lip augmentation

What is permanent lip augmentation?

Dr. Eman Kotb

Dr. Eman Kotb is an aesthetic dermatology specialist qualified with an MS in Dermatology, Venereology and Andrology from Alexandria University, Egypt, and a Board Certification in Aesthetic Medicine from the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine.

What is Lip Augmentation?

Evenly and naturally plump full lips are a facial feature that many people desire, but not everyone is fortunate enough to have full lips. The good news, however, is that in today's tech-driven world, nothing is impossible. Lip augmentation is a type of cosmetic procedure that allows you to have full, curvaceous lips. But what exactly is lip augmentation, lip fillers or for that matter, plumping? What do these processes involve? 

Lip Augmentation:

Lip augmentation, which can be done in several ways, is a type of medical cosmetic procedure that aims to alter the appearance and shape of the lips to quite an extent by increasing their “fullness”.

The most common lip augmentation process is the lip filler, a process that involves injecting dermal fillers in and around the mouth. These fillers contain hyaluronic acid, a natural substance in the body that helps increase the volume of the lips.

While the lip filling process is temporary, there is a more permanent option known as lip implants, which involve using soft but solid silicone implants shaped like natural lips. Then, there are other options such as fat grafting and tissue grafting. Let us study all these methods in a bit more detail.

Lip Fillers:

There are many types of fillers, the most common type of fillers used for lip augmentation is hyaluronic acid, a natural substance in the body that helps increase the volume.

 In the lip filler augmentation process, the doctor needs to assess the symmetry and shape of your lips and overall facial balance. Based on this, it is decided which areas of the lips need to be fuller and plumper. Fillers are then injected into either or both, the upper and lower lips. The gel in the filler supports and shapes the lip tissues.

The lip filler augmentation procedure, which is an in-office process, takes about 15-30 minutes, allowing you to go home the same day. It is also a temporary solution that lasts between only six to eight months.

Lip Implants:

A more permanent option, implants are positioned underneath the lip fat and above the lip muscles, in a thin tunnel that the surgeon creates to accommodate the implant. Usually, surgeons choose the corners of the mouth to make the incisions, but they may zero-in on somewhere else on the lips, depending on the specific technique being used. 

Three types of lip implants are the most popular: GORE-TEX, SoftForm, and AlloDerm. It takes about half an hour to complete this in-office procedure, and you are then sent home the same day.

Fat, Tissue Grafting:

A third method, called autologous lip augmentation, is using your own fat and tissues to add fullness. As in the first two options, this procedure is also an in-office procedure. Fat grafting involves fat harvested from your abdomen. The procedure, performed under local anaesthesia, takes about 60-90 minutes. Lips augmented with fat stay plump for five years or longer.

Tissue grafting involves using dermis or deeper layer of the skin, usually from the abdominal wall or scalp, some times the tissue is harvested as a by product of other operation(abdominal reduction, breast reduction, face lift). This too takes about an hour, with the results lasting for up to five years.

Lip fillers are the least expensive option, while fat and tissue grafting procedures the most costly. Regardless, a difference can be immediately noticed in all cases.

The lips should feel natural on healing, though it is advisable to avoid lipstick or similar products after the procedure. One of the main benefits of these two procedures is that you seldom have an allergic reaction or reject the tissue as the fat or tissue is taken from your own body.

Hyaluronic Acid Filler Benefits:

Hyaluronic acid fillers have several advantages:

  • Hyaluronic acid fillers stimulate new collagen, give volume and soften fine lines.
  • The doctor can control the volume of substance injected, and thus control the lip volume.
  • Injections can be staggered till desired results achieved.
  • Lumps created by lip movement can be dissolved easily.
  • Bruising is less compared to other dermal fillers.
  • Reasonably lasting results, though not permanent.
  • An allergic reaction is unlikely as hyaluronic acid fillers are made from substances similar to those found in the body. But the doctor should be told if you are allergic to lidocaine.

Implant Benefits:

The primary benefit of permanent lip augmentation is that they are permanent. This method provides longer-lasting effects than temporary fillers, which are eventually absorbed into the body. Apart from providing permanent lip augmentation, the results are more refined than dermal lip fillers, making them a good option for individuals with thin lips. 

Choosing Your Doctor:

An important consideration while opting for lip augmentation is to choose the right surgeon. You must find a qualified doctor who is especially adept in administering injections. This is because it will reduce the possibility of disfiguring your lips and face. 

Several types of specialists can perform lip augmentation, including plastic surgeons, dermatologists and cosmetic facial surgeons; How do you decide who to go to? 

When it comes to finalising the right surgeon, what becomes essential is the doctor’s training and education, the number of procedures they have completed, and whether they are a certified member of the speciality’s medical association.

It might also be a good idea to check before-and-after photographs of patients the doctor has previously treated. Fortunately, healthcare providers like Medcare Hospitals & Medical Centres employ skilled surgeons that are capable of performing lip implant procedure.

The Prerequisites:

While the doctor can advise you on the right lip augmentation options, you on your part must come clean with them. As mentioned earlier, if you are allergic to lidocaine, the doctor should be informed before the procedure. The same goes for other known allergies, ongoing medications including prescription and OTC drugs and supplements, and any case of oral herpes in the past.

As for active infections, the procedure is not advised if you have oral herpes, diabetes, lupus and blood-clotting issues. You should also be in good shape and a non-smoker to undergo lip augmentation.

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