When thinking of transgender surgery, most people likely think of the more extensive procedures such as top surgery with the topic. However, several more minor procedures can make a big difference when it comes to feminizing the face and body. Many of these surgeries take place on the face and are lumped together into one or two procedures known as facial feminization. Though, Dr. Sajan can perform these surgeries separately. Dr. Javad of Allure Esthetic performs the best lip feminization for gender affirmation.
Lip Feminization By Dr. Javad Sajan
The lips are often considered one of the hallmarks of the feminine identity. Today, cisgender and transgender women regularly undergo lip filler injections to achieve plump, shapely lips. For women on an MTF transitional journey, lip feminization is sometimes part of facial feminization or general gender affirming treatment. There are several ways to feminize the lips. Dr. Javad Sajan performs the best lip feminization procedures.
What Is Lip Feminization Surgery?
Lip feminization surgery is one or a combination of surgical procedures meant to make the lips more feminine. Transgender women seek this surgery out the most. However, cisgender women and others along the gender spectrum do sometimes undergo procedures to make the lips appear more feminine.
Commonly, feminizing the lips is part of a larger facial feminization surgery. By itself, even the maximum amount of surgery necessary for lip feminization would take no more than a couple of hours. Thus, it is an ideal procedure to combine with other feminization surgeries if desired.
Lips & Gender Expression
The lips can say more about gender than people realize. Within broader society, women add color to their lips, enhance their shape, and use products to make them look plumper. Men, however, may only use lip balm. This highlights the importance of the lips when determining perceived gender.
On a woman, the distance between the upper lip and the base of the nose is shorter than a man’s. This is known as the philtrum distance. The “ideal” distance for each gender is roughly 11 to 13 millimeters for women and 13 to 15 millimeters for men. These measurements are close, so it is not always necessary to address this difference. However, if a transgender woman also has a thin upper lip, this can further accentuate the longer philtrum.
A few other differences between masculine and feminine lips include:
Women tend to have more tooth show
Men usually have a longer upper lip
Women have more outward lip projection than men
Variations in shape and size occur among each gender. But, a woman’s lips usually look shapelier due to men’s thinner and longer upper lip
Increased lip volume is often associated with women. However, it is not abnormal for men to have naturally full lips as well. If thin lips are not properly balanced though, this can make the face look less feminine.
Lip feminization can come with many benefits for transgender patients as well as general cosmetic benefits. Some of the advantages and possible benefits may include:
Fuller upper lip
Shorten the distance between the nose and lips
Increased visibility of the upper teeth
More lip volume
Enhance the balance of facial features
Increase outward lip projection
Surgery is not always necessary
Short surgical session
Can be combined with other facial gender affirming procedures during FFS
Performed by one of the best FFS surgeons in the US
Procedures That Help Feminize The Lips
There are multiple procedures Dr. Sajan can perform to feminize the lips. However, the majority of these procedures focus on two primary goals: shorten the length of the philtrum and augment the lips. Occasionally, other possible lip feminization procedures could include lifting the corners of the mouth or midface lift. Below is a more in-depth look at the most popular lip feminization procedures.
A lip lift is a plastic surgery that reduces the distance between the base of the nose and the upper lip. Using a bullhorn-shaped incision along the base of the nose, Dr. Sajan removes excess skin. He then stitches the philtrum back together. This naturally lifts the upper lip. It also tends to result in more of the upper lip becoming visible and an increase in tooth show.
Lip augmentation is one of the most popular procedures in the world. There are surgical and non-surgical options. Some of the most effective lip augmentation techniques for transgender women include:
Lip Filler: Injecting hyaluronic acid into the lips is a non-surgical way to plump the lips. This can also increase lip projection and vertical height. The one downside to lip fillers is that they will require periodic touch-ups to maintain results.
Lip Implant: A less common, but longer lasting form of lip augmentation is to insert a silicone implant. Lip implants are customized to fit the patient’s needs and are softer than many other implants. This allows them to mimic the real look and feel of natural lips. Like dermal fillers, lip implants can help increase projection, vertical height, and volume.
