Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure used to increase the size of the lips through surgery or injections. This procedure can be performed on the upper or lower lip, or both at the same time, and may offer temporary or permanent results depending on the type of material used. Most patients desiring larger, fuller lips are able to achieve their desired results with just one simple procedure.
Fuller lips can be achieved through several different cosmetic techniques. The best procedure for you depends on your overall health and desired results, along with several other determining factors. Your doctor will discuss these factors with you to help you decide which treatment option is best for you to achieve the full lips you desire.
Lip Augmentation Options
Most lip augmentation options involve an injection of a facial filler to increase the size of the lips, although implants may be used as well. Some of the options commonly used for lip augmentation include:
- Collagen injections
- Patient’s own fat from another area of the body
- Artecoll injections (synthetic material)
- Autologen injections (patient’s own collagen from another area)
- Dermalogen injections (donor material)
- Fascia injections (donor material)
- Hylaform injections (similar to natural hyaluronic acid)
- Restylane injections (similar to natural hyaluronic acid)
Each of these different types of lip augmentation offer patients some kind of benefits over others. You can discuss these options further with your doctor in order to determine which procedure is best for you.
Lip Augmentation Procedure
Lip augmentation procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and can usually be done in your doctor’s office in less than an hour. Anesthesia may or may not be used for this procedure, depending on how the procedure is performed. Injections may only require a topical anesthetic, while implants usually require a local or general anesthesia. An allergy test may be needed if synthetic materials are being used, to ensure that the patient is not allergic to the material.
Once anesthesia is applied and the risk of allergies is eliminated, the filler is injected directly into the lips through a minimally invasive procedure that takes just a few minutes to perform. Proper placement is important in order to achieve optimal results.
For lip implants, the synthetic implants are inserted into the lips through tiny incisions at the corners of the lips. The most commonly used implants include Gore-Tex, SoftForm and AlloDerm. Once inserted, your doctor will close the incisions with stitches, and the implants will remain in place with permanent results.
Lip Augmentation Results and Recovery
After a lip augmentation, patients may experience mild discomfort and swelling for a few days, although these side effects usually subside on their own. The lips may appear to be overfilled at first, since some materials, such as collagen, lose much of their volume within a very short period of time. The exact results for your procedure will depend upon the type of augmentation performed and your desired results, although most patients are satisfied with their results.
Most patients can return to work and other normal activities within one to two days after the procedure, although exercise and other strenuous activities should be avoided for a bit longer. Recovery from fat grafting procedures may take longer.
Depending on the type of material used, patients may require multiple treatments over time to maintain their desired results. Many injectable materials, especially natural ones, are not immune to the effects of aging and will gradually deplete.
Lip Augmentation Risks
Although lip augmentation is considered a safe procedure, there are certain risks associated with any surgical procedure. These risks may include bleeding, infection, asymmetry, numbness, nerve damage, swelling and scarring. Most patients undergo this procedure with no complications.
You can reduce the risk of complications by choosing a doctor who is skilled and experienced in performing this procedure.