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Lip augmentation is a procedure that enhances the appearance of the lips. Fuller lips are either achieved through the surgical placement of implants in the lips or minimally-invasive injectable fillers. The best option for lip augmentation varies based on each patient’s specific goals.
Alloderm is collagen that is derived from deceased humans. It is implanted into the lip through a series of small incisions. Its results typically last no longer than a year.
Fat grafting uses a patient’s own fat and is either injected or surgically implanted into their lips. The fat is obtained following liposuction elsewhere on the body. Some patients may attain permanent results from fat grafting; however, there is always a possibility that the body will reabsorb the fat.
Injectable fillers provide a minimally-invasive option for patients seeking fuller lips. Restylane, Hylaform, collagen or other fillers may be injected into the lips. The results of injectable fillers typically last a few months. The exact injectable filler to be used differs for each patient.
Surgical lip augmentation takes about two hours to perform, during which local anesthesia is used. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, small incisions are made in the lip through which the implants are then inserted. When lip augmentation surgery is complete, absorbable sutures are used to close the incisions.
Injectable fillers can be administered after a topical anesthetic has been applied to the area(s) to be treated. The injections only take a few minutes and require no stitches afterwards.
Candidates for lip augmentation must be in good overall health, with no cold sores. In addition, they must not have any scarring on their lips. It is important that patients considering lip augmentation have reasonable expectations about the procedure and its results.
Surgical lip augmentation typically requires three days of at-home recovery; during this time, soft foods are recommended. For the first two weeks after surgery, exercise is to be avoided. Most patients see a full return to regular activities within two weeks after their lip augmentation procedure.
Patients that have received injectable fillers may return to work immediately. Any areas treated may be swollen or bruised over the next few days. To promote healing, patients should refrain from exercise for the first few days after injectable fillers.
As with other surgical procedures, there are certain risks associated with lip augmentation surgery. These may include allergic reactions to the implants or anesthesia, hardening of the implants, bleeding, or nerve damage.
Injectable fillers are relatively safe. In extremely rare cases, patients may experience temporary facial numbness or paralysis, itching, bleeding, acne, excessive or insufficient correction of wrinkles, infection, or swelling.
You can always minimize the occurrence of complications by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for your procedure.
To determine candidacy for lip augmentation, you will meet with a plastic surgeon. They will review your medical history and examine your lips. Depending on your specific goals, either minimally-invasive or surgical options will be recommended for your lip augmentation. Your plastic surgeon will address any questions you may have about the procedure and provide you with preparatory instructions.