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Aesthet Surg J. 2010 May-Jun;30(3):301-10. doi: 10.1177/1090820X10374095.

An index for quantitative assessment of lip augmentation.

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Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of California, San Diego, CA, USA.



Lip dimensions and their relation to the whole face have been discussed mainly in the dental literature. There have been few attempts to scientifically measure the degree of lip augmentation, regardless of method.


The authors describe a Lip Index that will allow reliable, quantitative analysis of the human lip complex, which is necessary to assess the efficacy and duration of attempts at lip augmentation.


The authors developed a Lip Index as the basis for objective measurements of the effect and duration of lip augmentation with dermal fillers. Measurements may be taken directly from the patient, from standardized photos, or from the computer screen. Using a metric ruler, the height of the vermilion in the middle of the Cupid's bow is first measured (in mm) on the frontal view. The point of maximum protrusion of the vermilion is then measured (in mm) on a standardized side view perpendicular to a vertical line connecting the base of the columella to the fold demarcating lower lip and chin. Vermilion height multiplied by horizontal protrusion directly correlates with the central volume of the lips, upper and lower.


The easily applied ruler provided consistent measures before and after the injection of dermal fillers or soft implants. Adding upper and lower lip indices resulted in the Overall Lip Index for each patient, which was found to be approximately 50 in average females of Caucasian descent, about 100 in females of Asian descent, and nearly 200 in females of African descent.


The Lip Index allows for the practical evaluation of the clinical effects and duration of dermal filler injectables or implants. Quantitative assessments of results over time are easy to calculate, without the need for complex measurements or sophisticated analyses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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