What You Need to Know About a ‘Lip Flip’ Before Getting One

It’s hard to believe that less than a decade ago Kylie Jenner single-handedly influenced an entire generation of injectable patients into getting lip-enhancement treatments. Fast forward to today—while lip filler is still the go-to procedure for instant lip plumping, the lip flip is gaining traction as the next big thing in lip treatments. So, how does it differ from filler and who is a good candidate? We’ve got your answers.  

Lip Flip vs. Lip Filler

According to Smithtown, NY facial plastic surgeon James C. Marotta, MD there are two big differences between a lip flip and lip filler: “In a lip flip, the injector utilizes neurotoxins like Botox Cosmetic, Dysport, Xeomin or Jeuveau to relax the muscles of the top lip causing it to relax or ‘flip’ upward, giving more pink lip show and more apparent volume. The other difference is that you don’t add any volume with a lip flip alone. It flips the top lip, but does not plump the lips.”

Scottsdale, AZ facial plastic surgeon Kelly V. Bomer, MD says only a small dose is needed and you should go to an expert injector because it’s a very precise procedure. “Small doses of a focally acting neurotoxin that has less spread is needed. If the neurotoxin spreads too deep or too far, the lip will not function, and oral incompetence will occur. Also, if there is spread of the product into the upper white lip, there will be no flip up and the lip will have a more simian look,” she explains.

Who Is it For and Who Should Skip It?

For those who need volume, a lip flip won’t give you the same projection as a lip filler like Restylane Kysse or Juvéderm Volbella, because as Dr. Bomer explains, “if you have a thin upper lip typically do not have the anatomy available for a good flip response and it can tend to give an unnatural look, like a duck.”

“A lip flip is great for those who want subtle volume because you don’t have to worry about lumps or nodules or even feeling any filler in your lips,” says Dr. Marotta. “If you’re someone with excessive tooth showing when you smile or a history of Bell’s Palsy or facial paralysis of any kind, this isn’t the lip treatment for you.” 

The Affordability Factor

One reason the procedure may be trending is the lower cost compared to the cost of dermal filler. “Since very few units of neurotoxin are needed, a lip flip tends to be cheaper,” notes Dr. Marotta. 

Costs will vary based on the injectors experience and geographical location, but Dr. Bomer says the cost range at her practice is between $25 to $100. “But typically, this procedure is performed in conjunction with full-face neurotoxin and sometimes lip filler,” she adds.

While the procedure may be more affordable, don’t cut corners and make sure to see an expert injector who is qualified and trained in this procedure. “The most significant risk is a temporary oral incompetence which includes inability to speak, drink and eat properly,” advises Dr. Bomer. “The adverse effects will resolve, but the time for resolution will vary depending on the dose that was injected. It is very important to start with a conservative dose and as always, the aesthetic outcome depends greatly on the injector’s technique.”

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