Lip augmentation is quickly becoming a popular cosmetic procedure to alter or enhance the appearance of the lips. Injectable soft tissue fillers containing hyaluronic acid (HA) are the most common method used for lip contouring. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance with fewer allergenic aspects. The temporary and reversible effects it provides make it an ideal filler even for first-time recipients. The water-attracting molecules of HA creates a plumping effect, visibly increasing the volume of the lips.
Ageing, genetic factors, cigarette smoking, and photodamage contribute to volume loss in the perioral area. Lip wrinkles, genetically thin lips, and cosmetic asymmetry are some of the issues that can be improved by lip augmentation. This can be done surgically or through a minimally invasive procedure such as dermal filler injectable.
Different types of lip augmentation procedure
Soft-tissue Filler Injectables
Collagen used to be the most popular injectable filler in the market, but the increasing number of hypersensitivity reactions from bovine-derived collagen has triggered its demise. It was then replaced by hyaluronic acid-based fillers based on popularity.
Fat injections are not as popular today because of varying results and greater risk of side effects. The fat is taken from the patient’s body using a syringe and, after some preparation, will then be injected into the lips. The technique does not require FDA approval. The effects may last up to a year.
- Hyaluronic acid
The most frequently used fillers that come prepackaged and ready to inject. Most dermal fillers last between 6 to 12 months. HA-based fillers can be easily reversed using the enzyme hyaluronidase. Newer formulations already contain lidocaine for a pain-free injection. Available products include Juvederm Volbella XC, Juvederm, Ultra XC, Restylane Silk, and Belotero Balance.
- PMMA Microspheres
Polymethylmethacrylate microspheres are sometimes use around the edges of the lips to erase lines and wrinkles. Because of its denser molecules, they are not injected to the body of the lips. Artecoll and Artefill are known products containing PMMA that provide permanent results.
Soft-Tissue Filler for Lip Augmentation Side Effects:
Surgery and Lip Implants
- Lip Implants
Lip implants mainly use medical grade materials, such as collagen, polymers, and saline to augment the lips. Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) is a soft, flexible, non-biodegradable synthetic polymer that permits tissue ingrowth. The implant contains tiny pores that allow the growth of natural lip tissue so that it becomes part of the lip structure. Popular products include Gore-Tex Implants: Softform, Utrasoft, and Advanta.
- Dermal Graft
A minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses a dermal graft harvested from the patient’s body, typically the inside of the thigh. After careful processing, the graft is then used instead of fillers to augment the lips. This procedure provides longer lasting result than soft tissue injectables.
- Lip Lift
The lips can also be altered surgically to give the patient a more relaxed and youthful smile. The procedure will create scars that will eventually heal. This is recommended for patients that exhibit a permanent frown due to the way their lips are formed.
Surgical Lip Augmentation Procedure Side Effects:
- Uneven Lips