Blog — Notes of a Plastic Surgeon

Welcome to my blog. I am a plastic surgeon in Seattle and have been in private practice since 1991. I've seen more than a few interesting faces and cases through my years spent in the exam room, the operating room and the emergency room. And I have an opinion on just about everything relating to plastic surgery (and a lot of unrelated stuff). If you like my blog, let me know. Thanks for reading! Lisa

Category: Lip Enhancement and Augmentation

Happy Valentine’s Day – Pucker Up!

February 14th, 2017 — 7:00am

Seattle Plastic Surgeon loves doing subtle and artful lip augmentation with Hyaluronic Acid fillers. 

Are they real or plumped up with filler? It should be impossible to tell with a nice and artful lip augmentation.

I am always amazed at how much my practice has evolved after being in practice for over 20 years now.  

Back in 1991 when I first hung my shingle, lip enhancement was done with collagen injections or with a procedure where a strip of skin above and below the lip vermilion border was excised and the lips expanded out.  I wasn’t enthusiastic with either procedure.  The collagen was often lumpy and the excision procedure left a scar and sometimes a funny shape. 

Then along came fat transfer and I liked this much better in that it lasted, sometimes for years and years and years, and it looked and felt natural.  But is was unpredictable in that some patients had resorption of the fat over time and needed repeat procedures.  And the recovery from fat transfer is a couple of weeks looking like the love child of Mick Jagger and Angelina Joli. 

Then along came lip implants, Softform Implants, that worked okay in some patients but in others distorted the lips with smiling or puckering.

Then along came HA (hyaluronic acid fillers) and oh happy day.  These fillers make lip augmentation predictable, natural and easy on the patient because down time is in hours or days at most.  The longevity of the fillers varies from filler to filler and from patient to patient but most patients get a good 3 – 6 months.   And a relatively new filler, Volubella lasts a year or more. 

I used to kind of cringe when I would see “lip enhancement” on my schedule.  With the new HA fillers, I love seeing this on my schedule because I know the patient will likely be pleased and that always makes my day.

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

Facial Fillers, Fat Injection, Lip Enhancement and Augmentation, Non-invasive, Plastic Surgery, Uncategorized

Trout Pout – Let’s Not Go There

September 5th, 2014 — 11:22am

Seattle Plastic Surgeon cajoles patient not to go with the Trout Pout look.

pinterest trout pout

Mona Lisa’s lips were NOT done by me!

I recently saw a patient of mine who I have been injecting with hyaluronic acid fillers for a couple of years.  She comes in about every 6 to 12 months for topping off.  This time she wanted “just a little more” to her already quite voluptuous lips and I just had to say “no”.  Another syringe of filler or even half a syringe of filler would have pushed her over the edge into a trout pout.

It very common for patients to think if something is good, more of that something is better but sometimes it just isn’t.  I see this mostly with breast augmentation patients and lip enhancement patients.  They loose their perspective.  One tool I use for these patients is their pre-operative or pre-injection photos.   Once they see these photos and realize where they were and where they are now, they are more likely to appreciate their nice, tasteful, “it could have occurred in nature on a very good day” result and less likely to try to twist my arm to do something that I do not think is in their best interest.

So if you see a woman with gigantic breast implants and lips to match, I can guarantee you that I am not her plastic surgeon!

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


Facial Fillers, Lip Enhancement and Augmentation

Fill ‘er up for higher patient satisfaction.

November 16th, 2011 — 12:48am
Seattle Plastic Surgeon recommends full tank for HA fillers

Fill ‘er up even if it means saving up some hard earned $$$.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder blogs about patient satisfaction with HA fillers such as Restylane, Perlane, Prevelle and Juvederm. 

I’ve been using these fabulous new facial fillers for many years now and have come to really, really love the way they rejuvenate the face without looking fake or tight or overdone. 

Here is one thing I have learned over the years:  patient satisfaction is directly proportional to how full their tank is filled.  The tank is your face and the fuel is the filler

Some patients will get to full with one syringe and some will require a half dozen.  It just depends on how many creases a patient has, how deep the creases are and how much fullness would benefit the patient.   And I am not talking freak show fullenss here.  This is Seattle.  I’m from Spokane.   I don’t do freak show. 

The big issue, of course, is the cost and these magical fillers are pricey.   Many patients are reluctant to spend the money ($2800 for 6 syringes!)  especially considering that these fillers are temporary.  But …….. it has also been my experience that these temporary fillers can often last 18 – 24 months even though they are advertised as lasting 6 months.  And ……….. patient’s who fill ‘er up usually need much less volume for subsequent “maintenance”  injections. 

Fill ‘er up” patients are almost always thrilled and I know they will be back for more.  The patients who settle for just partial correction are rarely impressed and often don’t come back for repeat injections.

So if you need a lot to “fill ‘er up”, save up and let me really do it right!  Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

Aging Issues, Facial Fillers, Lip Enhancement and Augmentation, Nasolabial Folds, Non-invasive, Plastic Surgery, Skin Care

The FDA approves Restylane for lip augmentation and/or enhancement.

October 28th, 2011 — 6:18pm

Lip enhancement can be subtle. It doesn’t have to be bizarre.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon is thrilled to share news of the FDA approval of Restylane for lip enhancement and/or augmentation.  It’s about time!

Earlier this month the FDA approved the hyaluronic acid filler Restylane for lip enhancement.  This puts what is sort of like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval on a procedure that I have been doing for several years.

Lip enhancement/augmentation gets a really bad rap in the popular media because it is so overdone in many high profile individuals.  But really, it doesn’t have to be that way.  No Donald Duck lips are necessary.  The enhancement can be really lovely and subtle like the lady in the photo.  She had just 1 cc of filler placed in her lips with most of it going to her lower lip.  Nice, huh?   This is yet another thing I love about practicing plastic surgery in Seattle.  Patients want lovely and subtle, not LOOK AT ME.

Most lip enhancement/augmentation patients can go about their usual business and social lives the day after injection.  The bruising and swelling is usually pretty minimal if the patient is careful not to take any medication that can encourage bruising (aspirin and ibuprofen are the most common offenders) for a week before injection and is vigilant about icing the area for a few hours after injection.

So from now on when you hear lip ehancement/augmentation/enlargement etc., don’t think bizarre Donald Duck lips ala the First Wives Club.  Think lovely and subtle and now FDA approved!

Thanks for reading.  Seattle Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

Facial Fillers, Government and Politics, Lip Enhancement and Augmentation, Skin Care

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