Lip Augmentation Overview
Patients looking for fuller, more luscious lips have a variety of options to achieve their goal. Lip injections use fillers to plump lips, and the injectable material may be either natural, such as a fat transfer, or synthetic. Patients desiring permanent results should consider surgical procedures. These include lip implants or lift, dermal grafts, and vermillion advancement. Depending on your desired results – increasing volume and plumpness or altering the shape of your lips – Dr. Vallecillos will advise you on the correct procedure.
- Preparation: For any cosmetic procedure, Dr. Vallecillos asks you to stop taking blood-thinning medications and supplements, and instructs smokers to cease smoking during the two weeks before and the two weeks after treatment. Finally, all patients should increase hydration in the weeks leading up to and following their procedure. Lip enhancement is typically an outpatient procedure, but patients who opt for a surgical procedure should arrange for transportation to and from the clinic. Additionally, patients over age 45 require medical clearance from their primary physician.
- Anesthesia: As anesthetic requirements differ depending on which procedure you choose, Dr. Vallecillos will discuss your options during your preoperative consultation.
- Preoperative Consult: Arrive at your preoperative consult prepared to discuss your desired results. Dr. Vallecillos asks a number of questions, including those relating to your current and prior medical history as well as your motivation in seeking lip augmentation. Pictures are taken and likely outcomes discussed. This is also when he discusses your anesthesia options and details your pre- and post-operative instructions. Additionally, you should prepare your own list of questions for the doctor.
The procedure for nonsurgical treatments typically takes less than an hour, although fat transfers take more time than filler injections due to the additional time needed for the fat harvesting and purifying process. Autologous fat transfers are a three-step process. First, fat cells are harvested from a donor site, such as abdomen or thighs. Next, the fat cells are purified via centrifugation, which purifies and separates the fat from surrounding liquid. Finally, Dr. Vallecillos injects the purified fat cells into the lips. Filler injections involve only the third step: injecting the patient’s chosen filler material.
Surgical lip-plumping treatments may take up to two hours to complete. The doctor administers the agreed-upon anesthesia, ensuring your comfort throughout the procedure. A dermal graft includes incisions inside the mouth and insertion of dermal fat under the lip lining. In patients choosing lip implants, the doctor inserts your chosen implant material via incisions made at the corner of the mouth.
A vermillion advancement surgery alters lip shape via incisions along the lip border, removing a strip of skin outside that border and then redraping the colored portion of the lips to increase their area. Another reshaping option is a lip lift, in which Dr. Vallecillos removes excess skin to improve a downward sloping mouth. Further steps vary depending on your desired results.
Lip Augmentation FAQs
Who is a candidate for a lip augmentation?
Adults in general good health with reasonable expectations for their procedure are ideal candidates for lip augmentation. If you feel your lips are too thin, or are uneven, and you would like to create a fuller, more even profile, you may want to consider this procedure.
What is the recovery time for a lip augmentation?
Recovery time varies according to the procedure selected. Follow Dr. Vallecillos’ instructions exactly to ensure the best results for your procedure. Nonsurgical procedures have a short recovery period, with light swelling lasting no more than two weeks, and the majority of pain and swelling residing after a few days.
Recovery after a surgical procedure is more involved. You should be able to return to work in less than a week, as well as resume other normal activities. After about five days, the stitches come out, while sutures inside the mouth resolve in a similar timeframe. Swelling and bruising reduce steadily over two weeks. Dr. Vallecillos informs you of common symptoms to expect, but contact him immediately if you notice any signs of complications.
Are there risks or side effects associated with a lip augmentation?
Risk accompanies any surgery, especially those performed under anesthesia. Risks include scarring, bleeding, hematoma, and adverse reactions to anesthesia.
How long do the results last?
As stated previously, results vary greatly depending on your chosen procedure. Injections last only a few months, which for some patients is a point in their favor. Surgical lip augmentation procedures are usually permanent.