Lip augmentation is the enlargement of the lips in order to create a fuller, more youthful look, and to reduce wrinkles around the lips. This is often accomplished through the injection of either natural or synthetic fillers. However, more permanent surgical solutions are available.
Am I a candidate for lip augmentation?
Women with thin lips or who have developed wrinkles around the lips are candidates for lip augmentation.
Wrinkles around the lips can form as a result of smoking, sun damage, and aging. This area is difficult to address with a facelift, so it is best targeted by lip augmentation.
Augmentation of the lips is often done to enhance the result of other procedures such as the LiteLift™, a facelift, or other facial surgery.
How is lip augmentation done?
Patients have many options when it comes to lip augmentation, and our highly skilled staff and surgeons can help you select the option that is right for you. Your general choices are between natural fillers, synthetic fillers or implants, and surgery.
A popular option for lip augmentation is injection with one’s own body fat, transferred from another part of the body. Your own collagen can also be injected. These injections require more than one treatment to provide long-lasting results.
Lip augmentation options
Lip augmentation patients today have a wide selection of injectables and implants made of natural and synthetic materials.
With such a wide variety of treatments and procedures available, the most important decision lip augmentation patients make is selecting the best doctor. The most skilled and highly trained expert will help the patient choose the option that is right for them. And, of course, the most skilled doctors will provide the best results with that filler or implant.
- AlloDerm—is donated dermis that is medically prepared for insertion as a filler. It is placed under the skin much like Gore-Tex or Softform but is not synthetic and it is replaced by the bodies’ own collagen over time.
- Autologen—is made from the patient’s own skin. It is your own collagen that seems to give a 70% correction after about 3 treatments over 2 or 3 months. It can be stored for one year.
- Fat—may be more permanent than collagen. It can give excellent results in most parts of the face but seems to be the least reliable in the lips. As with most “fillers,” more than one treatment is usually required.
- Dermalogen—an injectable human substance obtained from donor tissue and processed by a patented method to provide a product similar to dermis (the second layer of the skin). Dermalogen may require two to three treatments over a three-month period followed by less frequent treatments. This product provides another alternative to collagen injections.
- Goretex—is a synthetic implant that can be placed in the lips as strands or threads. Other sizes and shapes are available for use in other parts of the face such as the cheeks. It is relatively simple to place and is permanent. This may leave the lips feeling more firm than other methods.
- Juvederm™—is the latest technology of dermal fillers; it may be used to replenish the lips or other areas where youthful fullness may have faded. It is made from a compound that naturally occurs in the body, known as hyaluronic acid, which fills in the space between collagen and elastin fibers of the skin. As the skin ages, the presence of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid is reduced, creating a loss of volume in the skin. The effects of Juvederm™ are often long lasting and following injection, the area can actually be molded to create the desired natural look. It is commonly used for lipstick lines and lip plumping.
- Softform is another synthetic alternative that may be inserted in certain areas of the face. It is permanent and is another alternative to collagen, fat, etc. It may be slightly visible or palpable.
These procedures can create permanent improvements in the appearance of your lips. They are usually brief with quick recovery although some swelling may persist for several weeks. The overall costs may be less than repeated collagen or fat injections. As with all surgery, some scars may be visible depending on the technique and placement of incisions.
- Lip lifts use a small incision at the lip line, raising the lip to show more red. This can create a fuller red upper lip.
- Lip shortening employs small incisions placed at the base of the nose under the nostrils. This shortens the distance between the nose and the upper lip and may also allow the lip to “roll out”, creating a more pouty look.
- Lip thickening can be created with small incisions placed inside of the lip to roll out the lip. This thickens the lip and also creates more pouting. Healing may take a number of weeks and sometimes the sensation of the lips are altered, although the changes are temporary for most patients.
Lip wrinkles may occur around the upper lip and sometimes around the chin (the perioral area). Smoking sundamage, and aging can contribute to these changes. These areas do not respond to facelifts and need one of the treatments listed below to achieve an improvement.
- Botox™ is one of the newest ways of dealing with wrinkles. When injected along the lip line, it can soften tight lines and enhance laser peels. Botox™ is a purified nerve blocker which has been used for more than ten years to treat eye muscle spasms in thousands of patients. In the last several years it has been used for cosmetic patients to diminish wrinkles. Botox™ may require several injections to obtain the desired effect Additional injections are needed at two to three month intervals to maintain the results.
- Dermabrasion is a standard technique used for many years to actually “sand” away lines and scars. As with chemical peels, changes in skin pigment may occur. The results around the mouth have generally been extremely effective.
- Chemical peels have also been used commonly for years to peel off the outer layers of skin. The peels can be superficial or deeper. Aggressive peeling has been associated with permanent color changes of the skin, however many patients have been satisfied with the improved smoothness of their skin.
- Laser peels may currently provide the safest most consistent results in achieving smooth skin. Prolonged redness has been a problem for some patients in the past, however, newer lasers and post treatment skin care are also providing quicker, better results. Lasers have largely replaced the other methods of smoothing skin and reducing fine wrinkles.
Recovery and results
Lip augmentation patients can generally return to daily activities right way, although one day of rest may be advisable if sedation was used.
For further information
For more information on lip augmentation and enhancement options, please call our office to talk to an expert at (714) 902-1100. You can also get in touch with us through our online contact form.