Full, plump lips are a desire that a lot of people have, and they’re often considered a sign of good health, beauty, and youth. Due to genetics, some of us are born with naturally thin lips, while others experience lip thinning due to the natural aging process. Luckily, there are many ways to enhance or restore your lips. If you’re dissatisfied with your lips, contact Sule Plastic Surgery in Dallas, TX today and speak with one of our medical professionals about your options regarding lip augmentation.
When Should You Consider a Lip Augmentation?
If your lips have always been thin and you’ve dreamed of having plumper, thicker lips, you may be a good candidate for a lip procedure. Additionally, if you’ve previously been satisfied with the look of your lips but your lips have become thinner and less full with time, there are options available to help restore your youthful look.
As an elective procedure, the bottom line is that if you feel self-conscious about how your lips look, if fuller lips would help balance out your face, or if you feel your self-confidence would improve from such a procedure, you should consider it.
What Are the Pros and Cons of the Procedure?
As with every elective procedure, there are pros and cons associated with lip augmentation.
- Some options are temporary (injections)
- Implants/surgery can provide permanent results
- Relatively quick recovery period from surgery
- Temporary fillers (injections) last only a few months
- Lip asymmetry can occur
- Removing implants isn’t an easy procedure
This is a very general list of pros and cons that encompasses a variety of procedures used to enhance the lips. To discuss the pros and cons related to your specific wants and needs, it’s best to speak with your surgeon about your options.
What Makes Someone a Good Candidate?
Do one or both of your lips disappear when you smile? Do you want to plump up your thin lips to create a fuller look? Individuals in either of these situations can make excellent candidates for lip enhancement. Additionally, patients looking to improve uneven lips or simply to enhance the shape of their mouths should also consider the procedure.
Finally, individuals who feel their lips are too large and overwhelm their other facial features can benefit from a lip reduction procedure as opposed to lip enhancement. If you feel your lips are too large, talk to one of our medical professionals about how we can help you look and feel your best.
What Lip Augmentation Procedures Are Available?
There’s more than one way to enhance your lips. Your surgeon will provide you with a more in-depth breakdown of your options depending on what your goals are and the recovery timeframe you have available. Sometimes a patient may opt for having more than one procedure done to reach their aesthetic goals.
In this non-invasive treatment, fat from your own body is removed via liposuction from an area of abundance and injected into your lips. In order to achieve the results you want, you may need to undergo the treatment more than once. Fat injections can be an option for those looking for a non-invasive treatment as well as those who prefer a more natural approach to cosmetic enhancements.
Another type of injection treatment are fillers. They’re made from a natural or synthetic biocompatible material, such as collagen or hyaluronic acid, which act as a fat substitute to plump up your lips. Unlike with fat transfer, one treatment is usually enough to produce the desired result. Fillers, though, are often temporary, making them a fantastic option for people who aren’t sure they want to undergo a surgical procedure to permanently plump their lips.
While fillers and fat injections can be transitory, a dermal graft is a permanent solution to lip enhancement. The procedure involves surgically advancing the lip forward with incisions placed inside the mouth. A dermal-fat graft is taken from the deeper layers of the skin and is positioned under the mucosa (lining of the lip) to increase its volume and plump it up.
The vermillion advancement begins with an incision being made along the border of the colored portion of your lips. A strip of skin outside the border is removed and then the colored portion is pulled forward to increase the area of the lips.
Incisions are made at the corners of the mouth through which lip implants are inserted. There are a variety of implants from which you can choose, including both natural and synthetic options. You and your surgeon will discuss the features of each type of implant and decide together which will be the best way to achieve the results you’re looking for.
With a lip lift, removing extra skin and lifting the lips will help people who suffer from loose skin or a downward sloping mouth. An incision is made under the nose and the skin is shortened to pull up the lips. In some procedures, the upper lip is shortened to expose more teeth. When a patient’s mouth turns downward, small incisions are made on the side of the mouth and the extra skin is removed. Small sutures are used for this procedure and typically removed 4 or 5 days later.
How Long Does a Lip Augmentation Take?
The length of time your lip augmentation takes to complete will depend on which option you choose to enhance your look.
