Lip augmentation or lip enhancement is a cosmetic procedure that enhances the appearance, shape, and size of the lips of an individual. As we age, the lips that were once full and voluptuous become thin and develop vertical wrinkles, making the face look aged. Lip augmentation restores the youthful fullness of the lips. Lip augmentation may be done in two ways:
- Lip Injections or non-surgical lip augmentation: In this procedure, lip augmentation is done using dermal filler injections, and no incisions or anesthesia is required. However, patients may choose to have the area numbed with topical anesthesia to avoid needle pain. Some dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid, which attracts and binds with water, further increasing the lip volume through natural hydration. Other formulas may also trigger the body to produce more collagen, a structural element that restores elasticity, firmness, and volume, enhancing lip fullness for several months. Dermal fillers are injected using an ultra-thin needle into points along the outline of the lips.
- Lip implants: It provides results that are more permanent than dermal fillers but also require two small incisions through which the implants are inserted and positioned in the lips. The procedure is performed in about an hour and requires numbing the area. In some cases, implants and dermal fillers may be combined for a more comprehensive treatment.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of lip augmentation?
The advantages of lip augmentation include:
- Lip injections done with fillers are temporary. While this might seem like a con, if an individual does not like the look of fuller lips, it will fade away over the course of several months. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers can also be dissolved with hyaluronidase injections to reverse a bad result or avert a potential complication.
- It gives the instant effect of an increased lip volume with any augmentation option.
- Lip augmentation isn’t limited to increasing the size of thin lips; it can also improve the lip structure and correct imbalances.
- All types of lip augmentations can be done under local anesthetic (or just a numbing cream, in the case of injectable fillers). Patients can be discharged home on the same day because the procedure lasts less than 30 or 45 minutes.
- Fillers can be done gradually, over a couple of appointments, to slowly build-up to the desired lip shape.
The disadvantages of lip augmentation include:
- The cost of temporary fillers can add up quickly, and patients may further need touch-up treatments every four months to maintain their results.
- Fat transfer to the lips isn’t as long-lasting as in other areas. At least 30-60% of the fat transferred to the face is permanent, but in the lips, it’s a little less because of all the movement.
- Silicone implants may look and feel unnatural if they’re too large.
- Any kind of lip augmentation procedure can trigger a cold-sore flare. If patients are prone to cold sores, doctors may need to recommend preventive meds in advance.
- In a few scenarios, the doctor could overdo it looking like a trout pout, which may be ridiculous in appearance.
- In inexperienced hands, patients may end up with asymmetrical, unshapely lips or lumps and bumps.
- Other risks of lip augmentation include tissue loss from injecting into a blood vessel, infection, scarring, or severe swelling and bruising.
What is the outlook of a lip augmentation procedure?
As per research, the success rate of a lip augmentation procedure is usually 68-75%. Patients may also recover within a week without complications. However, the outlook and success rate of a lip augmentation procedure may depend on the below factors:
- Age of patients
- The medical condition of patients
- Experience of the cosmetic surgeon/doctor
- Type of the procedure performed
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