Modern lip augmentation techniques allow you to plump up your pout in as little as 30 minutes. Fuller lips can be achieved through the use of lip implants or injectable fillers, with temporary, long-lasting, or permanent results.
Injectable lip augmentation involves the use of fillers which plump up the lips. During this brief outpatient procedure, the cosmetic surgeon carefully injects these fillers into the patient’s lips to create an even, natural look. This is the least invasive lip augmentation technique.
Today’s injectable fillers can be as temporary or as permanent as you desire. Most lips fillers can be categorized as collagen-based or hyaluronic acid-based.
Collagen is a naturally-occurring substance in the body which plumps up the skin for a youthful appearance. Collagen lip injections plump the lips while leaving them soft and supple.
Collagen-based fillers are derived from human, porcine, or bovine collagen. Results typically last 4 – 6 months. Patients are advised to undergo an allergy test before receiving collagen injections.
Though the results are relatively short-lasting, patients enjoy the natural look and feel of collagen lip enhancement. Some of the most common collagen-based lip injections include Zyderm, Zyplast, Cymetra, Dermalogen, Fascian, and the semi-permanent Artecoll.
Hyaluronic acid is another naturally-occurring substance found in the joints. It works by attracting water, making the surrounding tissues moist, plump and cushiony. Some common brands of hyaluronic acid-based fillers are Restylane, Perlane, Dermalive, and Rejuvederm.
Results are typically longer-lasting than those produced by collagen fillers, and the chance of an allergic reaction is much lower. Still, patients should expect to have follow-up treatments every 4 – 6 months to maintain their lip enhancements.
Other injections, such as silicone oil, are not approved by the FDA and have been linked to scarring and other complications. Silicone oil injections have also proven to be difficult or impossible to reverse. Ask your doctor to recommend the best lip filler to meet your needs.
Lip implants offer a more permanent solution than fillers. The FDA has approved many permanent lip implants, including GoreTex, Advanta, SoftForm, and UltraSoft. These tiny implants have the consistency of soft foam rubber. Though they can remain in the lips indefinitely, they can easily be removed should complications arise.
During lip implant augmentation, the surgeon creates four tiny incisions at the corners of the mouth – two on the top lip, and two on the bottom. The implants are inserted through these incisions and eased into place. The incisions are then closed with small stitches.
While lip implants do involve a longer and more painful recovery period than injections, most patients report the discomfort as minimal and easily controlled. Both procedures are performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia.
Some risks associated with lip augmentation include allergic reaction, scarring, slow healing, or an uneven appearance caused by clumping fillers or migrating implants. Ideally, candidates for lip augmentation should be in good general health and should be familiar with potential complications.
Lip augmentation varies in price from $300 per injection to over $2,000 for permanent implants. Prices vary by location.
If you’d like to know more about surgical lip enhancement, contact a board-certified cosmetic surgeon to discuss your options and expectations.
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