Lip Augmentation Procedures Zoom by 167 Percent

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With two offices in Virginia and one in Washington, D.C., plastic surgeon Saeed Marefat, M.D., F.A.C.S. notes that requests for lip augmentation are up over 167 percent since 2005. Dr. Marefat also performs a popular breast augmentation and lift combination procedure.

The two procedures together create beautiful, youthful breasts which look more like those of a 20-year-old rather than a 40-year-old

Plastic surgeon Saeed Marefat, M.D. has noticed that lip augmentation requests and procedures are increasing among both men and women.

Marked as one of the most significant surgical rejuvenation increases in recent years, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS,) found the lip augmentation procedure has increased 167 percent over 2005 statistics. Lip augmentation can be performed two ways -- via fat grafting or by injecting tissue fillers like Restylane® and Juvederm®.

"Lip augmentation not only augments the lips but shapes and sculpts them," says Dr. Marefat who is board certified in plastic surgery. "Because the lips are so sensitive, the fat grafting procedure to enhance lips is done with minimal incisions."

Dr. Marefat uses one of the tiniest, and least uncomfortable, needles employed by plastic surgeons to inject tissue fillers.

Sexy Lips:
46-year-old Jane (she asked not to be fully identified) owns a small Washington, D.C. construction company and has modeled part-time for the last decade.

"Fuller lips for me translate into a younger looking face," Jane says. "And that has meant landing modeling jobs in the past. But even if I did not need fuller lips for professional reasons, they look so good, I would have had the procedure done anyhow!"

In fat grafting to the lips -- a procedure known as chelioplasty -- Dr. Marefat extracts a little of the patient's own fat from where it can be spared, purifies the fat cells and then uses the very small needle to place tiny drops of fat into the layers of the lip. The drops of fat eventually develop a blood supply, so results are not seen immediately. But the new tissue is your own, so it won't be rejected.

Hot Lips:
"The result is a more voluptuous and pleasing-to-the-eye lip," says Dr. Marefat. The only downsides are some swelling after the procedure, another small incision in the fat donar area that must heal, plus a wait of a few months to see the final results. "However, the final result of fat grafting is yours for life."

Why do patients enhance their lips?
Some younger patients are born with lips they consider too thin. Or, over time, lips can lose volume due to natural aging, accident or injury.

"Some lip augmentation patients also want relief from the small vertical lines ("smoker's lines") in the upper lip," says Dr. Marefat.

Facial Fillers:
Facial injectables like collagen, Restylane®, Juvederm,® Perlane® and others are also used to plump the lips. Neither down time nor recovery is required for facial fillers while the results are seen immediately.

However, virtually all facial injectables are absorbed by the body within six months to a year, so the injections must be repeated to maintain the augmented look.

Anesthetic creams are usually spread on the lips to dull pain before the injection.

"After my lip augmentation, I asked one of my employees if he noticed anything different about my appearance," Jane says. "He said yes, but could not put his finger on what the exact change was."

Costs of Plastic Surgery

Lip enhancement with tissue fillers range from $500 to $1000 while fat grafting to the lips can range from $1750 to $3200 depending on the patient's wishes, the amount of fat transferred and other factors. Before giving a more precise quote, Dr. Marefat must have an initial consultation (which is free) with the patient.

Another extremely popular procedure offered by Dr. Marefat is a combination procedure that augments the breasts by enlarging and then lifting them.

Breast Augmentation:
"Women who have completed their families often find their bosoms sagging," says Dr. Marefat. "In pregnancy, their weight has gone up and down, stretching the skin of the breasts and allowing both to droop."

To cope, more women are asking for a breast lift during the same procedure as their breast augmentation. Traditionally, the downside of any breast lift has been long scars on the breasts. But Dr. Marefat has found he reduces scarring tremendously by using the "Lollipop" procedure. That technique requires an incision around the areola and one more running from the areola to the bottom of the breast.

"The two procedures together create beautiful, youthful breasts which look more like those of a 20-year-old rather than a 40-year-old," Dr. Marafat says.

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Saeed Marefat, M.D.

Charles Downey
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