Lip augmentation is the process of injecting fillers to enhance the size and shape of the mouth. It can also help reduce fine lines that appear around the lips as we age and skin loses its elasticity. There are two types of injections that are commonly used: implantable and absorbable materials. Implantable materials such as AlloDerm and SoftForm last longer than absorbable materials such as collagen and fat.
Lip Enhancement Techniques
A variety of materials are available for lip augmentation. Natural or synthetic materials may be injected or the patient’s own fat can be harvested for implantation. A single injection often produces the desired result and follow-up treatments may be required to maintain the appearance, especially if the material is absorbable. Donated skin, such as AlloDerm, is formed into a sheet of collagen that is inserted into tiny incisions at the corners of the lips. Other synthetic implant options include Gore-Tex, SoftForm, and Soft ePTFE.
Further Options Include:
- Autologen – patient’s own skin used to make injectable implant.
- Dermalogen – donor tissue used to make Human Tissue Matrix (HTM) implant.
- Fascia – dense white connective tissue used to make injectable implant.
- HylaForm – hyaluronic acid (naturally occurring in the body) is harvested for implantation.
- Radiance – calcium hydroxylapatite used to make injectable implant.
- Restylane – hyaluronic acid (naturally occurring in the body) is harvested for implantation.
Laser rejuvenation can also be used for lip augmentation. The laser tightens naturally occurring collagen and elastic tissue within the mouth.
Benefits of this type of procedure include:
- Immediate return to normal activities for non-surgical procedures.
- Short recovery period (approximately one week) for surgical procedures.
- Lack of tissue rejection when human tissue is used.
- Pliable and natural feel when human tissue is used.
- Permanent results when synthetic implants such as Gore-Tex are used.
- Temporary (reversible) results with collagen and fat injection for patients that are unsure about whether or not they will be happy with the procedure.
Other things to keep in mind when it comes to lip augmentation:
- Allergic reactions such as redness, swelling, or itching can occur. Other side effects such as hematoma formation, excessive bleeding, asymmetry, or movement of the implant may also occur.
- A pre-treatment skin test may be recommended to ensure that patients with a potential allergy will not react negatively to the procedure.
- Patients with active inflammatory skin conditions or infections may be advised to postpone their procedure for a more opportune time.
- Longevity of the injection depends on the type of material used. Collagen provides the shortest results while fat and synthetic materials last the longest.
- Fat injections carry the risks of being lumpy or causing excessive scarring.
- Synthetic materials may be rejected as a foreign body.