Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that makes lips appear fuller and increases the vertical height of the red portion of the lip itself. This is accomplished by tunneling either a patient’s own tissue or an implant beneath the surface of the lip. Implants may be solid (e.g., Gore-Tex™, etc.) or an injectable gel.
Injectable dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acid (e.g., Restylane, Juvederm Ultra Plus, Juvederm Volbella) are most commonly used for lip augmentation. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body that can improve the appearance of your lips, adding shape, structure, and volume.
For the most part, injectable fillers are temporary, often requiring repeat lip injections every 6-18 months in order to maintain the effect. Generally, they have more favorable profiles regarding longevity, safety, and overall effectiveness.
There are a few temporary side effects to treatment including:
- Swelling and bruising
- Redness and tenderness at the injection site
- Reactivation of cold sores or fever blisters (herpes simplex) of the lips or area surrounding the lips
Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body, so the risk of an allergic reaction is unlikely.
While all of the fillers are injected the same way and give similar results, some contain lidocaine, a local anesthetic. If you are allergic to lidocaine, let your doctor know during your consultation or before treatment.
For 5 days before the procedure, you should avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications to limit bruising after the procedure.
Lip augmentation with injectable fillers can be performed in your doctor’s office with little to no downtime.
Before dermal fillers are administered, a topical anesthetic cream is applied to your face. While Dr. Pero is injecting the fillers with a very fine cannula, his assistant may apply acupressure to various points on your face to help decrease the sensation of the filler as it is being applied.
Patients should avoid touching the area, applying lipstick or other lip products for the day of the procedure.
Results are immediate with dermal fillers. Swelling lasts 5-7 days, after which the long term results are visible.
Dr. Pero does not use synthetic implants for lip augmentation due to problems with migration or extrusion of the implant, infection or other reaction to the implant.
The desire for permanent, natural appealing fuller appearing lips can be accomplished via surgical lip augmentation.
The choice of donor site for a patient’s own tissue to graft to the lips depends on many factors such as the amount of augmentation desired, other procedures being performed at the same time and patient desire. The procedure is performed under sedation or general anesthesia, depending upon the patient and the surgeon’s preference.