Thanks to filters on our social media apps, we get a chance to see how we would look if we were to change our facial features. As we age, we’re always looking for ways to reverse the aging process by using lip injections, facial fillers, and more. And thanks to modern science and technology, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures take little to no recovery time so that we can get back to life with minimal scarring and a brand new face.
Everyone’s lips are unique to their own face, but often we’re unhappy with our lip shape and use makeup liners and other tricks to enhance them without surgery. However, lip augmentation procedures can be an easy way to improve the appearance of your lips without constantly overlining them. If you’re looking for a more permanent lip augmentation option, lip implants and lifts are also a great way to enhance one of our most prominent facial features.
What is Lip Augmentation?
Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure done in-office to add lip volume which creates more youthful and beautiful lips. Many lip augmentation options are available, ranging from lip fillers — a minimally invasive surgery that does not require incisions — to lip implants — which require incisions and are moderately invasive. The nonsurgical options, like lip fillers, use injectable fillers to increase lip volume while reducing the appearance of lines around the mouth. Surgical lip enhancement options like lip implants or lifts require small incisions and some recovery time.
The results following your lip augmentation procedure will vary depending on the type of lip augmentation procedure that you choose. Lip implants and lip lifts are permanent in comparison to lip fillers that will eventually dissolve, requiring another appointment. Even fat grafting, which involves fat injections into your lips, can last up to five years.
During your consultation, Dr. Daneshamnd will discuss the options and help you choose the best lip enhancement procedure for you. Whether you want a less noticeable enhancement or a drastic change, the Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute specialists are here to help.
Common Types of Lip Augmentations
There are many lip enhancement options to choose from. Determining how invasive you want your procedure to be and how long you want the lip augmentation to last will help you narrow down which type of procedure is best for you. Below are the four most popular options for lip augmentations.
- Fat Grafting: Fat grafting involves your plastic surgeon taking fat from one part of your body and moving it to another. Fat grafting is also known as fat transfers or fat injections. During this procedure, your plastic surgeon will use liposuction to remove fat from one area of your body, usually your stomach. The fat is purified and injected into your lips to make them fuller and decrease wrinkles.
- Lip Fillers: During a lip filler appointment, your plastic surgeon will inject a type of dermal filler into your lips. Hyaluronic acid fillers are one of the most popular dermal fillers.
- Lip Implants: Lip implants are a more invasive procedure that involves your plastic surgeon inserting an implant into your lips.
- Lip Lift: During a lip lift, your plastic surgeon will remove skin between your upper lip and underneath your nose to pull up your lip, giving it the lifting effect.
Common Types of Lip Fillers
The most common type of dermal filler used for lips is a hyaluronic acid filler. It’s a popular choice for plastic surgeons since hyaluronic acid is a substance that our bodies naturally produce. Hyaluronic acid fillers keep your skin hydrated and voluminous. As we age, our bodies stop producing hyaluronic acid, which can cause our lips to lack volume. At Silhouette, we use Juvederm for lip fillers. This product also reduces fine lines, wrinkles, scars, smokers’ lines, and more.
Another common type of dermal filler is Sculptra, which contains poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), which increases collagen production in the skin. Sculptra and other dermal fillers containing PLLA usually last much longer than most dermal fillers.
The other types of fillers that we use at Silhouette are:
- Radiesse is made from calcium hydroxylapatite, which is a natural substance found in human bones. At first, it was used in dental procedures and reconstructive surgeries, but now it’s used to smooth wrinkles and add volume throughout the body.
- Bellafill is made of polymethyl-methacrylate microspheres (PMMA). This semi-permanent filler can decrease the appearance of wrinkles and scars. While this is a popular choice for dermal fillers, it may take several treatments for you to receive the results you want.
- Aquamid is made of polyalkylimide and another type of semi-permanent filler. Patients will usually see results within a month.
How Long Do Lip Augmentations Last?
The type of lip augmentation procedure that you choose will determine how long you can see the results. Each lip enhancement option varies in how long they last and if you need to follow up.
- Lip lifts are permanent since they involve the removal of skin to lift the lip.
- Lip implants can be removed, but they are a permanent procedure.
- Lip fillers usually last between six months to a year.
- Fat grafting can last at least five years.
What to Expect During a Lip Augmentation Procedure
Below, we prepare you for what to expect during your lip augmentation procedures. Each lip procedure varies by time and invasivity, so you should prepare accordingly depending on which lip augmentation you choose.
Before your procedure, your plastic surgeon will give you instructions on preparing. Several weeks before your lip procedure, you must quit taking blood thinners and stop smoking. Both smoking and blood thinners can make recovering more difficult and increase bruising. You must also avoid aspirin and supplements like fish oil and multivitamins.
Lip fillers are the quickest lip augmentation option taking about 10 to 30 minutes. During the lip filler procedure, your plastic surgeon will inject the dermal filler using a fine needle.
If your fat transfer uses fat from your body, you’ll need liposuction first. Stomach fat is usually used for fat transfers. Once the fat is purified, your plastic surgeon injects it into your lips. A fat transfer appointment can take an hour to an hour and a half.
Your lip implant procedure will take around 30 minutes. During this time, your plastic surgeon will complete the following steps:
- Numbs the lips.
- Create small incisions in each corner of the mouth.
- A small tunnel will be created between the two incisions by inserting a clamp through one side and threading it through to the other.
- Using the clamp, the implant will be pulled through the tunnel.
- The incision sites will be closed with stitches.
During this hour-long minute procedure, your plastic surgeon will do the following:
- Numb the lip area.
- Create a small incision underneath your nose.
- Remove a small amount of skin under the nose.
- Lift the upper lip.
- Close up the incision site with stitches.
Another variation of this procedure involves the plastic surgeon making incisions on either side of the mouth and removing skin from both areas.
Self-Care and Recovery After a Lip Augmentation
Following your particular lip augmentation procedure, your plastic surgeon will provide you with post-op instructions on how to care for your lips as they heal. Your plastic surgeon may suggest the following recovery steps:
- Only eat soft foods for several days after your procedure.
- Keep your head elevated while you sleep.
- Move your lips as little as possible.
- Put an ice pack on your lips for a couple of days.
Your lip enhancement recovery time will vary depending on the type of lip augmentation procedure you had. With lip fillers, there’s very little to almost no recovery period afterward. However, surgical lip augmentations may require you to rest for several days to weeks for the redness, bruising, and swelling to go down.
You should be able to return to work immediately following a nonsurgical lip procedure, but a surgical one may require you to take off for several days to recover. Your plastic surgeon will also likely suggest avoiding exercise or strenuous activity for several weeks.
Lip Augmentation Risks and Side Effects
It’s important to discuss the risks and side effects that can follow any plastic surgery procedure. A nonsurgical lip augmentation has some risks and side effects, but those chances increase with a surgical lip procedure.
The potential complications and risks include:
- Allergic reactions such as itching and redness around the lips
- Lip stiffening
- Results that you don’t like
Call your plastic surgeon immediately if you experience the following symptoms.
- Excessive swelling
- Infection or allergic reaction
- Bleeding that doesn’t stop
- Bruising that doesn’t disappear
Call Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute Today
At the Silhouette Plastic Surgery Institute, we offer a wide range of lip-enhancing options, from nonsurgical to surgical. If you’re tired of living with lips that lack volume, it’s time to meet with Dr. Daneshmand to discuss which lip enhancement options and choose the right one for you. To schedule an appointment, call our clinic at 949-359-8397 today.