Some of our patients who seek Facial Feminization Surgery (FFS) report experiencing feelings of dysphoria or discomfort associated with their lip shape. One of the results of a first, testosterone-dominant puberty is that the upper lip is narrower and the length between the lip and the nose is longer than is usually the case with folks who have undergone a first, estrogen-dominant puberty. To create a more conventionally “feminine,” augmented lip, our surgeons can perform either a lip lift or a lip augmentation with fat transfer. Both procedures are considered permanent and have relatively quick recovery times.
Eligibility for a lip lift is determined by the measurement between the peaks of the lip and the bottom of the nose. Our surgeons can perform a lip lift to create a fuller and longer upper lip, often resulting in a pout-like upper lip shape. The lip lift is achieved by creating an incision under the nose which is used to remove skin between the nose and upper lip.
Lip lifts and/or lip augmentations have a very short recovery time performed alone without other procedures done on the face. Patients are asked to eat a soft diet for 2 weeks while the incision under the nose is healed and can return to full activity after 3 weeks.
Much like other incisions, the incision under the nose used to lift the upper lift will take time to heal. Generally speaking, incision scars are considered fully healed 12-18 months after surgery, but patients should expect to see the scar begin to fade away by about 6 months post-op.
To help reduce experiences with dysphoria or discomfort associated with the lip shape, lip augmentations can be done independently or in addition to lip lifts. Similarly to cheek augmentations, our surgeons perform a lip augmentation using a fat transfer. Our technique involves injecting a large amount of fat, given that typically 60% will be reabsorbed into the body during the initial stages of recovery. All of the fat that holds afterwards is essentially permanent. The recovery time for this procedure is about 4 weeks.
Alternatively, we also offer lip augmentations with filler for patients who might not yet want a permanent augmentation. Lip augmentation with filler will need to be redone over time because the filler used to augment the lips is often absorbed into the body. On the other hand, lip augmentations with a fat transfer have the potential to yield permanent results.