Phat Lips: Celebrity Lip Envy Driving Explosive Growth in Lip Enhancement

April 17, 2016

Someone gets their lips enhanced every 19 minutes in the US, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports.

And a new ASPS survey suggests that celebrity lip envy may be driving this trend. The most likeable lips belong to Jennifer Lawrence, followed by J-Law, the survey showed. Next up were the puckers of Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Garner, Angelina Jolie, Kylie Jenner and Beyonce. In all, lip enhancement procedures increased by 48 percent since 2000. The only procedure rising faster is  dermabrasion.

The number of lip implant procedures grew by double-digits in every region of the country in 2015, gaining in popularity in both women and men. There were 27,449 lip implants in 2015, the ASPS reports.

And that’s just ‘lip’lants. Lip injections continued to grow in popularity as well. Between BotoxⓇ and DysportⓇ injections, and a variety of soft tissue fillers, lip procedures were part of nearly 9.2 million injection procedures in 2015, a combined increase of more than 1,000 percent since 2000. In adition, there were 927 lip reduction surgeries in the United States last year, up more than 34 percent over 2013, the ASPS reports.

Gateway Procedure

“Lips are an easy place for people to start,” says Robert Houser, DO, a plastic surgeon in Westerville, Ohio, in a news release. “A patient may not be ready to commit to something as dramatic as a facelift or eyelid surgery, but there are a variety of ways you can change the shape of your lips."

Dr. Houser says the temporary nature of injections is both a pro and a con for patients. “If a patient doesn’t like the injections, it’s fine, because within a few months they wear off and everything is back to normal,” he said. “But if they do like what injections do for their lips, they have to keep coming back every few months to maintain them.”

The alternative is a more permanent, but still reversible lip implant. “Lip implants have been around for quite a while, but new technology is taking the industry by storm,” says Dr. Houser. “That’s why we’re seeing such growth in implant procedures.”

Another benefit is that newer implants come in a variety of sizes. “It’s all about the contour of the lips and the asymmetry of the face,” said Houser. “The best looking lips aren’t always the fullest.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Robert Houser performs an exam on Kim Comisar following lip implant surgery. According to new data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a record number of patients underwent lip implant surgery in 2015.

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