Patients who are unhappy with the volume, the balance, or the shape of their lips can benefit from a lip procedure. Both lip enlargement and lip reduction are possible.
About the Procedure
Procedures are performed by Dr. Kress on an outpatient basis, usually under local anesthesia, either in a free-standing surgical center or in the office.
Lip Reduction: Small hidden incisions are made in inconspicuous areas behind the lips proper, tiny amounts of the lip tissue can be removed reducing the visual prominence and volume of the lips.
Lip Augmentation: This can also be done surgically by making advancing flaps behind the lips. This technique will advance lip tissue forward giving a fuller volume and increased prominence. The disadvantage is in the scarring.
Other techniques include nearly all of the injectable filler substances and the synthetics such as Gore-Tex™. Different materials have different rates of resorption but they are always faster to absorb in the lips than in other areas of the body. Collagen – rarely used except for a temporary improvement or to make a movie – absorption is very fast.
Gore-Tex: Extremely easy and fast to place in the lips but does not move naturally and can sometimes be felt in the lips. Also has a risk of infection.
Artefill®: An FDA-approved injectable wrinkle filler designed for the correction of smile lines.
Lipostructure: More involved procedure with a donor site in addition to the lips. It gives the most natural and the softest end result. Large increases may need more than one session for satisfactory results.
There is minimal pain involved with the procedures, and any sutures that need to be used are removed within 7 days. Bruising that occurs is gone for most patients within 10 to 14 days, but swelling can be a nuisance in the lips, lasting as long as a month in some cases. Return to work will depend on how much you have to interact with the public and the ability to work with mildly swollen lips.
After lip procedures, you can see an improvement in facial esthetics with better balance and a desirable lip shape and volume.
What are the risks of lip augmentation?
The risks of lip augmentation are minimal, but they do exist. With lip implants, infection and/or irritation from an improperly-sized implant can occur. Extrusion (the body rejecting the implant) is also a risk, as is migration (movement of the implant). Permanent discolorations from the bruising can occur, and hematomas are possible. Injectable filers have some risks, too. Some products carry a risk of allergic reaction. Other risks include infection, necrosis (tissue death), granuloma formation, and severe inflammation.
Is lip augmentation reversible?
Lip augmentation with an implant is reversible; that is to say, the implant can be removed during a subsequent surgery. Lip augmentation with most injectables is temporary, so the effects disappear on their own with time. Permanent injectables are more difficult to remove, so keep this in mind when making your decision.