If you were born with thin, undefined lips, or if the aging process has caused your once pouty, full lips to deflate–you’re in luck! Lip augmentation is a procedure that can give you fuller, plumper lips in just a few hours. If you’re dissatisfied with the current state of your lips and you’re interested in making a change, call us at West End Dental and Facial Esthetics in Lubbock, TX today to speak with one of our qualified medical professionals.
Should You Consider a Lip Augmentation?
Have your lips always been thin? Have you dreamed of having plumper, thicker, fuller lips? If so, you may be a good candidate for cosmetic surgery. Those who have previously been satisfied with the look of their lips will be delighted to know that there are options available that can help rejuvenate the lips and restore a sexier, more youthful look.
Lip augmentation includes a number of treatments and procedures that can help if you feel self-conscious about how your lips look. If you believe fuller lips would help balance out your face, or if it would simply improve your self-confidence to have plump, luscious lips, you should consider it.
What Are the Considerations Associated with Lip Enhancement?
Cosmetic procedures are elective, meaning that there isn’t an imminent health threat requiring the need for surgery. Instead, cosmetic surgeries are those that you choose to undergo of your own free will. As such, it’s important to understand the considerations associated with these treatments so that you can make as informed a decision as possible.
For example, using fillers to enhance your lips can give you the results you’re looking for, but they’re temporary, making fillers an excellent option for someone who isn’t sure they’ll be happy with the results. Keep in mind that if you go the temporary route, you’ll need continued treatments to maintain your new look.
Lip enhancement, whether temporary or permanent, involves a relatively quick recovery period. With injections, you may recover in a day or so, while implants or other procedures can take up to a week. The fast recovery time makes augmenting your lips one of the least life-disrupting procedures you can undergo to achieve the look you want.
How It All Works
There are several ways in which your lips can be enhanced, and your surgeon will provide you with a more in-depth description of your options depending on your goals. Sometimes a patient may opt for more than once procedure in order to obtain the results they desire. Some treatments include injections that are non-invasive, while others involve surgeries that are considered to be invasive.
Fat Injections (Non-Invasive)
With fat injections, fat from your own body is removed via liposuction from a donor site that you and your surgeon will decide upon. The fat will then be processed and injected into your lips to achieve your desired results. With fat injections, it is sometimes necessary to undergo the treatment more than once to reach your goals. Regardless, fat injections are an excellent option for anyone looking for a non-invasive treatment.
Filler Injections (Non-Invasive)
Fillers are another type of injection treatment you can opt for to build fuller, plumper lips. The fillers are made from natural or synthetic biocompatible material, such as collagen and hyaluronic acid, which act as a fat substitute. Unlike with a fat transfer, a single filler treatment is usually enough to produce the results you want.
It should be noted that fillers are often temporary. They can be a fantastic option for people who aren’t sure they want a permanent lip augmentation procedure or those who want to see what the results will be like without having to make a lifelong commitment.
Dermal Graft (Invasive)
A dermal graft is a permanent lip procedure. It involves surgically advancing the lip forward with incisions that are placed inside the mouth. A dermal-fat graft is taken from the deeper layers of your skin and positioned under the lining of the lip (mucosa) to increase lip volume and plumpness.
Vermillion Advancement (Invasive)
During this procedure, an incision is made along the border of the colored portion of your lips. A strip of skin outside the border is removed and the colored portion is pulled forward to increase the surface area of your lips.
Lip Implants (Invasive)
Incisions are made at the corners of the mouth through which your surgeon will insert the implants. You can choose from implants made from a variety of substances, including both natural and synthetic options. Each type of implant has positives and negatives associated with it, and your surgeon will be able to explain the pros and cons of each at your consultation.
Lip Lift (Invasive)
People who suffer from a downward sloping mouth or loose skin on and around their lips often benefit most from a lip lift. An incision is made under the nose and the skin is then shortened to pull up the lips. If necessary, the upper lip will be shortened to expose more teeth. If your mouth turns downward, small incisions are made on the sides of the mouth and extra skin is removed. Very small sutures will then be placed to close the incisions. The sutures are most often removed after four to five days.
