unto themselves as the lips draw our attention and interest.
A woman’s lips should always be a focus of attention for their beauty and allure. Sensual, attractive lips that draw the eye and the imagination in a non-verbal way is a wonderful thing. But when lips which were previously full begin to thin, or lines begin to bleed into the border of the lips, even the most expensive and expertly applied lip make-ups fall short. Lips lacking body and shape and which have lost some of their subtle curvatures and style or become “a thin strip of red” send negative messages that suggest aging and loss of sensuality. Restoring the lips (or bringing out shapes and fullness that were never really there) brings it all back, and then some.
Creating luscious lips is my passion. Shaping and sculpting of the lips demands much of my artistic skills as a plastic surgeon even though it is mostly performed as a simple office procedure. Bringing out the true beauty and sexiness of the lips through non-surgical injectable treatments in the office is extremely safe, effective and satisfyingly successful. Greater fullness, and a plumper look to the lips is but one part of this “artwork”. And yes, like anything else in the field of cosmetic surgery, the lips can be made to look too full and grossly overdone. The delicate curves, edges, borders, shadows and different shapes to the different parts of the lips that I work to bring into focus through the subtle application of filler is more descriptive of what I do. Lips that look naturally beautiful, that are hard to take your eyes off of, but in a “non-obvious way” – this is my goal – and, hopefully, yours, too.
We have some wonderful injectable treatment options for sculpting the lips available today. These are FDA approved, biologically compatible, but completely synthetic compounds which enable me to put a little here and a little there, just like an artist would trying to create a work of art. It’s all done in the office; no operating room, no incisions.A special numbing cream is applied to the lips just a few minutes before we start to make things more comfortable. All the modern fillers come pre-mixed with a local anesthetic agent to further make the process of the injection treatments all the more tolerable.
Before you know it, some 15 – 20 minutes later we are completely done and the results are ready to be viewed! There may be a slight amount of swelling or even a little bruise so it is wise to plan ahead and avoid having this done only just minutes before the wedding. Otherwise, the results are really instantaneous and should last some 6 to 12 months! With one to two treatments per year, luscious lips can be maintained in this way indefinitely.
The defining of a better edge or border (like some fantastic lip liner) limits the effect of the so-called “smoker’s lines” and any “lipstick running” problems. I work hard to elicit more of a 3-D look to the lips, especially from a side view. That’s because besides any thinness that there may be, there is also often a flatness that takes away a lot of the distinctiveness and shapeliness of the lips – all restorable by artistic filler sculpting. I always try to add a little plump to the tubercle – or center part – of the upper lip and I love creating just a hint of a pout to the lower lip because it looks both cute and sexy at the same time.
Often, in addition to creating luscious lips, I am also looking to create an overall more sensual and softer look to the mouth and lower face area. By utilizing filler treatments to simultaneously smooth out any lines, folds or creases that may be around the mouth we can get much less of an angry or scowling look and more of an approachable, soft and friendly look. All this, in just minutes, with instant results.
The use of one’s own fat for lip enhancement is also quite popular and very effective. This is a bit more involved though than the “off the shelf” fillers. First, we need to remove the fat from somewhere where you might have “a little extra” using some special harvesting-style liposuction techniques. The fat is purified and concentrated and then injection techniques are employed to contour the lips. This can be done in the office but requires more “scheduling”.
And many patients prefer to have fat injection/sculpting for their lips in the operating room where they can have more definitive liposuction done, other procedures, etc. Unlike the limited swelling associated with a filler treatment, fat injected into the lips can swell for quite a while, sometimes for two or more weeks. If pressing social obligations could make this a problem, the fillers certainly represent a better choice. Some of the fat may be absorbed (up to 50% in some cases!) but most patients will be satisfied with their results which thereafter should last them well for many years!
Beautiful, youthful, luscious lips that inspire confidence and a sense of well-being. It makes every day just a little bit better in a very personal and very human way. It’s simply just a great feeling and my pleasure, and honor, to be able to create such lips.
Dr. Lyle Back is originally from New York City, receiving his medical and surgical training at Rutgers Medical School, Cooper Hospital – University Medical Center, and Ohio State. He is Board Certified in General Surgery (ABS) and Plastic Surgery (ABPS). He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS), and a longstanding member of the premier American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). He served as a Professor of Plastic Surgery at Temple University and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and performed reconstructive surgery with “Operation Smile” in Vietnam. He specializes in the full range of the most modern and state of the art facial cosmetic surgery procedures and non-surgical cosmetic enhancement techniques available today.