What are the current treatments for lip injections?
We do two things. We do a minimally invasive procedure called Perk(tm) for the lips. This is an in-office treatment, similar to a peel, but it lightly plumps and locks in moisture to reveal a well-shaped, pouty lip. It’s a treatment that smooths and plumps lips naturally using several ingredients: peony extract, aloe extract, peppermint oil, hydrating SPF lip balm that includes bees wax, vitamin E and extra virgin olive oil.
The lip plumping effect works immediately and each patient is provided with an at-home treatment serum that maintains the lip fullness for several weeks up to one month.
For the traditional treatment, we are still doing the filler injections using hyaluronic acid. The latest and the greatest is a new product called Volbella. This is a very special filling agent using a newly patented technology called Vycross. The filler is extraordinary. It is smooth and does a great job of plumping lips, and filling in the vertical lines around the lips. In addition to being very smooth and producing very natural effects, it can also last longer than other fillers, lasting anywhere from 6 – 12 months. We were one of the first practices in the United States to use Volbella. We use it almost exclusively now for the lips.
We have used fat cells in the past. In my training, the problem with fat cells is that when people gain weight there is always a risk that the fat cells will also increase in size. There is very little control or predictability. I think the optimal treatment is something that can last between 1-2 years. The anatomy of the face will change over a few years so anything that looks good now could look a bit odd in 3-5 years. Optimally, you will want an agent for aesthetic purposes to last 1-2 years and we are getting close with Vobella.
What injectable type is the best or determined on an individual basis?
If you want an in-office, non-invasive treatment, the Perk™ works very well. If you want a traditional filler, hyaluronic acids are still king. They work the best and give a natural look with long lasting results.
Any concerns or warnings for people wanting to get their lips injected?
The most important thing about getting any aesthetic treatment for the lips is the person at the other end of the needle. It’s not the product, it’s the experience of the person providing the treatment. You want to make sure you are going to someone who is member of the DPSEAM and someone who has done thousands of injections. You don’t want someone who just practiced on a tomato in Las Vegas last week end injecting your lips. You also want someone who has a philosophy that is consistent with your objectives. If you want it to look nice and natural, and not over the top, you want a qualified physician injecting them. You also want to make sure it’s a physician who adheres to these principles:
To be considered for membership in DOCTORS FOR THE PRACTICE OF SAFE & ETHICAL AESTHETIC MEDICINE, a clinic or other medical facility must ensure the following criteria are met for every aesthetic treatment provided by any facility legally affiliated or reasonably identified with the clinic or medical facility displaying the DPSEAM Seal:
- A physician will always personally and appropriately examine every patient before initial treatment, including specified laser treatments and aesthetic injections.
- The clinic will disclose to each patient the level of licensure of the individual or individuals performing or supervising the procedure, including the full name of a credentialing board recognized and approved by the American Board of Medical Specialties.
- The clinic will clearly display the name and valid contact information of its physician medical director and provides this information in printed form to each patient prior to conducting any treatments or procedures.
- The clinic must guarantee to provide a timely personal examination by and consultation with the clinic’s medical director-physician if any complications or major concerns arise in relation to a performed procedure.
- Members must be physicians (M.D. or O.D.) who are currently board certified in at least one of the following specialties: Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, Ophthalmology, or ENT.
- An “Associate Member” must be a physician (M.D. or O.D.) board certified in specialty outside the four core specialties listed in #5 and have a medical director, working at the same facility, who is a Member. Associate members must have a written association agreement with the member medical director as provided by Doctors for the Practice of Safe & Ethical Aesthetic Medicine.
How long should the results last?
Optimally, they should last anywhere from 6-12 months, optimally. Often times, I will do a smaller treatment first, then have the patient return in 30 days for a second perfecting treatment to make sure it is completely balanced and where they want it to be. Patients will like this a lot, especially with an incremental approach people around them don’t really notice it as much. The goal is to have lips that look full and natural, not “poofy and goofy.”