How Long Does Lip Enhancement Take?
There are a variety of lip augmentation options to choose from, and how long the procedure takes will depend on which you choose and the results you’re after.
Fat and Fillers
If injections are the right procedure for you, whether using your own body fat or fillers, the treatment can easily be performed in-office with very little downtime or preparation. When opting for fillers, the treatment area will be prepped by your surgeon, who will sometimes add a numbing cream to enhance your comfort. The injections themselves take less than an hour for most people, and you’ll be able to leave shortly afterward once your surgeon gives you instructions regarding aftercare.
If you choose to use your own body fat and have that injected into your lips, the procedure can take longer since your surgeon must harvest the fat from your agreed upon donor site. However, the procedure still doesn’t take very long, and your post-treatment plan will be similar to someone using fillers.
Most lip procedures take anywhere from half an hour to two hours from start to finish. Before the procedure begins, medications are often administered for your comfort. Typically, general anesthesia will be used during the procedure, but local anesthesia or intravenous sedation are also options. Once your lip augmentation is complete, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will be closely monitored.
Most patients don’t spend very long in the recovery area, though it will depend on the type of anesthesia that was used. Intravenous sedation, for example, will take longer to recover from than a local anesthetic would. Regardless, it’s rare that a patient is unable to go home that same day.
How Should You Prepare for Your Procedure?
What exactly you need to do to prepare for your procedure will depend on the type of lip augmentation you and your surgeon have discussed. Your surgeon will provide you with very thorough preoperative instructions and answer any questions you have regarding the procedure, your aftercare, or the results. Your surgeon will also take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to ensure you’re fit for surgery.
If you’re a smoker, it’s extremely important that you stop at least six weeks before undergoing surgery to avoid any complications with healing. Smoking restricts blood vessels and can cause issues with bleeding as well as recovery. You will also need to avoid taking aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal medications that can lead to increased bleeding. Be sure to inform your surgeon regarding any and all medications, vitamins, or supplements you take.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
If you opt for nonsurgical lip augmentation, your recovery time should be minimal. Some patients experience minor bruising or swelling, though both usually subside after a short period of time.
Whichever procedure you choose, your surgeon will inform you of the duration of time necessary before you can return to your normal level of physical activity. After your surgery, your caretaker will receive detailed instructions on how to help care for you post-surgery.
Many people initially experience postoperative bruising and swelling. If you experience mild discomfort, it generally lasts only a day or two at most. A cold compress can be applied to the operative site to reduce swelling, bruising, or soreness. With the more invasive procedures, you may be required to restrict your diet to liquids only for a few days. A liquid diet will greatly reduce the amount of movement your mouth will need to perform and allow it to heal.
The First Two Weeks
Most patients are able to return to work or other day-to-day activities within a week. If any sutures were placed during your procedure, their removal comes after four to six days, on average. If the sutures were placed inside your mouth, they should dissolve within the same timeframe.
If you are not restricted to a liquid-only diet, you may instead be restricted to soft food only for up to ten days in order to promote healing. If you have questions about what or how you should eat, make sure to ask your surgeon.
Your surgeon will give you the details regarding when you can return to vigorous physical activity, though with the more invasive procedures it can take four to six weeks before you’re cleared to return to your normal life.
How Long Does the Results Last?
The duration of your lip enhancement depends on which procedure you’ve elected to undergo. Fat injections may require more than one treatment to attain the results you want and could lead to permanent lip enhancement. Fillers will last anywhere from three to six months; usually on the shorter end for first-timers, though with more treatments your lip enhancement may last longer. If you’ve had a surgical procedure, you can generally expect permanent results.
If you’re dissatisfied with the current state of your lips, there are a variety of options at your disposal from which you can choose to improve your look. Some options are non-invasive and possibly temporary, while others are more invasive but offer permanent solutions. Lip enhancement procedures don’t take very long, and you’ll almost certainly be able to go home the very same day no matter what you choose.
To discuss your options with a qualified medical professional, contact West End Dental and Facial Esthetics in Lubbock, TX today. The results you desire are closer than you think.