Lip Augmentation: Are you a Candidate?

Hollywood has gone lip crazy and so has the rest of the world. Full voluptuous lips are synonymous with Hollywood starlets of old and have always been a standard of beauty in the entertainment industry. But, when you visit a plastic surgeon, will he say that you are a candidate for lip augmentation?

What is Lip Augmentation?

Lip augmentation is a procedure designed to increase the fullness of your upper and lower lips. There are three different types of procedures that are typically done to achieve this effect.

The first is lip augmentation using lip filler. Fillers are synthetic materials that are designed to be injected into an area of the face to fill it out. Some common injectable substances you might have heard of are Restylane and Juvederm. Restylane is clear gel filler that is made of hyaluronic acid, a sugar found naturally in the body. Juvederm is also made of hyaluronic acid but is long lasting dermal filler.

Under local anesthesia, in a surgeonís office, dermal fillers are injected into the upper and lower lips in small amounts (0.5cc and up). How much you receive depends on the amount of fullness you want in the area. Effects can last from 6 months to a year.

The second method is lip augmentation using fat injections. The fat comes from your body. The results last longer because you are using your own natural body fat to increase the size of your lips.

Using sterile techniques, a local anesthetic is applied to the lips as well as the area of the body where the fat will be removed, typically the thigh or abdominal area. To clean the fat, it is mixed with saline and then centrifuged. This process removes blood and other fluid from the fat. It is then injected into the upper and lower lip. Because fat will settle out, more is applied than needed to account for this fact. This option is more permanent because it is your own tissue.

The third method is lip augmentation via lip implants. Using lip implants does require surgical intervention. Implants are sometimes made of Gore-Tex or even ePTFE. They are smooth and resemble the texture of normal lip tissue.

Under local or general anesthesia, incisions are made at the corners of the mouth. The implant is inserted. How full the lips look depends on the size of the implant used. Sutures are placed to anchor the implants and also to close the incisions. Skin incisions are usually removed after about a week. This is the most permanent solution.

Candidates for Lip Augmentation

So who is the best choice for this type of procedure? If you have thinning lips (due to age), this procedure can return a more youthful look to your mouth. Those with lipstick bleed lines may be losing elasticity in their lips. They are also candidates. Finally, someone who wants a more pronounced outline to their lips would benefit from lip augmentation.

Besides these instances, a good candidate is one who is also in good health. They do not smoke and do not suffer from conditions that affect blood clotting or autoimmune disorders. Above all, a good candidate has a realistic idea of what the surgical outcome will be.

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