Q: I have gotten lip injections using fillers for the past five years. But after five years and more than a dozen injection treatments, I am tired of the expense and the hassle (pain!) of the lip injections. I have read that there are permanent materials for lip augmentation. What can you tell about permanent lip implants?
A: Despite their existence for more than 15 years in the plastic surgery world, lip implants have never gained much traction as an everyday procedure, partly because of problems in implant design and materials and partly because of a general fear of having an “implant” in the lip. I have used every developed permanent lip implant available and have seen many of their benefits and potential problems. The newest lip implant, called PermaLip, is the best design and material that I have seen to date. It is made from a very soft and flexible silicone elastomer. Based on how it feels, it could easily be called the “Gummy Bear lip implant.” It has well-designed tapering edges, which is very important. The implants are done in the office under local anesthesia with some swelling and occasional bruising, which is largely resolved in a week after the procedure.
Q: I was looking at some before and after tummy tuck pictures and was interested. I looked again the next day and I was able to get a closer look, and the scars are very big. I have decided I’m going to try and go to a center for weight loss and see how that works first. Approximately, how much does a tummy tuck with liposuction around the sides of the waist cost?
A: While a full tummy tuck will solve the problem in a manner otherwise not achievable, the “price” to be paid for it is the trade-off of the a long horizontal scar. While the procedure is very effective, you have to be certain that this aesthetic trade-off is worth it to you. That is why I could not agree more that you pursue every non-surgical option first and only consider surgery when you have become convinced that all other methods are not achieving what you want. Much of plastic surgery is about trading one problem for another – you just have to be certain that the other “problem” is more acceptable than what you have now. In the case of a full tummy tuck, that aesthetic trade-off is the scar. The approximate total cost of a full tummy tuck with flank liposuction is around $8,500, all costs included.