Lip augmentation (lip implant) plumps the lips, giving them a fuller appearance, and helps reduce wrinkles around the mouth. The permanency and extent to which the lips are enlarged depends on the patient’s personal preference and should be discussed thoroughly with the doctor prior to the procedure. Lip augmentation options include natural or synthetic injection, surgical implants, and laser lip rejuvenation.
As you age, your lips may develop tiny vertical lines that cause the best of lip colors and liners to bleed. And you may experience a flattened bow or less distinct shape to your upper lip. Now, thanks to a simple in-office procedure using AlloDerm, these aging signs can be reversed and a beautiful smile restored or enhanced.
What is AlloDerm?
AlloDerm is a dermal graft/implant material strictly regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). With AlloDerm, a collagen framework provides strength to the skin. AlloDerm contains no cells that can cause rejection or inflammation. Once the AlloDerm graft or implant material is in place, it gradually becomes a natural part of your body.
Fat can also be injected into the lip. The fat is harvested from another area of the body (often the abdomen or thighs) and is purified before it is injected into the lips. An advantage to this procedure is that there is no possibility of an allergic reaction. As with collagen, results are temporary but usually lasts longer than collagen injections.
Am I a candidate for lip augmentation?
Nearly all adults in generally good health are candidates for lip augmentation. If you are unhappy with the volume of your lips because they are naturally thin or have lost some of their plumpness through aging, this may be the procedure for you. Having reasonable expectations of how your lips will look after this procedure is also important.
How to reduce the size of the lips.
Full, plump lips are sexy, but there are limits. Larger-than-average lips may appear out of proportion with other facial features and can interfere with eating, drinking and speaking. If you feel that your lips are too large, lip reduction surgery may be worth considering. Lip reduction surgery can permanently reduce lip size. Lip reduction surgery is typically performed using local or regional anesthesia, although oral sedation is sometimes used. The procedure may be performed in your surgeon’s office, a freestanding surgical center or a hospital. It takes about an hour to complete. When performing lip reduction surgery, the surgeon first makes an incision along the length of your lip, usually on the inside of the mouth. Next, he or she removes a strip of tissue before suturing the incision closed. This surgery can be performed on both the upper and lower lips at the same time.
Lip Reduction Recovery
Immediately following your lip reduction, your lips may feel sore and tight. During the next few days, you may feel some mild to moderate pain. Your surgeon can prescribe painkillers to help with this discomfort. He or she will also give you instructions regarding what over-the-counter pain medications are OK to take following surgery. Swelling and bruising are also to be expected after lip reduction surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with guidelines about when you can resume normal activities after lip reduction surgery. You will have to refrain from vigorous exercise until your surgeon gives you the OK. Your surgeon will likely instruct you to sleep with two pillows to keep your head elevated. Because the incisions are placed inside the mouth, eating may be challenging at first. Avoid foods with a high acid content — such as oranges and tomatoes — as they may irritate your wounds. Soft, pureed foods may be best immediately following your lip reduction surgery. Your surgeon may ask you to rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash throughout the day to help prevent infection. Excessive pain, redness or pus around the incision sites may be signs of infection. If these occur, contact your surgeon immediately. Your sutures will likely be removed within a week to 10 days following surgery, by which time most of your swelling should have subsided.
Risks of Lip Reduction Surgery
Although it is considered safe, lip reduction does boast certain risks. General surgery risks include anesthesia complications, bleeding and infection. Additional lip reduction risks include:
Numbness (usually temporary)
Lumps and excess scar tissue in lips
Dissatisfaction with the cosmetic results
Lip reduction results are permanent, but if you find that your lips are too thin after your surgery, lip augmentation may be performed to correct this outcome. The best way to minimize your lip reduction surgery risks and help ensure a smooth recovery is to follow pre- and postoperative instructions carefully.