LIP AUGMENTATION / REDUCTION
Lip Augmentation is the procedure which uses synthetic or biological products or surgical
restructuring to enhance the lips in many ways. Augmentation can be achieved by many
procedures, some better than others. The ideal lip filler would be soft, pliable and permanent,
yet removable, inexpensive and cause NO complications in any patient. At this time and
moment that just isn’t possible. However, doctors try their best with what is available. Lip
Augmentation will increase the fullness of your upper lip, lower lip, or both. It will not improve
problems with lipstick bleed along your wrinkles.
Lip reduction is a surgical procedure done in patients with full lips who desire slender and thin
lips instead of an excessive pout.
CANDIDATE FOR LIP ENHANCEMENT:
For persons with small, deflated lips, asymmetry, reconstructive needs, dropping or sagging
upper lip, lack of color, wrinkling from smoking or aging and other complaints. If you wish to
augment, alter, resize, reshape or lift your lips, you may be a good candidate for lip
Only a qualified medical professional can determine this after speaking to you as well as
going over your medical history, examining your lips and skin. You must realize that no one
can perform miracles but a highly skilled surgeon or injector can transform what you do have
into a more balanced look altogether. Patients must have patience and understanding as well
as discipline to follow post-operative protocol to increase their chances of a positive outcome.
RISKS & COMPLICATIONS:
The commonest complications are irritation, infection, extrusion, migration and re-
absorption. Other complications are specific to the materials used.
Lip augmentation is an office procedure.
It performed under local anesthesia with sedation.
Operating time varies from procedure to procedure depending on the option used for lip
augmentation. It can vary from as little as 15 – 20 mins. with fillers to 1 – 2 hours for
autologous fat injection.
Augmentation materials are available in liquid form for injection or sheet form for surgical
placement. If sheets of material are used, which are explained below, small incisions will be
made at the corners of your mouth. The sheets of material will then be threaded through your
lips to provide smooth, even augmentation. The incisions are usually hidden inside your
Options for Lip Augmentation:
A variety of materials and implants have been tried to augment the lips. We have listed the
ones which are the most popular and have stood the test of times in many ways.(read FAQ)
Available implants for lip augmentation can be classified as liquid form or sheet form. Liquid
collagen injections were once the mainstay of lip augmentation, but they lost favor due to
short-lived effects (they lasted no more than 6 weeks). Some implants for lip augmentation
are in sheet form. The three options for this are Alloderm, Dermaplant, fascia, or Gore-Tex.
Newer injectable options include Restylane, which has the consistency of gel and lasts 6-9
months; or Radiance, which has the consistency of toothpaste and lasts 3-5 years.
Finally, your own fat can be used for lip augmentation. This has the benefit of being easily
accepted by your body and of giving a permanent natural result. (See below).
Alloderm and Dermaplant:
Alloderm and Dermaplant are freeze-dried collagen that is prepared in sheet form. The
implant is obtained from deceased human donors. Its placement results in soft, natural, and
pliable lips. Drawbacks are that it will shrink over the course of a year. At the end of a year
(and sometimes sooner) you will look as you did prior to your lip augmentation surgery. Due
to its ease of placement and consistent results, sheet collagen is the lip implant material of
choice for many plastic surgeons. Its temporary effect, however, has left plastic surgeons to
continue to search for a longer lasting alternative.
Fascia is dense white connective tissue that envelops your muscles. In many areas of the
body, such area is the scalp above either ear, fascia can be harvested for cosmetic use.
Disadvantages of fascia are that it necessitates surgery for harvest, hence another area of
discomfort and potential complications. Also, fascia will shrink and become absorbed by your
body within six to 12 months. The cost of this procedure is similar to that of Alloderm
Gore-Tex is a cross between cloth and rubber and is used to make high-quality raincoats and
other breathable, water-resistant outdoor gear. Gore-Tex may be slightly stiff, but most
recipients become accustomed to this. One advantage over Alloderm and Dermaplant is that
Gore-Tex will never shrink and will always maintain its size. One disadvantage is that it may
potentially push its way out of your lips.
Fat can be harvested from your body and injected into your lips for augmentation. When
performed using careful technique by a skilled surgeon, the results can be smooth and
lasting. There will be some initial shrinkage during the first 3 months. Thereafter, your result
will be permanent.
Drawbacks of this technique are that few surgeons are skilled in it; swelling and bruising may
last 2-3 weeks; and there is a limit to how large the lips can be made. However, because the
results are lasting, this is becoming the most reliable option for lip augmentation.
THE RECOVERY PERIOD:
You may return to your regular routine immediately following lip augmentation, unless you
were sedated. If you were sedated, then you may resume your usual activities the following
day. Swelling and bruising last for 3 days to one week. Discomfort is minimal, and
prescription pain medication is often not required.
THE NEW LOOK:
Full, luscious lips have always been sought after, regardless of age. Lip augmentation has
become popular due to the impressive cosmetic results possible through this relatively simple
procedure. However, because the ideal implant material has not yet been identified, plastic
surgeons continue to research this area. Fat injection, in the hands of an experienced
surgeon, shows the best and longest lasting results.