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Fight Gravity for Full Lips

Armen Hareyan's picture

Beautiful Lips

Want a puffy pout like Angelina Jolie? A simple technique called lip suspension may work better than injections alone to achieve bee-stung beautiful lips.

"As a woman ages, gravity causes the length between the nose and the lips to become longer," said Dr. Esser Yuksel, an assistant professor of microsurgery and aesthetic surgery in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "The red part of the lips shows less and less, the lips become narrower and the corners drop."

Using a technique called "lip suspension," Yuksel inserts sutures through the inside of the nose to the underside of the upper lip, lifting the lip up and out. The procedure takes 10 to 15 minutes and is done under local anesthetic. Healing takes about two to four weeks.

The final result restores the upper lip to its more youthful position and makes it look fuller. For an even fuller look, fat or scar tissue harvested from the patient can be injected into the lip.

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Foreign materials like collagen add volume when injected into the lips, but in the long run may give gravity an extra boost in causing the lips' downward slide, unless the injections are paired with lip suspension.

"Adding more volume to the lips may make them heavier and cause the lips to drop even lower," Yuksel said.

The lips are often overlooked when women consider enhancing their features, Yuksel said. He believes that is changing.

"Lip enhancement has long been the "foster child" of plastic surgery, because other areas of the face have received more attention." Yuksel said. "More people are realizing that the lips are a central element of the face. They are one of the first things you notice when you look at someone."