THIRD QUARTER 2003, VOLUME 17, NO 3

Ear Refinement: Parent Struggle to Make the Right Call

IN THIS ISSUE

Facial proportions and how to achieve a balanced profile

Give your skin a tune-up; low- or high-tech solutions

Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New

Enhance your smile with lip augmentation

Look at your smile in the mirror. Is there anything you would change? For some people, their upper lip disappears when they smile. For others fighting the aging process, the distance between the base of the nose and the pigmented portion of the lip has increased, causing a thinning appearance.

Both men and women are seeking lip enhancement as a means to look younger, increase confidence, and positively impact body image. There are nonsurgical and surgical solutions; be sure to consult with your facial plastic surgeon to discuss and decide what approach is best for you.

Non-surgical Lip Augmentation
There are various products that can be injected into the lips with minimal pain, little swelling, and virtually no side effects. Most substances are quickly absorbed into the lips with excellent, but temporary results.

Collagen. Bovine dermal collagen (animal derivative) has been used safely to treat wrinkles and scars over the past 20 years. Periodic injections of this material into the border of the lips achieve fuller-looking lips and softened lipstick lines (small vertical wrinkles around lip area). The enhancement typically lasts three to five months, with no recovery time.

Dermalogen. Dermalogen is derived from human dermis, purified, and made into an injectable liquid. The results are similar to collagen, but may last slightly longer.

Autologen. Autologen is prepared from a patient’s own skin. Usually harvested at the time of another procedure, such as a facelift, the skin is sent to the lab where the collagen is squeezed out of the skin, prepared, and preserved. The results can be long lastingyour own tissue is not reabsorbed like collagen or dermalogenbut it is more costly.

Fat Your physician can extract fat from your body using a small needle, purify it, and then reinject it into the lips. There is no risk of allergy or rejection and the results are still temporary.

Surgical Lip Augmentation

If you are looking for a longer-lasting result, you may want to consider having material implanted into your lips such as Alloderm®, Gortex®, or tissue flap. There have also been newer materials entering the market that may be an option, such as Advanta and Ultrasoft.

Alloderm®. Alloderm® is human dermis, the second layer of skin, processed, rolled-up, and inserted from the corners of the inside of the lips. A few hidden stitches are made, with mild swelling for three to five days. The results typically last between six and 12 months.

Gortex®. This is a synthetic material, which is biocompatible with the body. It is surgically placed like Alloderm® and the results are permanent.

Advanta. This synthetic implant material is designed with a soft central core and smooth outer layer that results in a more natural healing response. The enhancement is permanent.

Local Flaps. A tissue flap can be removed from inside of the mouth and inserted into the lips. This invasive procedure causes extensive swelling for the first few weeks, but with excellent, permanent results.

If you are seeking fuller, younger looking lips, make an appointment with your facial plastic surgeon. With so many options available, you and your physician will find the one that is exactly right for you.