Lip Augmentation

1 What is a Lip Augmentation?

Read on to learn more about lip augmentation. There are many options to improve the appearance of the lips.

The patient must be in good general health overall. If the patient is having current cold sores, certain diseases such as diabetes or lupus, any scarring of the lips or blood clotting problems he/she is not a good candidate for the procedure.

The patient and a doctor decide together which option best suits his needs.

These are the options:

1. Injections – procedure is performed on an outpatient basis in doctor's office or an outpatient center and patient will be sent home the same day.

  • Artecoll – Synthetic material that plumps up the lips but because it is synthetic, patients are at higher risk of having an allergic reaction to it than if the patient got an injection of collagen or fat, but it lasts longer than either.
  • Autologen – An injection of patients own collagen, extracted from another place on patient’s body so there is no risk of allergic reaction, however, the results are only temporary.
  • Collagen – Can be extracted from cows and injected into the lips but there is a risk of allergic reaction and the results are temporary lasting four weeks to three months.
  • Dermalogen – Collagen extracted from deceased human donors and this is also a temporary fix, but the body should not reject it.
  • Fascia – Specific type of connective tissue harvested either from patient’s body or from a deceased human donor who can be implanted surgically or injected, the main drawback is that within a year of injection, the body will reabsorb the fascia.
  • Fat – From patient’s thighs or abdomen can be injected into lips so there is no risk of allergic reaction and results may be permanent, it can be also implanted surgically but if the patient gains weight, the lips may enlarge since the fat cells will get bigger.
  • Hylaform – Material created from natural body substances (hyaluronic acid) so there is no risk of infection, but the patient will need to be repeated treatments to maintain the result as it is only a temporary fix.
  • Restylane – Clear gel that contains hyaluronic acid and it is biodegradable, so the body will absorb it within about six months of the injection.

2. Lip implants and surgeries – This procedure can take up to two hours at doctor's office or outpatient center, depending on the complexity, and the patient will be sent home the same day.

  • Alloderm – Sheet of collagen created from deceased humans which the surgeon inserts through tiny incisions made on the inside part of the lip, this material offers only a temporary fix, lasting up to 12 months.
  • Fat grafting – Surgeon inserts patient’s own fat into lips to achieve the desired fullness and may achieve permanent results, but sometimes the body will reabsorb it.
  • Goretex, SoftForm and soft ePTFE – Synthetic materials that can achieve a permanent result but because they are synthetic, there is a risk of allergic reaction.
  • Local flap grafts –Surgeon takes tissue and skin from the inside flap of patient’s mouth so it is far more invasive than any other technique, and is often the last resort among plastic surgeons.

The patient’s recovery can take up to two weeks after the surgery, it will be necessary to take some time off work (at least three days off from work) and a patient may not be able to exercise for a few days after injections and perhaps for a few weeks after surgical implants.