Lip augmentation is now one of the leading forms of non-surgical cosmetic enhancement in Australia.
"Lip enhancements are a very popular form of cosmetic treatment and it is becoming more and more desirable. This is partially because we live in an age of selfies, where people are constantly exposed to lip enhancement images on social media," Dr Vivek Eranki, of Cosmetique Cosmetic Surgery Clinic, said.
"Although it feels like a recent phenomenon, the trend actually supersedes the millennial era. The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgeons, the peak body for Cosmetic Medicine and Surgery in Australia, identified an increase in lip augmentations among female patients of all age groups between 2000 and 2019.
"The difference now is that women are far more open about sharing the results of their lip fillers.
"A large number of our patients frequently share their stunning new pouts on their social media. They also frequently tag us in these posts. Ms Rikki Louise Jones, Instagram celebrity, recently attended one of our Cosmetique clinics for lip fillers and shared and tagged Cosmetique in her Instagram posts."
The number of cosmetic clinics offering lip enhancements has also surged. Cosmetique, is Australia's leading cosmetic surgery clinic with locations in most cities. Their services include treatments such as wrinkle relaxers, fillers, breast surgery, facial surgery, liposuction and fat transfer, including Brazilian Butt Lifts. Their nationwide footprint is expanding every year with more and more clinics opening up in 2019 in response to increasing demand for cosmetic surgery.
"The 80s were the era of the over-plucked eyebrows. The 90s and 2000s were the eras of the 'boob jobs' and now we are seeing the era of the 'lip fillers'," Dr Eranki added.
"The trend is worldwide. The number of Google searches for lip fillers in the UK is 10 times higher than the figure from 2012 and lip augmentation is proving the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatment of 2019. Getting lip fillers is about as common these days as getting your hair highlighted.
"At Cosmetique, we are currently performing over 1,000 lip filler treatments every month.
"Every patient has their own idea of their ideal lips. Following a medical consultation, the treatment is undertaken as per the patient's desired aesthetic outcome. The treatment, traditionally used to be uncomfortable, however through using nerve blocks we have made it almost pain-free."
Question: Why do you believe lip enhancement has become so popular?
Dr Vivek Eranki: Lip enhancement in some form has always been popular. This could be from something as subtle as lipstick or lip gloss. Lip fillers popularity skyrocketing appears to have coincided with the proliferation of social media. Social media stars, as well as Kylie Jenner, has 'normalised' the procedure. At the same time, on the medical side, lip fillers have innovated to produce a better result that lasts longer.
Question: What must we know before we undergo any forms of lip enhancement?
Dr Vivek Eranki: Make sure the injector is experienced and well trained. At Cosmetique, all our nurses receive extensive training from our Surgeons. Also, they do thousands of lip fillers each month.
Question: How common are lip enhancement procedures?
Dr Vivek Eranki: Lip enhancement treatment is one of the most common procedures we perform. The age of patients requesting lip fillers is getting younger and younger.
Question: What is the difference between temporary and permanent fillers?
Dr Vivek Eranki: Temporary lip fillers are generally made out of hyaluronic acid. This is a natural sugar that is found in the body. Over time, the body metabolises hyaluronic acid and the effect of lip filler diminishes. Permanent fillers are made out of substances that cannot be broken down by the body such as Polyacrylamide. Recently, we are seeing an increase in the number of patients who are requesting fat transfer to the lips. Fat is usually removed from stubborn areas, broken down into nano particles and injected into lips. The injected fat is natural to the body and does not get absorbed.
Question: Can you tell us about the risk associated with lip enhancement procedures?
Dr Vivek Eranki: As with any medical procedure, lip fillers carry risks. If done by an experienced injector, the procedure is very safe. Almost all patients experience a degree of swelling and bruising. The treated area may be numb for up to several hours following treatment. Serious complications are very rare but include infection and vascular occlusions. At Cosmetique, we have a 24-hour on-call service so if patients ever experience any issues, help is always available.
Question: What can be done to remove lumps?
Dr Vivek Eranki: Immediately after treatment, lumps can be normal. These lumps disappear as swelling subsides. Persistent lumps are either bolus of fillers or granulomas. In some cases, lumps can be dissolved with an injection called hyaluronidase. Granulomas require excision. At Cosmetique, we only use very premium brands of fillers that are unlikely to cause such issues.
Question: Can you share your tips for those looking into lip enhancement? >
Dr Vivek Eranki: Always seek out a reputable clinic which is Doctor led
Temporary fillers are the most common form of fillers. Don't get permanent fillers until you have explored temporary fillers and feel they are right for you
Some patients may require several treatments to achieve their desired outcome. It is ideal to increase the size of your lips gradually over time
Most fillers last about six to 18 months however this can vary depending on other factors
Lip fillers can be almost painless. A nerve block can numb the lips prior to the treatment
The treatment can be done in your lunch break and the numbing starts to wear off in 30 minutes.
Interview by Brooke Hunter