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What is lip enhancement or lip augmentation procedure?
Posted on Mar 01, 2016
Lip enhancement is one of the innumerable types of cosmetic surgeries, wherein you inject a filler/fat in your lips, or insert implants into them, to make them appear fuller, supple and more youthful. What happens as we age is, the fat in our bodies is wasted away and our muscle mass decreases. Hence, as we age, we start showing wrinkles and form loose skin, because the muscles that this skin was covering are no longer of the same volume as before. The skin has lesser muscle mass to stretch over causing it to come together in little folds (wrinkles), or just hangs loosely in bigger folds. Also, as we age, the area between our nose tips and our upper lip (termed as the upper lip) seems to increase, making our upper lip seem too big, which is not a pleasant sight. Lip augmentation/enhancement means injecting 'fillers' to cover up the loss of muscle mass. This makes the skin stretch out evenly again, since your lips get added volumes, making them appear fuller. Also, they increase the size of the lips, making the upper lip area visibly smaller, giving you the ever desired pout. These fillers can be of various types, and the way they are inserted into your lips can vary, which is where your options come into the picture.

Lip Enhancement Procedures

Lip augmentation procedures can be differentiated based on the method of injecting the filler in your lips. If the method involves simple injection of fat or a filler into your lips without the need of surgery, then it is known as injectable method, whereas if you have implants in your lips, then surgery will have to be performed wherein cuts are made at the sides of your lips (or elsewhere if need be) and a tunnel is made to accommodate the implant, which is the surgical method.

Lip Enhancement Using Injectable Materials

There are many types of fillers that can be used for lip augmentation, and their effects can last from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the type used. Choosing the one that is most suited for your needs is an important task, and you can consult with your doctor to discuss your requirements and then make an informed decision. In this type of augmentation, the risks are less, and there are also fewer chances of discomfort or side effects. The procedure can take up to a few minutes, while recovery usually takes a day or two. Fillers are basically classified into the following types:
  • Collagen based fillers are further classified as those derived from humans, and those derived from animals (usually cows).
  • Acid based fillers contain Hyaluronic acid. Our skin and joints contain this clear, biodegradable acid, and hence it has no harmful effects. It mixes with water in the molecules in the lips, making them plump and also provides natural moisture. It lasts longer than the collagen fillers, and doesn't require any allergy test to be carried out before the procedure.
  • Fat transfer is the most low-risk type of lip augmentation procedure. This procedure involves the removal of fat from some other part of the patient's body itself, and it is then injected into the patient's lips using an injection/ needle. The area from which the fat is taken is not affected much, and the look of the lips after this procedure is very natural, and supple. The risks associated with this type are the least because the fat is from the patient's body itself and hence, the chances of it being rejected are nil. The procedure requires a few minutes the recovery time is a few hours. The patient can return home within a few hours, and no hospitalization is required.

Lip Enhancement by Surgical Method

The surgical method requires the use of general or local anaesthesia, and is performed by making cuts on the outline of the lips. These cuts are small, and are usually covered up by the red skin of the lips. After an incision is made, a tunnel or cavity has to be formed to put in the implant, and once the implant is in, it has to be threaded into the lip, after which it is trimmed to the right size, and then the incisions are sewed up.

The results achieved by lip enhancement surgery are permanent and usually better than those achieved by other methods, but at the same time the risks associated with surgical methods are higher than those associated with the filler or fat transfer method. There are chances of infection, scarring and stiffness of the lips, implant rejection, implant migration, etc.

Although lip enhancement seems like a minor surgery or procedure, since it is usually done in half an hour or less, it is a surgery nonetheless, so it does have some risks associated with it. Hence it is advisable to carry out enough research on the topic - the options, the side effects/reactions, the recovery time, the aftercare routine for lip enhancement, and also see how much a lip augmentation will cost you.
Written by : Lazoi Team
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