Lip Service

Photo by Catie Viox


Subtly rejuvenated lips can boost a person’s youthful appearance, and today’s FDA-approved synthetic fillers produce a longer-lasting natural look requiring less post-procedure downtime, says Dr. Alexander Donath, MD, FACS, of Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgery.

Volbella, for example – a synthetic lip filler that offers durability of up to a year compared to the six to nine months common with earlier fillers – produces less swelling and entails a day rather than a week of downtime.

“People frequently worry about getting overdone lips like the ones they’ve seen on TV, but we reassure them that just a little bit of filler looks nice, and we can do that more easily now because the fillers we use don’t cause as much swelling,” says Dr. Donath.

The internationally renowned double board-certified surgeon, who specializes in facial plastic surgery, is committed to respecting the natural anatomy of a patient’s lips.

“As more fillers come out that are specifically for lips, there has been a greater emphasis on educating other injectors about creating a more natural appearance,” he says, noting this is a gratifying part of being a national trainer for these fillers. “There’s more customizing now. Volbella doesn’t bind with water as much as other fillers, which is why there is less swelling. And it’s reversible, so people are more confident about procedures where there’s a safety valve.  It’s no longer ‘all or nothing.’ Our patients like the reassurance that we can eliminate an effect or tweak it to their liking if need be, though that isn’t usually necessary.”

The goal of facial plastic surgery, Dr. Donath emphasizes, is to make improvements.

“You want people to look at you and say, ‘You look great, but I can’t put my finger on why.’ They don’t know what it is. Did you change your hair color? Did you change your hair style? Did you lose weight? You want to look like you just returned from a great vacation. You want to look rested and refreshed. You don’t want people to say, ‘Wow – she just had her lips done!”

Dr. Donath also performs “Volume Lifts” to fill in age lines with the body’s own natural filler – i.e., fat. Hence, Volume Lifts are also referred to as fat transfers. Fat must be transferred quite carefully for it to survive, he says. When performed correctly, Volume Lifts look great and naturally complement one’s facial features.

“If you have nice cheekbones and under-eye area, a judicious filling of your lips has a tremendous rejuvenating effect. We see this over and over again in our practice.”

If you’ve been considering non-surgical lip rejuvenation or facial plastic surgery of any kind, fall and winter – the cooler, scarf-wearing seasons where people tend to hunker down inside – is the perfect time because it can be more easily concealed, no matter how brief the downtime.

Lip rejuvenation and other cosmetic improvements aren’t necessarily just for those nearing retirement age, Dr. Donath says. He offers many surgical and non-surgical options for achieving natural looking improvements at various ages.

“I always tell my patients, ‘We’re on the same team,’ ” he says. “If they look great, we look great. Our whole office works toward providing great, natural-looking results.” 


Cincinnati Facial Plastic Surgery is located at 7763 Montgomery Road, Suite A, Cincinnati, OH 45236. For more information, call 513.891.LIFT (5438) or visit