Patients often come in to the clinic asking for a lip flip. A lip flip was initially a term used to describe a procedure in which a small amount (about 6 units) of Neurotoxin (Botox/Dysport) is used to relax the Obicularis Oris muscle. The Obicularis Oris muscle is the muscle that encircles the mouth and is also responsible for the inward pull of the lips some patients notice when they smile or talk.
A common concern we hear in our clinic is,
"When I smile my lip goes away".
This is where a neurotoxin like Botox or Dysport shines because it relaxes whatever muscle it is placed into. Therefore when place in the muscle around the top lip it will allow it to relax and in about 7-14 days patients will notice that their lip show is significantly improved with animation (smiling, talking). This is nothing new and it is a very common practice. However, more recently people are coming in to the office asking for us to flip their lip with filler. This is because we post so many before and afters where we not only avoid adding projection but we significantly decrease projection by using a specific technique with the filler alone. Usually we are able to "flip" your lip with filler about 10-15 degrees. To determine whether or not I will need Botox/Dysport to flip your lip I will assess your top lip from the side.
An important concept to consider is that when we make things bigger sometimes we can make things more apparent. This can apply to asymmetries, blemishes, and excessive projection.
OUR APPROACH: Many times improper assessment which then leads to improper technique selection. The proper technique can mean the difference between the infamous "duck lip" and a good aesthetic outcome. Improper techniques will lead to projection and an unnatural lip. If we believe the angle of your top lip to be too acute to give you a natural lip then we will do some kind of neurotoxin to complete the flip. This is done with 6 units of Botox/Dysport and only adds $78 to your treatment.
There are other benefits to adding a neuromodulator to your lip filler appointment. The first one is the flip that we have described in this article. The second is that it adds 1-2 mm of height and lastly it will help your filler last longer. Some people opt to add it to their treatment for the latter reasons even if they don't necessarily need the flip.
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