Lip augmentation is a cosmetic surgery procedure (or a plastic surgery procedure) performed to increase the volume of the lips or make the lips fuller and plump. The most common way of lip augmentation is to use lip injections as lip fillers. While there are multiple options of the compound that can be injected into the lips, the most common lip injection (or lip filler) used is similar to ‘hyaluronic acid’ which is a natural substance found in the body. Such fillers are also knows as ‘hyaluronic acid fillers’.
Different types of lip injections
Here are the most common types of lip fillers (or lip injections) that are used for lip enhancement:
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Fillers
As said already, Hyaluronic Acid Fillers contain hyaluronic acid, a substance that is naturally produced by the body. These fillers add volume to the lips and give them a better shape. Restylane and Juvederm are the popular Hyaluronic Acid fillers
Restylane is usually injected into the cheeks, lips, nasolabial folds and around the mouth. This can fill the lips, remove the wrinkles around the mouth and plump up the cheeks.
Juvederm is used to remove the signs of aging on the face. Jevederm improves the fullness of the lips, nearly remove the lines around the lips and improve the symmetry of the lips. Jevederm can give the patient a very natural looking lips.
Collagen lip fillers
Collagen lip injections/fillers were once very commonly used for lip augmentation before today’s more safer and long lasting fillers came into the market. However, latest version of collagen lip fillers have ben introduced recently that are also safer and last longer. Collagen plumps the lips but Hyaluronic fillers plump the lips and also hold water within the lips that give them a more natural looking and smoother plump.
Permanent silicone lip fillers
As the name suggests, they are permanent lip fillers made out of silicone and don’t need any kind of maintenance. Other type of lip fillers last for about 6 to 12 months. Silicone lip fillers are inserted into the lips by making two small incisions and can be removed whenever the patient wants to. Silicone lip fillers don’t give the person the natural looking lips such as that given by HA or collagen lip fillers.
Lip injections using fat transfer
Lip filling with fat involves extracting small amount of fat from other part of the body such as abdomen, buttocks, thighs etc. The fat is then cleaned and about 2ml to 10ml is injected into the lips and at the edges of lips (smile lines). Using fat transfer for lip filling enhances the size, fullness and symmetry of the lips. The recovery time of lip filling using fat transfer is relatively slower than other methods. The patient may expect swelling and bruising of lips during the recovery process. The fact that the amount of fat that is absorbed by the body after injecting into the lips varies from person to person makes this a much less attractive option than Hyaluronic fillers. Multiple sessions may be required to get the desired shape of the lips.
Side effects and risks of lip fillers
Compared to lip filling using fat transfer, the side effects of hyaluronic fillers are short lived, may be for a few days. They include:
- Bleeding from the incision / injection site.
- Swelling and bruising. (The severity of bruising varies depending on the type of filler used)
- Inflammation of the lips
- The cold sores around the lips may get reactivated in case of patients having herpes simplex.
In rare cases, there may be severe bruising of lips that may last longer than a week. If not done properly, there may be asymmetry of lips that may look ugly. Possibility of infection exists with every surgery and lip filling procedure even though a non surgical way of lip augmentation carries certain risk. Certain group of people may be allergic to the compound injected (other than fat transfer) and that may destroy the shape of lips after surgery.
Your plastic or cosmetic surgeon will keep you informed on most of this information like what you can expect, what is normal after lip filling and what is not normal. If you have any questions or see any of the above mentioned symptoms, don’t hesitate to call up your plastic surgeon for an appointment immediately. Note that the most exposed part of a person’s body is the face and it is very important that you do your homework thoroughly before finalizing on the best cosmetic surgeon near you to work on your lips and face.