Fat Transfer: Another way to augment the lips is to harvest fat from elsewhere on the body and inject it into the lips. This can be a long lasting solution and many believe it feels more natural than a lip implant. Fat transfer to the lips is a surgical procedure and is not right in every situation.
Before & After Lip Feminization
A consultation with Dr. Sajan at Allure Esthetic can take place either in-person or virtually. Regardless, during the appointment, Dr. Sajan will ask you about your goals for the procedure and what you hope to achieve. From there, you will review your medical history and aspects of your lifestyle, such as if you smoke.
Finally, Dr. Sajan will examine the area to determine if a lip lift to feminize the face is the right procedure for you. Sometimes less invasive procedures may provide better results, or you may need a completely different procedure altogether. If Dr. Sajan believes you are a good candidate, he will further discuss the benefits and risks of the procedure. He will also walk you through the results you can expect.
Lip lift surgery involves making an incision underneath the nose in the shape of bull horns. This hugs the natural contours of the nose to hide the scarring and create the most natural appearance. Using this incision, Dr. Sajan then removes the necessary amount of skin from between the nose and upper lip.
The incision is then closed, which pulls the upper lip up and may expose more of the red portion of the lip. Once stitched, the procedure is done. It often takes less than an hour when performed by itself. Sometimes patients will even undergo the procedure under local anesthesia, which does reduce some aspects of risk and recovery time.
Recovery after lip feminization surgery is fairly minimal. However, you will still need to follow some basic instructions to promote the best possible outcome. Some of the aftercare and recovery instructions may include:
Stay out of the sun
Avoid touching your face
Elevate your pillows to an angle to prevent and reduce swelling
Cease use of skincare products and makeup until okayed by Dr. Sajan
Take the necessary time off work
Use cold compresses if needed for the first two to three days
Do not drive until off of pain medication
Avoid hard foods
Do not smoke
Cease strenuous activity and slowly work up to it throughout your recovery
Are There Visible Scars?
A lip lift does come with the risk of visible scarring. For most people, the scar heals and eventually blends in with the base of the nose. However, patients should understand the risk of scarring. Luckily, scars can usually be easily covered with makeup. If a patient has concerns about scarring or is prone to raised scarring, talk to Dr. Sajan about this during the consultation.
What Is Recovery From Lip Feminization Like?
Since lip feminization is usually performed with FFS, it tends to follow that recovery pattern. If performed in isolation, a lip feminization recovery is often not too painful or difficult for most people. Patients will need to rest and make some alterations to their everyday life. Though, they can expect to return to life within a week or so.
Patients may experience some side effects such as soreness, redness, bruising, and swelling. Generally, side effects are minor and will resolve on their own within about two weeks.
Is Lip Feminization Results Permanent?
Most of the time, yes. A lip lift will age, but it does so like any woman would age naturally. Lip augmentation is not necessarily permanent. Dermal fillers are temporary and require injections two to three times a year to maintain fullness. A lip implant and fat transfer to the lips can be permanent.
Can Lip Fillers Only Feminize The Lips?
Yes, if a patient has a philtrum close in size to a woman’s. In these circumstances, lip fillers can often provide enough vertical height to achieve a more feminine look. Depending on the patient’s natural lip anatomy and goals, lip fillers may or may not provide adequate feminization.
Does Insurance Cover Lip Feminization?
If a patient has a documented history of gender dysphoria, insurance will likely cover some or all of the surgery. With that said, it is unlikely they will cover non-surgical procedures such as lip fillers, even if gender affirming. If planning to undergo multiple facial gender affirming procedures, it is usually best to do so all in one session as FFS.
The Best Lip Feminization Surgery By Dr. Javad Sajan
Dr. Javad Sajan is a world renowned plastic surgeon known for performing gender affirming surgery of the face and body. Transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming patients have come from all over the world for his expertise and skills. With years of experience and training at an exclusive FFS fellowship, Dr. Sajan is a top surgeon for FFS-related surgeries. Dr. Sajan provides the best lip feminization in the United States.
To learn more and schedule a consultation, call us at 206-209-0988. You can also reach out online via chat or contact form.