Lip Augmentation - Cosmetic Treatments Guide

Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that is used to create plump, full lips whilst reducing the appearance of small wrinkles that appear around the mouth with age. To achieve this, the lips are injected with either a synthetic material, such as collagen, or with fat from elsewhere on the body. Both of these fillers are gradually absorbed once injected and so to maintain the effects of lip augmentation, the procedure must be repeated regularly. These days, there are more long-lasting fillers available including AlloDerm, which is an implant as opposed to an injection.

The lip augmentation possibilities

There are a number of different types of lip augmentation procedures, each advertising different benefits.

One style of lip augmentation employs human-based collagen. This filler is rather popular as collagen is a natural component that makes up a lot of our connective tissue. When injecting human-based collagen, the filler forms a compatibility with the naturally present collagen in the lips to give a relatively long-lasting result of more than four months. You should note that at first, the lip will appear overfilled with the collagen due to a low level of initial absorption. However, over time which each successive treatment, the effects will be more normal looking and can last longer and longer.

Alternatively, you may choose to have bovine-based collagen lip augmentation. It is key that prior to undergoing this procedure that you are tested for any allergies to the collagen. Allergies are not uncommon as the collagen is sourced from cows. The process is very similar to the human-based collagen augmentation so long as you are not allergic.

Another type of lip augmentation uses hyaluronic acid. During this cosmetic procedure, your surgeon will inject a solution containing hyaluronic acid into the lips. This solution consists of polysaccharide, which is carbohydrate that is also naturally present in humans. This lip augmentation technique is generally known to last longer than collagen-based injections, which is reflected somewhat in the increasing levels of popularity.

If you desire lip augmentation but without synthetic products being injected, you may wish to try fat transfer augmentation. This cosmetic procedure involves your surgeon removing fat from areas of your body where it is not needed or in excess. This fat is there prepared to make it suitable to be injected into your lips. The method of fat preparation determines the length of time that the results will last.

An option that avoids injecting filler overall is augmentation by lip implants. These can be composed of a number of different materials. To insert these fillers, small incisions are made at the corner of the lips to minimise scarring. The implant is then inserted and manoeuvred into a suitable location to give an attractive result. This result lasts a lot longer than fillers, as they cannot be absorbed into the body, however the procedure is more invasive.

Benefits of lip augmentation

There are numerous benefits of lip augmentation procedures. For a start, due to the limited invasiveness of the filler procedure, you are able to return to your everyday life almost immediately. The recovery period can be longer for implant procedures; however generally speaking, it is still within a week of the surgery.

With implants, such as AlloDerm, patients are not required to undergo any surgery to obtain donor filler tissue. Also, they feel rather natural and are pliable so complement your everyday life activities like eating and talking.

Filler lip augmentation procedures like collagen or fat may be a good idea for those who are not 100% set on permanently altering the appearance of their lips. These fillers are temporary and can give you an idea of how your lips could look should you choose to later undergo a more permanent procedure, such as a Gore-Tex implant.

Risks of lip augmentation

The risks generally associated with lip augmentation are relatively few and far between. Often any adverse effects that do occur are not serious and are frequently temporary.

Temporary side effects include swelling that can last up to a week as well as bleeding. These are localised to the area where the filler has been injected. Another temporary possibility is a loss of feeling and sensation, if this is suffered, you should consult your surgeon.

Alternative risks that lip augmentation carries can be the appearance of scars, vulnerability to cold sores (which once obtained will appear occasionally throughout life) and infections. Also, implants may cause some discomfort for a few days after they have been inserted into the lips.

A more serious risk associated with lip augmentation is an allergic reaction, although this can often be prevented by a skin test prior to undergoing the surgery. Other more significant risks to be considered are more associated with implants. These include obvious asymmetry as well as the implant migrating in the lip and potentially extruding giving an unattractive, unnatural appearance.