If you opt for injections, whether using fillers or your own body fat, the treatment can be performed in the office with little to no downtime and little preparation. Your provider will prep the area to be treated and will sometimes add numbing cream to enhance patient comfort. The treatment itself takes less than an hour for most people, and you’ll be given instructions to follow regarding your aftercare when you leave the office.
Surgical Lip Procedures
Should you decide that a permanent surgical option is what you desire to meet your aesthetic goals, your procedure may be performed in a hospital, ambulatory facility, or an office-based surgical site. Most lip procedures take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete.
Medications are typically administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. In many cases, general anesthesia will be used during the procedure; however, local anesthesia or intravenous sedation may be an option in some instances. Once your procedure is complete, you will be taken to a recovery area where you will be closely monitored. The length of time you spend there will depend a lot on the kind of anesthesia used, but the vast majority of patients are able to go home that very day unless special plans were made with the surgeon ahead of time.
Lip procedures are usually performed on an outpatient basis. Always make sure to secure a ride home from the facility as you may be unable to drive yourself due to the effects of anesthesia.
How to Prepare for Your Procedure
Preparation for your lip augmentation will depend on the kind of procedure you and your surgeon have decided upon. You’ll be given thorough preoperative instructions from your surgeon, and they will answer any and all questions you may have. They will then take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to ensure that you’re fit for surgery.
If you smoke cigarettes or use smokeless tobacco products, you’ll be asked to stop at least 6 weeks before undergoing surgery to avoid complications with healing. You should also avoid taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs as well as any herbal medications that can lead to increased bleeding. Make sure your surgeon is aware of any and all medications, vitamins, or other substances you take, even if they are herbal supplements.
What Do Aftercare and Recovery Entail?
The recovery time associated with nonsurgical lip enhancement options is minimal. Sometimes patients experience minor bruising or swelling that subsides with time.
Regardless of the procedure that you choose, your surgeon will discuss with you how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of physical activity. After your surgery, you and your caretaker will receive detailed instructions regarding what to do post-surgery. You’ll be informed how to care for surgical drains if any have been placed, and you’ll be well-educated on the normal recovery symptoms you may experience.
Immediately After Surgery
After surgery, you will most likely experience postoperative bruising and swelling. You may experience mild to moderate discomfort for a day or two at most. To reduce any swelling, bruising, or soreness, a cold compress can be applied to the operative site. Depending on how invasive the procedure you elected to undergo was, you may need to be restricted to a liquid diet for a day or two to reduce the amount of movement your lips experience as they heal.
It’s extremely important for your recovery that you closely follow all of the patient care instructions provided to you by your surgeon. This will include information about wearing compression garments and care of any drains that are placed (though these are not usually relevant to lip augmentation surgery). You’ll also be informed about when to take your antibiotic, if one is prescribed, and the level and types of activities that you can safely perform at this stage in your recovery.
What to Do the First Two Weeks
You should be able to return to work and other normal day-to-day activities within a week. Your sutures will be removed in 4 to 6 days, and those placed within the mouth should dissolve within the same amount of time. It’s important to know that with surgeries that take place in or around the mouth, you may be restricted to a soft food diet for up to ten days to promote healing.
After 4 to 6 weeks, vigorous physical activity can usually be resumed. Your surgeon will give you the details.
How Long Does the Procedure Last?
How long your procedure lasts will depend on which procedure(s) you’ve elected to undergo. Fat injections may require more than one treatment session to reach their full potential but could lead to permanent lip enhancement. With other fillers, the duration of the treatment’s effect depends on the type of filler used. Some last 3 to 6 months while others can last as long as a year.
Surgical options, including dermal grafting, lip implants, lip lifting, and vermillion advancement are essentially permanent solutions.
Learn More or Get Started
No matter which type of lip augmentation you choose, whether surgical or non-invasive, the duration of your procedure or treatment will take between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Recovery is typically mild, with most patients able to go home the same day.
If you’re unsatisfied with your lips due to age, genetics, or any other reason, you may be a great candidate for lip augmentation. If you’d like to know more about your options, contact Sule Plastic Surgery in Dallas, TX at 972-882-9897 today to discuss your options.