About Lip Enhancement
Lip enhancement, also known as lip injections and lip augmentation.
There are a few options for those who feel their lips are too thin. Natural or synthetic fillers can be injected to help your lips look plump for several months. Other surgical procedures, like lip implants can be performed for a more permanent solution. The cost of this cosmetic procedure will vary depending on which procedure is chosen, which cosmetic surgeon the patient decides to go with as well as which geographic location they are in.
How is it performed?
In your consultation your surgeon will offer you several choices for the method of your treatment Depending on your aesthetic goals.
- Fat Transfer
Autologous fat transfer is when fat is taken from your body (usually via liposuction) and transferred to another part of your body. In this case, it would be to your lips. Injections may need to be repeated until you get the desired result.
Your surgeon may use injectable fillers instead of fat to plump up your lips. You will usually only need one filler treatment for to achieve the desired results. The results however may be temporary and require repeat injections.
- Dermal Graft
A dermal-fat graft can be taken from the deeper layers of the skin and positioned under the lip lining to increase volume.
- Vermillion Advancement
An incision is made along the edge of the lips, to remove a strip of skin. The lips are then stretched over this gap to increase the size of the coloured area. A permanent method of augmenting the lips is accomplished by surgically advancing the lip forward with incisions placed inside the mouth.
- Lip Implant
It is also possible to insert tiny implants in the corner of the mouth. There are many natural or synthetic implant options available.
- Lip Lift
Those with a downward sloping mouth can have the extra skin removed and the lips lifted to return appearance to normal. The upper lips can be increased by making a small cut under the nose and then lifting the lips up to meet it. Other lift techniques can shorten the upper lip to expose more teeth. To lift a downward turning mouth, small incisions are made on the side of the mouth and the extra skin is removed. Your surgeon will use tiny sutures that will be removed after 4 or 5 days.
Silicone injections – patient safety warning
Silicone injections are an unsafe and unacceptable option to use as a filler. These injections are not FDA approved and often offered by unlicensed individuals and should be avoided. Always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon if you have questions about a particular type or brand
What result can I expect?
The results from your lip enhancement procedure depend on the treatment chosen and your reaction to the treatment. Fat injections may require multiple injections but can lead to permanent lip enhancement. Filler injections can last 3-6 months while others may last almost a year. Lip implants, dermal grafting, vermillion advancement and lip lifting essentially provide permanent results. To keep you safe and looking amazing, it’s important that you keep regular check up appointments with your surgeon and follow their prescribed advice carefully. Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon when you have any questions or concerns.
- Some lip injections are temporary and can be modified to your preference.
- Implants and surgical enhancement provide a permanent solution.
- Quick one-day recovery for injections and a week for most lip surgery.
- Temporary fillers will require injections every few months.
- Lip asymmetry is a possibility.
- Removal of implants is difficult.
For the first day or two after surgery, you will experience postoperative swelling and bruising with some pain and discomfort. You should use an ice pack or cold compress to alleviate this. You may be restricted to a liquid-only diet for a couple of days. Although you will typically be mobile on the day of your surgery, your activities will be quite restricted.
It is essential you follow all patient care instructions given to you by your physician. This will usually include information about which compression garments to wear, how to take care of your drains, how to take any antibiotics or painkillers, if prescribed and the level of activity that is safe for you to undertake. Your surgeon should also give you detailed instructions about how to spot any signs of complications. It is important to realize everyone’s body is different and so the amount of time it takes to recover varies between individuals.
The first two weeks
You should be able to return to work and other normal activities within a week. Any stitches or sutures you may have will either be removed within four to six days of your surgery, or will dissolve naturally. You may be restricted to a soft diet for up to ten days.
Week two to eight
You may return to vigorous physical activity four to six weeks after your procedure.
Limits & Risks
Complications from lip enhancement procedures are uncommon. This procedure is usually performed without any major problems. Risks and potential complications of surgery is a subject you should discuss during your consultation. The risks of most surgeries are very similar. You can minimize the risk to you by carefully following the instructions and advice of your plastic surgeon before and after your cosmetic surgery procedure.
Some potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
- Blood clots in your legs or lungs