One of the most sexy and youthful features of the face are the lips. Lushes, plump, and full lips are signs of youth, health,and fertility.
As we age our lips lose their fullness and volume. The upper lip sags and becomes thinner. Meanwhile, fine wrinkles develop around lips which are called "lipstick lines" or "smoker’s lines".
Lip augmentation consists of a variety of procedures designed to give a person a more defined and fuller lips. Besides enlarging the lips, lip fillers or implants are also used to balance the upper and lower lips.
Whether your lips have lost volume due to age or you have always wanted fuller lips, lip augmentation and reshaping procedures can help you achieve the look you’ve always wanted. Full, curvaceous lips are closely associated with youth and sensuality. Thanks to advances in lip augmentation, you can now enjoy fuller lips temporarily or permanently.
Patients who seek lip augmentation may have a variety of reasons for doing so. Still, most men and women who want this procedure have one or more of the following conditions.
- Lack of Desired Volume
- Disproportionate Lips
- Crooked Lips
- Smoker’s Lines
Lip enhancement can be used to correct one or more of these conditions by injecting the lips with natural or synthetic material to increase their volume. When your lips are fuller, they can make you appear younger and more attractive. In fact, lip augmentation has been attempted for more than 100 years. Thanks to the latest developments in cosmetic surgery, people who want fuller lips now have a variety or safe, effective options for achieving their desired look.
The method used to add volume to the lips will generally be the same in all cases, with some natural or synthetic material being injected into the lips to increase their volume. The injections will be targeted and the amount of filler adjusted to suit each patient’s individual needs. But the main decision to be made before undergoing lip enhancement will be determining which kind of filler is to be used. Dr. Younai treats his patients using the following materials:
One of the most common practices for lip augmentation involves collagen injection. Collagen is a protein that occurs naturally in the body, providing the framework within the underlying layers of the skin. Because most commercially available collagen is derived from bovine skin, you must undergo an allergy test before it is administered.
Fat can be transplanted from other parts of the body to the lips. Fat injection, however, is not usually recommended. When the fat is reabsorbed by the body, it can leave an irregular appearance across the lips.
This synthetic material is often used to augment the periphery of the lips, reducing the appearance of fine lines around the mouth (also known as smoker’s lines). It is usually not used to add volume to the entire lip because it makes them too hard, taking away the supple texture that most people want their lips to have.
Alloderm is natural collagen that is taken from human donors. Because it is the same as the collagen naturally produced in the body, no allergy test is necessary before injection. Alloderm can be shaped very effectively and is a popular choice for lip enhancement.
All of these materials have their own benefits and drawbacks. The right lip filler for you will depend on your current condition and desired results.
Injection of fillers such as Collagen, Restylane, Perlane, Zyplast, Hylaform, Juvederm, Macrolane, Radiasse, Artefill, and fat into the lips is an easy way of enlarging or shaping the lips. 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. Other newer injecteable fillers such as those mentioned above usually last much longer than collagen and don’t need to be allergy tested. For Example Restylane lasts about 8 months, and Radiasse 24 months. Fat, tendon, or dermal grafting is another method used for lip augmentation. They require harvesting of the fat, dermis, or tendon from another area of the body. Its biggest disadvantage is that the lips remain swollen and inflamed for a much longer period than when synthetic fillers are used.
For those who are considering lip augmentation I suggest that they first have a more temporary treatment such as injectables before opting for a permanent solution. This way they can get a feel for what amount and type of lip augmentation would look the best on them.
Unlike the temporary fillers, Gortex™ or PTFE is a synthetic non-dissolvable and permanent implant material that can be inserted at the periphery of the lips giving them more contrast as well as eliminating the lines that run into the lips (lipstick lines). In its newer multi-stranded form it is also used to augment the body of the lips. Patients find the feel of the Gortex implant very natural and acceptable. Alloderm™ is natural collagen matrix implant 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 about one to two 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 injectables,Gortex implant is permanent, but is more costly.
Risks & Complications
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.