Know All About Lip Augmentation


How Do I Make My Lips Bigger?

Are you bothered by the fine lines and wrinkles around your lips?  Do you want to smoothen out any such creases to improve the appearance of their lips. Dissatisfaction with your lip size or shape, that hampers the balance of the face is also a growing concern. Asymmetry or unevenness in lips can also cause problems due to muscular imbalance that makes our left and right lift function differently. 

Lip Augmentation can make your lips fuller and fix any asymmetry between the upper and lower lip.

What Is Lip Augmentation?

Lip Augmentation is a cosmetic procedure, performed to enlarge or reshape lips, not affected by trauma or congenital deformity. Our lips play a very important aesthetic role as they are the focal point of the lower face. This treatment is sought by people who either have considerable gum show or the shape of their lips/mouth is uneven or their lips disappear when they smile. 

Ageing people also seek this procedure to balance out their thinning lips with surrounding facial features.
Furthermore, the treatment helps in smoothening fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth. This treatment results in fuller, plumper lips, in terms of volume and structure, and improves the dimensional relation of the nose and teeth with the lips. 

Lip augmentation can be done through various techniques, based on the ease of use, availability and acceptance. Injectable fillers, implants, surgical advancement, roll and lifts are the various techniques used. Upper lips are more commonly reshaped than lower lips, across the globe. In 2011, about 1.3 million women underwent the lip augmentation procedure.

This procedure is also known as Lip Enhancement and Lip Job.

Who Are The Ideal Candidates For Lip Augmentation?

Most patients who have realistic expectations of lip augmentations can be prospects for the procedure. However, a few candidates are considered ideal to receive the procedure:

People who feel that their lips are too thin, and smiling results in their gums being exposed.

Patients who view that their lips have lost their fuller feel with age.

Candidates with uneven lips.

People who want fuller lips for a morale boost and to increase their self confidence.

What Are The Different Types Of Lip Augmentation?

  1. Lip Injections: Broadly divided into two basic categories, injections commonly come as collagen fillers or hyaluronic acid fillers. This method for augmentation is a highly opted procedure by most kinds of patients. It frequently employs a local anesthetic before the fillers are injected.

    • Autologen is the only type of collagen filler that is made from a patient’s own collagen. The chances of allergy are less compared to other techniques. Collagen and dermalogen are also prepared synthetically for injections.

    • Hylaform and Restylane are currently seeing a surge in demand as their composition is similar to the hyaluronic acid found in the body. These fillers last for about six months.

    • Silicone injections have long lasting effects. After it’s injected, the body starts to produce collagen around the silicone in the lips.

  2. Implants and Lip surgery: Also requiring local anesthesia this procedure takes up to two hours in your surgeon’s office, with a recovery time from a few days to a week.

    • Fat Transfers are performed by harvesting fat through liposuction and injecting them into a patient’s lips.

    • Alloderm is a tissue taken from deceased individuals. This is inserted into the lower part of your lip. This enhancement can last up to 12 months.

    • Gore Tex or Softform are synthetic implants placed in your lips, to provide longer lasting plumper looking lips.

    • Local flap grafts are last resort options for your plastic surgeon where they take skin and tissue from the inner flap of your mouth. 

What To Do Before A Lip Augmentation Procedure?

  • If you have any events scheduled, plan to get the procedure at least two weeks prior to that, to allow room for recovery.

  • One should be in good health prior to the procedure. Medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, niacin, fish oil, green tea, cod liver oil and vitamin A need to be stopped at least two weeks before the procedure. These medications are known to increase the bleeding.

  • Smokers need to stop smoking a few days before the procedure. The nicotine in cigarettes causes blood vessels to constrict and increases recovery time post surgery by delaying healing. It is also good to keep in mind smoking might increase lung and heart difficulties during the procedure.

  • If you are prone to cold sores, it is vital for you to inform your surgeon before the procedure.

  • Avoid eating after midnight prior to your procedure. In some instances surgeons may need to intubate patients and any food in the stomach can aspirate and go into the lungs, which could cause infections.

  • Wear comfortable clothes to your appointment.

  • To reduce bruising and bleeding you can apply ice packs to the lips 5 - 10 minutes before the procedure.

What Is The Post Operative Care For Lip Augmentation?

  • Cool compresses can be applied immediately after the procedure. This important after care measure can be continued at home and applied in 15 minute increments.

  • Make up can be applied gently to the area. Avoid touching, washing and strenuous exercise for at least 6 hours after the procedure.

  • Any signs of infection such as fever or extreme swelling during the recovery stage needs to be reported to the doctor.

  • Lip fillers requires about a day of rest, and lip implants can take about a week of recovery time.

  • Any post operative discomfort can be treated with over the counter pain killers.

  • An appointment needs to be scheduled with your surgeon two weeks after the procedure for review of different stages of healing, and removal of sutures if present. 

What Is The Diet For A Lip Augmentation Procedure?

It is advisable to eat foods that are soft and do not require a lot of chewing.

Hot, spicy or salty foods should be avoided 48 hours following your procedure.

Avoid opening the mouth too wide while eating to prevent the separation of the incision site.

