Lip Enhancement (Lip injections and Lip augmentation)
Having full, plump lips is often considered a sign of good health, beauty and youth. Whether you were born with thin lips or your lips are thinning due to the natural aging process, there are many ways to enhance them. Lip injections using natural or synthetic fillers can keep your lips plump for
months at a time. Lip implants and other surgical procedures can also be performed for a more permanent solution. Other options include lip lifts, vermillion (lip) advancement and permanent makeup. Every year, thousands of people undergo successful lip enhancement and are pleased with the results.
When to Consider Lip Enhancement
– Your lips have always been thin and disappear when you smile
– As you age, your lips have become thinner and less full
– You feel self-conscious about how your lips look
– Having fuller lips will help balance out your face
– Some lip injections are temporary and can be modified to your preference
– Implants and surgical enhancement provide a permanent solution
– Quick one-day recovery for injections and a week for most lip surgery
– Temporary fillers will require injections every few months
– Lip asymmetry is a possibility
– Removal of implants is difficult.
Are you a good candidate for a lip enhancement?
– Good candidates for lip enhancement want to plump up thin lips or create a fuller look. If you smile and your top lip or both lips disappear, you may benefit from lip augmentation.
– Some techniques can improve uneven lips, the shape of your mouth and gum-show when you smile.
– On the other hand, if your lips are too large and overwhelm your face, speak to your plastic surgeon about lip reduction surgery.
How is a lip enhancement procedure performed?
Injections – fat transfer
In fat transfer, autologous fat (fat from your own body) can be taken via liposuction from another area of your body and injected into your lips. Injections may need to be repeated until you get the desired result.
Injections – fillers
Fillers made from natural or synthetic biocompatible material acts as a fat substitute to plump up the lip. One treatment is usually sufficient to produce the desired result. The results, however, may be temporary and require repeat injections.
Surgery – dermal graft
A permanent method of augmenting the lips is accomplished by surgically advancing the lip forward, with incisions placed inside the mouth. A dermal-fat graft, taken from the deeper layers of the skin, may then be positioned under the mucosa (the lining of the lip) to add additional plumpness.
Surgery – vermillion advancement This procedure involves making an incision along the border of the colored portion of the lips, removing a strip of skin outside the border and then pulling the colored portion to increase the area of the lips.
Surgery – lip implant
Lip implants can be inserted through tiny incisions inside the corners of the mouth. There are many natural or synthetic implant options available. Your surgeon will discuss which option is best for you.
Surgery – lip lift
Removing extra skin and lifting the lips will help those with loose skin or those who have a downward sloping mouth. To increase the upper lip, an incision is made under the nose and the skin is shortened to pull up the lips. Other lift techniques can shorten the upper lip to expose more teeth. To lift a downward turning mouth, small incisions are made on the side of the mouth and the extra skin is removed. Very small sutures are used for this procedure and removed four to five days later.
How do I prepare for a lip enhancement procedure?
– Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to promote better healing
– Avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that can cause
– Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important before and after
surgery for safe recovery
Lip enhancement is usually performed on an outpatient basis. If you are having a surgical procedure, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.
Aftercare and Recovery
Immediately after lip enhancement (surgical)
You will experience postoperative bruising and swelling, with mild to moderate discomfort for a day or two. A cold compress can be applied to the operative site to reduce swelling, bruising and pain.
You may be restricted to a liquid-only diet for one or two days. You will most likely be mobile the day of your surgery, but your activities will be restricted.
Recovery time frame
It is vitally important that you follow all patient care instructions provided by your surgeon. This will include information about wearing compression garments, care of your drains if placed, taking an
antibiotic if prescribed and the level and type of activity that is safe. Your surgeon will also provide detailed instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
The first two weeks
– You should be able to return to work and other normal activities within a week.
– Stitches are removed in four to six days; sutures placed inside the mouth will dissolve in a similar
period of time.
– You may be restricted to a soft diet for up to ten days.
Week two to eight
– After four to six weeks, vigorous physical activity can be resumed.
How Long Will the Results Last?
– Fat injections may require multiple injections but could lead to permanent lip enhancement.
– Filler injections results depend on the type of filler used. Some fillers last from three to six months,
while others last almost a year.
– Dermal grafting, lip implants, lip lifting, and vermillion advancement provide essentially permanent
Limitations and Risks
– Adverse reaction to anesthesia
– Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
– Changes in sensation
– Allergic reactions
– Damage to underlying structures
– Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures.