Lip Augmentation and Dermal Fillers
Lip augmentation is a very common cosmetic procedure performed in women of all ages. Lip augmentation is performed with the use of a dermal filler. There are several types of dermal fillers on the market that can be injected in and around the lips. However, the most widely used dermal fillers are made of the substance known as Hyaluronic acid. This substance is naturally occurring in the body and plays a role in acting as a volume enhancer. When Hyaluronic acid is injected into the lips, it adds volume and thus increases the size of the lips.
Another dermal filler that was once used widely is collagen. However, because of the newer and safer Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers, collagen products are not used as much to enhance the lips.
Two other methods of augmenting lips include use of fat injections and permanent implants. These last two methods do produce superb results but should be used until the individual is first satisfied with the temporary dermal fillers.
How do Lip fillers work?
Hyaluronic acid fillers all work in the same way and all can significantly enhance the lips by 1) adding volume 2) reshaping and 3) improving the symmetry. In general, after injection of a Hyaluronic acid dermal filler, the results of lip augmentation last 6-9 months. After this time period, minor touch-ups are required to maintain the fullness of the lips.
The presently available Hyaluronic acid fillers on the market include the following:
– Belotero Balance is one of the newest dermal fillers which can last anywhere from 6-12 months
– Captique is no longer on the market and has been replaced with Prevelle Silk (see below).
– Elevess (Hydrelle)- usually requires multiple injections for good response.
– HylaForm- tends to produce less bruising and may last 6-12 months.
– Juvederm Ultra, Juvederm Ultra Plus-versatlle dermal filler which is very widely used and produces excellent cosmetic results.
– Prevelle Silk is a relatively new filler which is easy to use and lasts 6-9 months.
– Restylane, Restylane-L, Restylane Silk is one of the oldest dermal fillers and lasts 6-9 months
How is lip augmentation done?
In all cases, lip augmentation is an outpatient procedure that rarely takes more than 30-45 minutes. Prior to the injection, your lips will be numbed with a topical anesthetic. Some dermal fillers even contain a local anesthetic and thus there is minimal pain. Even though injection of dermal fillers into the lips is a relatively straight forward procedure, an eye for detail is required. Any error in the injections can lead to asymmetry of the lips, thus, it is important to consult experienced cosmetic therapist.
What is recovery like after lip augmentation?
Most people can resume their daily living activities on the same day. The lips may be bruised and swollen for a few days but one can apply ice to lessen the pain and reduce the swelling.
Why select Hyaluronic fillers to augment the lips?
There are several advantages to using Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers that include:
- 1. The amount of filler injected can be controlled so that the therapist can assess the symmetry and maintain the lip contour.
- 2. The filler injection does not have to be completed in one session. In most cases, several sessions allow the therapist to judge the results of the earlier injection and improve or adjust accordingly until the desired result is achieved.
- 3. Any residual bumps or lumps created by motion of the lips tend to dissolve rather easily.
- 4. There is much less discomfort and bruising with the Hyaluronic fillers compared to other fillers .
- 5. The results after hyaluronic acid injections generally are long lasting but not permanent.
Allergy testing is only required when collagen fillers are used. After the test, the individual has to wait at least 4 weeks to determine if an allergic reaction has developed. With hyaluronic acid fillers, there is no allergy testing. The treatment can be done on the same day you see the therapist. Rarely an individual may have an allergy to the local anesthetic lidocaine.
What are side effects of lip augmentation with fillers?
After the injection, most patients will develop some bruising and swelling around the lips and mouth. This is transient and disappears in a few days.
The swelling and pain can be decreased with the use of ice packs for the first 24 hours. Other rare side effects of dermal fillers include bleeding at the site of the injection. The lips may be sore for a few days but the pain is responsive to over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen.
Avoid use of lip products like gloss and lipstick for the first 24-48 hours after the injections. Within a few days your lips will regain their natural sensation.
What are the long-term risks of lip augmentation with dermal fillers?
In rare cases, some serious side effects can occur. These include:
– Prolonged swelling and bruising that may last 7-10 days.
– Lip asymmetry which may result in uneven lips
– Irregular contour of the lips
– Ulceration or scarring of the lips
– Stiffening of the lips
These adverse effects are rare and often occur with inexperienced therapist-hence, the need to select the provider well.
When does one see the benefits of lip augmentation?
Once the swelling and bruising has subsided one will notice the plump lips. In most cases, luscious and full lips will be evident within the first week.
What is the approximate cost of lip augmentation?
The cost of lip augmentation with dermal fillers does depend on who performs the injections, where you live, the type of dermal filler and how much augmentation is done. The pricing of dermal fillers is based on the number of syringes used. Most individuals can have plump lips with two syringes. The total costs may vary from $600-$2,500.
Which dermal fillers work best?
If you are considering a lip augmentation, then a consult with a cosmetic therapist is necessary. In general, the type of dermal filler depends on how long you want the results to last and affordability. In any case, if you are unsure about the procedure, go with a short-term dermal filler; if you like the results, you can opt for a longer lasting filler.
Precautions before undergoing lip augmentation?
One should try and be in good health. If you smoke you should discontinue it. Lip augmentation is generally not recommended in individuals with diabetes, lupus, blood clotting problems or those who have had recurrent herpes sores.
Are there any semi-permanent lip implants?
Yes, there are several semi-permanent implants such as Aquamid, Artecoll and Metacrill. Artecoll consists of small polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) beads that has been suspended in a collagen gel formula. These tiny microspheres can be injected the same way as the dermal fillers. Over time the collagen is broken down by the body and the tiny microspheres enlarge. All these semi-permanent implants have the ability to retain moisture and augment lips.
Are there any permanent options for lip augmentation?
Yes, there are several permanent options for permanent lip augmentation with the use of Gore-Tex, Ultrasoft, softform and Advanta. These implants are made of polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). These implants are considered permanent but can be removed if there is a problem such as an infection, lip stiffening or extrusion.
How is lip augmentation with lip implants performed?
Unlike the dermal fillers which only require a needle injection, the permanent implants are inserted by making tiny incisions along the corner of the mouth. Ample numbing medication is given and the procedure is relatively painless. The surgeon then shapes the implant and inserts it in the deeper tissues of the lips. The incisions are closed with sutures.
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