William Callaghan. MD (lip-enhancement Surgery)
Lip enhancement are procedures which either increase or improve the size and shape of the lips. The upper or lower lip may be treated alone, or together.
Augmentation of the lips can be done either injection of filler substances or surgical implantation of a silicone implant or micro-fat grafting, or even dermal elements. The injection of filler substances are temporary while surgical implantation are permanent.
Injection of fillers generally involve hyaluronic acid-based substances (Juvaderm, etc.). This allows a potential for a natural full lips if performed well. The results may last from 6 months to 1-2 years, but overall, they are temporary. This will allow the patient time to appreciate the fuller lips while deciding on a more permanent enhancement, if desired.
Surgical implantation can occur using several products. This will depend on the surgeon’s comfort level, expertise, and habit. Among the products used are alloderm (a natural collagen sheet harvested from cadavers which is highly screened and processed), silicone implants, micro-fat injections, and tissue (skin devoid of epidermal elements.
Whether it is alloderm or silicone implants, the correct implantation is critical to achieving a natural look. We strongly recommend all of these procedures to be performed by a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (if done in the USA). These procedures are not simple placements, but rather ones that require skill and knowledge of the lip anatomy to prevent complications.
Fat grafting: The fat is harvested from another area of the body, often the abdomen. It is then prepared and inserted with a needle into the lip from more than one point. This method also requires skill because fat can be absorbed and injection is a highly skilled procedure.
A sign of an aging face are lips that have “drooped”. This occurs for the same reasons that all of aging occurs. That is the loss of the elastic properties of collagen. This can be reversed with carefully placed incisions (under the nose) to “lift” the lips to a new location. The lips can also be made more full with any of the above listed procedures.
The surgical procedures can all be performed under local anesthesia. This can be done with local anesthesia blocks of regional nerves or direct infiltration of local anesthesia. This can save the patient operating room and anesthesiologist costs.
The recovery from injections of fillers is quick. Usually 1-2 days of bruising.
Surgical recovery is a bit longer, often 1-2 weeks of swelling and bruising, depending on the method utilized. Keeping ice packs on the lips for the first 48 hours will shorten the swelling and recovery times.