Lips have always been viewed as a sign of sensuality in women. From models to movie stars, beautiful luscious lips are in fashion. Unfortunately, we are all not born with these gorgeous lips, and even if we are time and the elements have a way of taking their toll. Age and sun damage will cause a flattening of the lips, loss of cupids bow and development of vertical wrinkles. The fullness you once had begins to fade. In addition, grooves or deep wrinkles develop in the forehead, around the eyes, the cheeks, and the chin.
Lip augmentation creates fuller, plumper lips and reduces fine wrinkles around the mouth. Lips may be injected with collagen or with fat transferred from another site in the patient’s body. Both liquid collagen and fat are absorbed and repeat treatments are necessary to maintain results. Newer, longer-lasting options include implantable materials like AlloDerm and SoftForm.
- ALLODERM: This is processed human skin (dermis) that can be grafted or implanted into patients. Initially used in burn patients to replace lost tissue in 1992. It has a natural feel and provides a longer lasting result than collagen injections. Surgeons worldwide consider this a safe implant with no history of any disease transmission in over 1,000,000 cases.
- SOFT ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene): This is a soft synthetic material that is non-allergenic, safe and predictable. It does not dissolve or reabsorb and provides a more permanent result.
Dr. Stepanyan will discuss the various options available and determine which treatment may be right for you based on your desires and the shape of your lips or the location and depth of the crease or groove.
Lip augmentation can be done with sedation or local anesthesia. In the lips, a small incision is made near the corner of the mouth on each side. This is done in the pink area of the lip and heals well with minimal or no scar. Depending on the shape of the lip, additional incisions may be made near the middle of the lip in order to enhance certain features. The chosen material is placed through these incisions, positioned appropriately and the incisions are closed with fine suture. A similar procedure is performed for other folds or creases with the incisions placed at each end. The material is placed as before and the incisions are closed with fine suture.
Post-operative discomfort is minimal, but there may be slight bruising near the area. This can be covered up with make-up until it resolves. The sutures are removed within the week and any redness should fade in the next few weeks. Some swelling may occur which should go down over the next few days.
Complications are rare but can occur. Infections are very infrequent and usually controlled with antibiotics but may result in the implant having to be removed. Abnormal contours occur occasionally but massaging the area will usually correct this.
Results vary with the individual and Dr. Stepanyan is conservative in the amount of material he places in the area. The majority of patients are very happy with the results and with regard to lip enhancement will sometime request additional material be placed. It is always much easier to add than remove.
Please visit our Before and After Gallery for Lip Augmentation.
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