What is lip augmentation?
Lip augmentation has become a very popular procedure in facial plastic surgery. Fuller lips are a symbol of youth, health, and sexual vitality. In some of us thin lips may be a family trait. However, thinning of the lips occurs in all of us with advancing age. As lips lose fullness, the corners of the mouth also tend to sag giving a sad appearance to the face. A variety of non-surgical and surgical options are available to enhance the volume and shape of lips.
Lip augmentation with temporary fillers
The most common technique for lip augmentation involves placement of a temporary filler substance into the lips. Traditionally, the only filler substance available was collagen, but today a number of more exciting options are available. The most popular fillers used today include Restylane, Juvederm, Perlane, and fat. Filler techniques for lip augmentation are performed in the office under topical (ice or numbing cream) anesthesia or local anesthesia (small injections to numb the lips). The recovery time for fillers is quite brief and the longevity of the results depends on the type of filler material used to augment the lips, but typically is in the range of 3 to 4 months.
Lip augmentation with injectable micro-implant fillers
Many of these techniques are not yet approved for lip augmentation in the US, but a few of them are on the horizon for being approved by the FDA. Injectable micro-implant fillers are non-absorbable (i.e. permanent) synthetic beads, which are so small that they can be injected into the lips with a needle. All of these fillers have a gelatinous component in which the beads are suspended and which gradually absorbs, much the same way as temporary fillers. The combination of the synthetic beads that will stay permanently and some collagen production surrounding these beads will produce the permanent lip augmentation.
Lip augmentation with surgical implants
Lip implants typically last longer than fillers and are able to produce a more dramatic degree of augmentation. Implants are performed either under local anesthesia or using IV sedation. They typically require a few days of recovery since there will be a moderate amount of lip swelling for the first 2-3 days. The most common lip implants are Gore-Tex (also known as Softform or Advanta) implants, dermal grafts (derived from the patient's skin), and fat implants.
Lip augmentation with fat injections
Unwanted fatty tissue is gently removed from the patient (usually from the belly or sides of the thigh) and is injected as completely natural filler. The technique is known as fat grafting, fat injections, or fat transfer. There are no incisions on the lip, and the injected fat typically has a soft and natural feel. A portion of the injected fat goes away over time but some of the fat will stay permanently. Fat injections may be repeated over time to gradually increase the permanent portion of the fat.
Lip lift and corner of mouth lift
The lip lift procedure may be used to shorten an excessively long and thin upper lip. This procedure involves removal of skin in a hidden location under the nose. The corner of mouth lift procedure addresses drooping of the mouth corners, a telltale sign of aging. Dr. Movagharnia uses an innovative yet simple approach to surgical lip lifts, which may be performed in our office under local anesthesia.
For more information about lip augmentation call our office at 770-951-7595.