Rinsing your mouth and brushing your teeth after meals is highly recommended.

What Are The Realistic Expectations From A Lip Augmentation Procedure?

  • Adding volume to your lips can give you a sensual look and bring a balance to your features. 

  • Lip augmentation may also smooth out wrinkles around the mouth and the lips to help you look younger. 

  • If performed properly, your lips should gradually increase in size (not all at once), which helps in achieving the closest to a natural-look.

  • While you may wish to look like your favourite celebrity or popstar, it is not possible to guarantee results like an exact replica of what you wish to expect. 

  • You can discuss with your surgeon about choosing an approach to achieving a look best suited for your face.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Lip Augmentation?

  • Pros

  • Cons

  • There are a variety of options to choose from, depending on the look you wish to achieve, lip size and the budget you currently are on. 

  • A benefit of lip augmentation as a non surgical augmentation process is that it enables you to get back to work after a few hours and the surgical ones after about a week. 

  • The lip implants, are made of human tissue and have almost no reports of rejection by the human body, which means they can last quite a few years without any requirements for further interventions. 

  • With realistic expectations, a patient can achieve exactly the lips that s/he envisioned.

  • Plumper lips enables one to strut around with confidence that they once wished to achieve with the procedure. It boosts one's self esteem as well provide a positive outlook for many when interacting with other people.

  • The main downside usually noted is that the lips do not turn out to be exactly the way you envisioned it. Occasionally, people find that the end result is unlike what they expected of it, mainly when the implants do not fit the way they were meant to. 

  • Many of these procedures, like the non surgical lip injections are temporary, and could last for a few hours while others may require retouching done about every eight months.

  • Sometimes during the procedure, there may be irritation, redness and allergic reactions.

  • Although not usually a pocket burner, some procedures may cost a couple of thousand dollars in order to achieve perfection.

Who Should Avoid Undergoing A Lip Augmentation?

Lip augmentation is performed only in people aged 18 and above. General contraindications, or conditions which make you an unsuitable candidate for lip augmentation surgery are:

  • Infections in or around the mouth (herpes)
  • Lupus (autoimmune disorder, which, among other symptoms, causes impaired immunity, delayed healing and photosensitivity)
  • Blood-clotting disorders
  • Diabetes
  • Allergies - to food, and to the substances injected (a skin prick test must be performed to check for this)
  • Smokers unwilling to quit before the surgery

These conditions and habits may increase the risk of complications and/or infections.

What Are The Alternatives To Lip Augmentation?

Fat Grafting
This consists of transferring fat from one part of one’s own body to the lips. As the patient’s own tissue is used, an infection or extrusions after the process are a rarity. However, one limitation of this process is that the results are unpredictable and can be uneven. Another drawback is that any gain in weight by the patient will result in a commensurate increase in the lip size as well.

This involves the implantation of biocompatible materials into the lips to make them fuller. These alien bodies, however, have the potential to cause infections and extrusion which could result in distortion.

Lip Lifts
This process enhances the appearance of the lips by making the vermilion border (line that demarcates lips from the surrounding skin) more prominent. It combats lip sagging by elevating the lip with the use of incisions made beneath the nose. 

Will Lip Augmentation Lead to Scarring?

Any extrinsic procedure runs the risk of forming scars. Collagen or fascial grafts are the most likely cause of scarring after augmentation procedures. Lip injections may cause bumps or unevenness in the lips, and this a result of a scar formed at the injection site. These bumps can be smoothed out by the treating surgeon. However, since most of the injections are made of dissolvable materials, these bumps resolve over period of a few weeks. In some instances a patient can go back for more injections to give an even contour to the lips.

What Are The temporary Side Effects Of Lip Augmentation?

  • Bumps and lumps : These may be seen on the lips when the filler is placed too close to the lip surface, making it look unnatural. These may persist for upto 3 days to a week after surgery. Such complications generally resolve on their own over time, but you should consult your doctor if the condition persists beyond a week.
  • Bruising : Bruising is a common and temporary risk of lip augmentation. Avoid touching the area or massaging it. The area should be kept clean to avoid any infections. 
  • Slight bleeding : Since blood flow to the lips will increase and vessels can become weak after the injections, bleeding is normal. It will subside in 3-5 days with application of ice packs. 
  • Swelling : This is common after augmenting lips with fillers. Putting ice bags and frozen peas can help reduce the swelling. 

How To Choose A Surgeon For Lip Augmentation?

It’s important to choose your surgeon based on his education, training, and certification. A surgeon’s experience with lip enhancement can further dictate how long your surgery will last and prevent any complications like asymmetry of the lips. 
Your comfort level with the surgeon is also a factor that should determine the choice of your surgeon. You should be able to voice any queries, ask about any possible side effects and postoperative care required by the surgeon. 

A doctor who takes out time to answer your queries and can produce photographic evidence of his previous surgeries will serve as the ideal choice. 

Doctors like the ones in India are well trained and as many as 1 in every 6 doctors even in US are of Indian origin. Similarly, Brazil is well known for its medical staff that have graduated from top tier medical schools of the US.

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