As we age, our lips begin to show the effect of gravity and we may notice our smiles narrowing or thinning. Though age and genetics play a key role in the shape and size of the lips, you don’t have to settle for a small smile. For patients wanting fuller, luscious, plump lips, lip augmentation may be the right procedure for you.
What is a Lip Augmentation?
A lip augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic procedures that plastic surgeons perform and is designed to help add fullness and definition to the lips. It can be completed on just the upper or lower lip or both simultaneously depending on the patient’s goal. This procedure can be completed by several methods or techniques such as using dermal fillers, injecting purified fat into the lips, or inserting silicone implants or liquid injectable silicone (ie Silikon 1000) into the lips.
Typically, a lip augmentation is beneficial for anyone who wishes to enhance or replenish fullness into the lips. Patients with diabetes, a history of cold sores, difficulty with blood clotting, and those with certain medical conditions may not be ideal candidates for this procedure but usually can be treated as long as the underlying condition is under control. We always recommend that patients speak with their doctor before proceeding with treatment.
Lip augmentation benefits include instant results, minimal recovery and downtime, and possibly even a reduction in the appearance of fine lines around the mouth. One of the benefits of the lip injection method is the ability to control lip volume making it easier for patients to achieve their desired results within several treatments. Another, often neglected benefit, is that minor asymmetries in either or both lips can be improved by experienced injectors with the injection method.
The specifics of the procedure will depend on the technique you and your doctor decide will work best with your condition and cosmetic goals. Lip augmentations are typically performed in your doctor’s office. Before the procedure, a topical or local numbing agent will be used for patient comfort and safety. Nerve blocking injections may also be given to numb the area but we have found that vibration anesthesia devices work best of all. Here are some specifics for each type of procedure method:
- For patients who selected dermal fillers during their initial consultation, the dermal fillers are prepared and strategically injected into marked points around the lips to create volume.
- For patients who use fat transfer injections, fat is removed from one area of the body, purified, and then injected into the lips to add shape and volume. One of the benefits of using the injection method for lip augmentations is that doctors are able to control lip volume through the gradual pace of treatment, often recommending several treatment sessions for the patient to achieve their desired results.
- When using the silicone implant method, the procedure is may be performed with sedation. Small incisions are made in the corners of the mouth and a pocket is made for the implant. The implants are trimmed to the proper size and positioned accordingly for insertion. Once implanted the incision is closed.
- Liquid injectable silicone (ie Silikon 1000) is an ideal material to achieve PERMANENT results from lip injections. Usually, 2-5 sessions are necessary to achieve the desired results.
The length of your procedure will vary depending on the method used. Typically, injections take a few minutes while implants generally take an hour.
Results and Recovery
Minor swelling, bruising, and pain is to be expected after treatment and should subside within a few days. We recommend patients avoid using any lip or facial products around the treated area and not place unnecessary pressure on your lips. While procedures done via injection offer no downtime, for implants we urge patients to rest for at least a day before returning to work. Scarring can occur with implants but is typically minimal and well concealed at the corner of the mouth.
The results of lip augmentation can be seen immediately after treatment with full results expected a week after treatment once swelling disappears. The longevity of results will depend on the type of augmentation you undergo. Dermal fillers can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on the filler used while the augmentation achieved with implants and Silikon 1000 can last much longer.
As the desire for luscious, plump, and full lips is on the rise, we are committed to helping you achieve all your cosmetic goals. For more information on lip augmentations or to schedule a consultation, please contact Kass Center For Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery today.