Lip augmentation consists of a variety of procedures designed to give a person a more proportional and fuller lips. In my practice I see both men and women who are interested in these procedures for a variety of reasons. Besides those that just want fuller lips, there are many that would like to have a more balanced upper and lower lip. They might have a short upper lip or one that is crooked. Many men and women lose the fullness and the height of their upper lips with aging. This is something that may also happen by wearing dentures. There are others that have developed fine wrinkles that run into their lips giving them the “lipstick lines” or the “smokers lines”.
Injecting collagen into the lips is an easy way of enlarging or shaping them. Collagen is commercially available through plastic surgeons, but before having this procedure, you must first pass a collagen allergy test. Its advantages are, it does not require surgery and it is relatively inexpensive. Its disadvantage is that it is not permanent and usually lasts 3-5 months. Fat injection is another similar method. I usually do not recommend it because as the fat gets absorbed the lip can become lumpy and have an irregular surface and appearance. Gortex™ is a synthetic non-dissolvable material that can be inserted at the periphery of the lip giving it more contrast as well as eliminating the lines that run into the lips. Although it is also available in a form for augmenting the body of the lip, I feel that it is not ideal for this purpose because it feels too hard. Alloderm™ is natural collagen matrix that is harvested from donors. It has the same consistency and feel of the skin. It can be shaped and formed to enhance and supplement the lip in a predictable fashion. It has a very natural feel and keeps its fullness for at least several years. Both Alloderm™ and Gortex™ can be inserted into the lip under local anesthesia. After surgery lips become swollen and numb but this resolves over a period days to weeks. Compared to collagen these two technique are much more permanent but are more costly. For those that are considering lip augmentation I suggest that they first have a more temporary treatment such as collagen injection before opting for a permanent solution. This way they can get a feel for what amount and type of lip augmentation they feel most comfortable with.
These procedures like any other surgical procedure carry certain risks and have potential for complications. There is a risk of infection, which is minimized by taking antibiotics. Considering that no ones lips are perfectly symmetrical during normal pose or with smiling there are going to be minute asymmetries after surgery.
In general, I find people who opt for lip enhancement to be very happy with their surgery considering that they have realistic expectations.
During your consultation Dr. Younai will review your treatment options for lip refinement and augmentation, including pros and cons of each procedure, potential risks and complications, recovery course, pre and post operative instructions, and esthetic outcomes. There are also many before-and-after pictures and high resolution images of lip refinement and augmentation available in our photo gallery.
Our center also includes the Regency Surgery Center which is a state-of-the-art outpatient surgery facility certified by Medicare and accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc., (AAAASF).
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