What Is Lip Augmentation?
Lip augmentation is an in-office cosmetic procedure that can give you fuller, plumper, more youthful-looking lips by adding volume to thinning lips, creating a more youthful appearance.
Some procedures are nonsurgical, using fillers to plump up the lips temporarily. Others involve small incisions in your lips or face for longer-lasting results.
There are several types of lip augmentation, including lip fillers, implants, fat transfers and lip lifts. Recovery time, results and possible risks vary with each procedure.
Injectable dermal filler is the most commonly used method of lip augmentation. There are many types of dermal fillers that can be injected in your lips and around your mouth. But the most common fillers today are products that contain substances similar to hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body. It helps increase volume in your lips.
Hyaluronic acid fillers can improve the appearance of your lips by adding:
The effects typically last around six months. After that more injections are needed to keep the volume of your lips.
What Are The Types Of Lip Augmentation?
Types of lip augmentation include:
- Fat grafting (autologous fat injections or fat transfer): A plastic surgeon takes fat from another area of your body — commonly your stomach — purifies it and injects it into your lips.
- Lip fillers: A healthcare provider injects lip filler, also called a dermal filler, into your lips or around your mouth.
- Lip implants: A plastic surgeon makes a small incision in each corner of your mouth and inserts an implant into your lips.
- Lip lift: A plastic surgeon removes excess skin between your nose and upper lip (or the corners of your mouth) to pull up your lips.
What Are The Benefits Of Fillers?
Once injected, the gel in the filler supports and shapes the tissues of the lips. The benefits of using hyaluronic acid fillers include:
- Control over lip volume. The amount of substance injected can be controlled, so the doctor has better control over how much lip volume is created.
- Gradual pace of treatment. The injections can be given gradually during different appointments until the desired results are achieved.
- Bumps dissolve easily. Any lumps and bumps created by movement of the lips can be dissolved easily.
- Less bruising. There may be less bruising and swelling compared to other dermal fillers.
- Reasonably lasting results. The results are reasonably long-lasting, but not permanent.
What Are The Different Type Of Fillers?
Lip fillers that are commonly used contain hyaluronic acid, a natural substance found in your body. There are several hyaluronic acid fillers on the market. Among them are these products: Restylane; Restylane-L; Restylane Silk; Juvederm Ultra; Juvederm Ultra Plus; Juvederm Volbella XC; Belotero Balance; HylaForm; Elevess and Prevelle Silk.
All of these products are injected the same way and give you similar results. Some fillers also contain lidocaine, which numbs your skin to prevent pain or discomfort from the procedure.
What Are The Side Effects Of Fillers?
Side effects of hyaluronic acid fillers are temporary and should only last a few days. They may include: Bleeding from the injection sites; Swelling and bruising; Redness and tenderness at the site of the injection; Reactivation of cold sores or fever blisters (herpes simplex) of the lips or area surrounding the lips
More serious side effects or risks may include: Severe and prolonged swelling or bruising lasting one week to 10 days; Lip asymmetry (parts of lips are different sizes); Lumps and irregularities in the lips; Infection; Injection into a blood vessel, causing tissue loss; Ulceration, scarring, or stiffening of the lip; Allergic reaction causing redness, swelling, or itching around the lips.
What Are The Benefits Of Lip Augmentation?
Lip augmentation gives your lips a fuller, younger look. Depending on which procedure you have, lip augmentation has minimal to no downtime.
Results with some lip augmentation procedures are reversible. If you’re unhappy with the outcome of lip implant surgery, your plastic surgeon can remove the implant. If you have lip fillers, your healthcare provider can dissolve them with hyaluronidase, an enzyme that breaks down hyaluronic acid.
What Are The Risks Or Complications Of Lip Augmentation?
Talk to your plastic surgeon about potential issues after lip augmentation. Your chances for risks and complications go up with surgical lip augmentation. But nonsurgical lip augmentation also has risks.
In general, possible risks and complications include: Allergic reactions like redness and itching; Bleeding; Bruising; Infection; Lip stiffening;
Who’s A Good Candidate For Lip Augmentation?
Your plastic surgeon will help you decide whether you’re a good candidate for lip augmentation and which procedure is right for you.
In most cases, you’re a candidate for lip augmentation if you:
Are in good health.
Don’t smoke or can quit smoking before the procedure.
Don’t have an active infection like a cold sore.
Don’t have a chronic condition like diabetes or lupus.
Have realistic expectations about your results.
How Long Does Lip Augmentation Last?
How long your fuller lips last varies by procedure. For example:
- Lip fillers last six months to a year.
- Fat grafting lasts at least five years.
- A lip lift is permanent.
- Lip implants are permanent but can be removed at any time.
What Is The Best Lip Augmentation Procedure?
The best lip augmentation procedure is different for every person. The right procedure for you depends on your goals and lip shape and size. For example, lip implants or a lip lift may be ideal if you prefer permanent results.
However, implants may not be appropriate for razor-thin or asymmetrical lips. Together with your healthcare provider, you can determine the best approach for you.
What Happens Before Lip Augmentation?
Your plastic surgeon will likely use local anesthesia to numb the area so that you don’t feel any pain. You’ll be awake for the procedure. If you’re having multiple cosmetic surgeries, you may receive general anesthesia and be asleep the entire time.
What To Expect During The Lip Augmentation Procedure?
Injectable lip augmentation techniques can be performed quickly in your doctor’s office with little to no downtime. Fat injection is the exception, since the procedure requires a small area of liposuction to remove the fat from another part of your body before the injection can take place.
Before the injections, a topical or local numbing agent may be applied to ease discomfort. Sometimes, nerve block injections can be given before the treatment to completely numb the lips. This is similar to the anesthetic injections that you get at the dentist to numb your mouth. Holding ice to the lips before injections also helps to numb the area and potentially help with bruising and swelling.
After carefully marking the areas to be injected, very fine needles are used to inject the substance into your lips.
Following injection, ice may be given to ease discomfort and control swelling. But no firm pressure should be put on the treatment area. Lipstick or other lip products are best avoided immediately after the procedure. You should be able to notice a difference immediately. After you have healed, your lips should feel natural.
What Is The Recovery Time?
Recovery time differs depending on the type of lip augmentation you have. With lip fillers, there’s little to no recovery time. With surgical lip augmentation, you may need a few days to several weeks for bruising, redness and swelling to subside.
With nonsurgical lip augmentation, you can typically return to work right away. Surgical lip augmentation may require some downtime. With any lip augmentation procedure, your plastic surgeon may suggest avoiding exercise and other strenuous activities for up to several weeks.