If there is one concern cosmetic injectors hear over and over again from first time patients, it is a fear of looking like one of the many ‘overdone’ and ‘over-filled’ celebrities they see on TV and gossip magazines. “Trout Pout, Cat Lady, Real Housewives…these are all references that patients give me of what they DON’T want to look like when they come into our practice,” says Dr. Garrett Griffin. “Although I did my Facial Plastics Fellowship in Beverly Hills with Dr. Paul Nassif, I have immense respect for the more subtle and natural approach our Midwest patients want,” continues Dr. Griffin of Midwest Facial Plastics in Woodbury, MN.
We’ve all seen them and we all have one celebrity that pops into our minds when we think of overdone Botox or dermal fillers. The overzealous lip enhancement that leads to the unnatural, unbalanced “trout pout”. Followed by the over-inflated cheekbones that lend a puffy and almost cartoon-like appearance to the face. And, last but not least, the excessive use and placement of Botox that obliterates all expression and readable emotion. It is no wonder that the excessive approach taken by some celebrities instills fear and misunderstanding of cosmetic injectables.
“Hollywood helps us and hurts us as cosmetic injectors and plastic surgeons,” laments Dr. Griffin. “Many celebrities have amazingly natural work done that brings patients to our doors inquiring about services, but just as many celebrities take things too far, which can deter patient,” he continues. “Lip enhancement is one of the most misunderstood and abused of all non-surgical esthetic procedures. If administered poorly, the results can be very noticeable and exaggerated and disappoint the patient,” shares Dr. Griffin.
This leads many of us on the other end of the needle wondering, what makes a bad lip job? Is it the product? The skill of the injector? How can the average patient ensure that they are scheduling with the right provider?
“In my experience, there are several factors that can make for an unnatural appearance in cosmetic injections; overzealous application of product, lack of understanding of facial anatomy and symmetry, ignoring the patient’s specific goals, and lack of experience and qualifications,” informs Dr. Griffin. “When there is a Groupon advertising cheap procedures, the patient needs to be even more proactive about seeking qualified providers because you literally get what you pay for,” he warns.
Loss of facial volume and elasticity are natural parts of the aging process. The lip muscles are extremely active in speaking and facial expression which over time can result in thin, deflated lips. The use of dermal fillers, such as Juvederm, restores the youthful fullness, border and structure of the lips. This simple restoration can take years off the appearance of a face.
Dermal fillers used in lip enhancements are comprised of a gel-like substance called hyaluronic acid. This compound is naturally occurring in the skin and attracts 1,000 times it weight in water, thereby plumping the tissue. When injected correctly, this results in smooth, full and defined lips.
For patient comfort, hyaluronic acid fillers may also contain numbing lidocaine, making the procedure less painful. “I prefer to use a blunt tip cannula for my lip enhancements as opposed to a sharp needle to further my patient’s comfort,” says Dr. Griffin. “Instead of having to poke the tender lip tissue multiple times, the blunt, flexible cannula is threaded through the lip and used to inject the product. This results in much less trauma, swelling, and bruising for the patient,” he concludes.
“Your lips, your smile and your esthetic preference are as unique as you,” states Dr. Griffin. “It’s important to align yourself with an injector who is qualified, experienced and who listens.”