Lip augmentation with synthetic lip implants is a cosmetic procedure that is
performed to add volume and shape to a patient’s lips – and also used in
reconstructive purposes as well. Lip implants create a permanent yet reversible
enhancement of the lips by defining their appearance more. These implants do not
shrink and are never absorbed into the body. They also remain in place because
scar tissue forms on the other end.
A good potential patient for lip
augmentation with implants should be in good physical and emotional health. That
the patient has a realistic expectations about the results, including what to
expect during and after the procedure, the benefits and most importantly the
Different types of lip or
dermal implants available are:
There are risks and benefits of
implants for lip augmentation surgery. Inflammation,
seroma formation, and complications with the implant itself are
rare but potential risks. People who are prone to developing cold sores may
develop an exacerbation following this type of surgery. If this were to happen
then you would be given tablets and ointments to treat the cold sores which
should not alter the overall result. There may also be slight asymmetries of the
lips, scarring, firmness of the graft, and temporary changes in sensation.
If the implant is not inserted
correctly during surgery, the implant may be very palpable afterwards and
require additional manipulation in order to achieve the desired results.
Complications during this procedure are rare and greatly reduced when performed
by a qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon.
Lip augmentation with lip implants takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to
complete and average a couple of thousand dollars on up. The surgeon will first
make small incisions in the lips. This lip augmentation procedure is performed
under local anesthesia, with or without light sedation, on an out patient basis.
The incisions are most often made at the corners of the mouth, but may be made
elsewhere on the lips, depending on the specific technique being used. The
surgeon will then create a thin tunnel to accommodate the implant. Creating this
tunnel properly is vital to ensuring that the lip implant may be placed
correctly and provides an even, natural-looking result. The surgeon will insert
will then implant and thread it through the lip. The lip implant will be
precisely trimmed to the proper length, and the incisions will be closed.
recovery it is possible for patients to experiences some swelling, discomfort,
tightness and bruising for one to three weeks – and this procedure does take
some getting use to. Although you may always be able to feel the implant under
your skin, softening of the implant is anticipated over time.
for lip implants are approximately $4500. This cost will
vary depending on many factors, including the type of doctor
that performs the procedure, the type of lip implant used and
the geographical area where the surgery is going to take
Cold sores are viral outbreaks,
usually on the lips. Although they may occur during a cold, they are not
due to the cold virus. This virus lays dormant when there are no visible
cold sores, however; if the body should become stressed (such as during an
illness, emotional stress, physical trauma or surgery) - the dormant virus will
become active and start triggering cold sores.
If there are active cold sores at
the time of your lip procedure it may cause a severe outbreak afterward. The outbreak will not be limited to your lips; it could possibly involve other
parts of the face. If you do have active cold sores, your procedure will
be postponed until after they have healed. Even if you do not have any
active cold sores, your surgeon will more than likely suggest antiviral
medication as a precaution.
implants such as Gore-Texlip implants, may work their way out through
one of the incisions. To prevent this complication from occurring your
surgeon will try to keep the implant away from the healing incision. If
extrusion does occur, your surgeon will probably remove the implant and allow
your lips to heal. Extrusion following placement of injected material is
Implants that are placed in sheet
form may become infected. Patient should make sure they take all of their
antibiotics from the procedure to minimize this risk. If an infection
occurs anyway, then the removal of the infected implant and a course of a
stronger antibiotic will be recommended. If removal is necessary, most
surgeons like to wait a minimum of six months to try and place the implants
again. Scarring can occur from having an infection, making replacement
surgery harder to perform. Risk of infection following placement of
sheet implants is less than two percent. Risk of infection following
a dermal injection is even less commonplace.
UltraSoft comes from the makers of SoftForm (Tissue Technologies, Inc.) and is
similar in design to SoftForm, however, the company reports that UltraSoft is
approximately three times softer than its sister implant, allowing for the implant
to feel more like your own tissue.
Gore-Tex is a micro porous implant, however is slightly stiffer than Advanta and
UltraSoft. Most patients adapt to the feel and are very comfortable with it.
Recipients of Gore-Tex will not experience any shrinkage over time.
Advanta is a dual porosity implant which was designed to address issues of
softness, reduced migration and shrinkage. This dual porosity structure creates
a noticeably soft implant. Advanta is gaining in popularity among surgeons as
the implant exhibits not only great softness, but excellent tissue in-growth
compared with lower porosity implants.
FulFil is a new type of saline-filled lip implant, which has great potential for
a softer permanent lip implant. One of the advantages of the FulFil lip implant
is that the size can be adjusted at the time of surgery by adding more saline
Lip implants made of ePTFE have
some distinct advantages over Alloderm or Dermaplant. The patient tends to get a
more defined appearance versus a plumped up pouty look.
Also due to the fact
that implants are permanent, there will be no shrinkage like you see when
fillers are wearing off.
The cost tends to be approximately the same as Dermaplant.
disadvantage with this procedure is that since the implants are a foreign
body and may become infected or rejected.
This procedure is more invasive and tends to have a longer recovery time
than some of the injectable fillers.
Because these implants do have the capacity of getting hard, they can make
the patient’s lips feel very unnatural.
Complications and risks of having surgery.
Some of the side effects from lip augmentation with implants include
bleeding, lip asymmetry, and migration and extrusion of the implant.
extrusion should occur, the physician will excise a portion of the implant
and re-close the opening of the lip.
Infection is a common, but treatable risk.
Other complications of the removable implants (Gore-Tex, SoftForm, UltraSoft
and Advanta) are less common but include migration, extrusion, decreased
mobility, and irritation from a poor fitting implant.
The hollow implants (UltraSoft) allow your own tissues to grow into them
which decreases the risk of infection, rejection, and mobility.
Cost is variable but usually runs about one thousand dollars per implant.
All implants carry the risk of permanent discoloration, scarring, and