Lip augmentation is an increasingly common cosmetic procedure performed by physicians in the fields of dermatology, cosmetic medicine and general or facial plastic surgery. Procedures which are surgical in nature must be carried out by surgeons while those involving injections may be carried out by physicians with experience in cosmetic procedures. The goal of lip augmentation is to create fuller, plumper lips and reduce fine wrinkles around the mouth.
There are both temporary and permanent options to lip augmentation.
Temporary lip augmentation can be achieved with either collagen or hylaform gel. Collagen is a natural occurring material found in human and animal tissues. Injectable collagen is derived from animal products and has been treated for human use – meaning that there is a low risk of allergic reaction associated with its use. Hylaform gel is a sugar compound that is manufactured but is compatible with human physiology. This too is administered via injection with no known associated allergy. Both of these injectables last a number of months as the products breakdown over time. Repeat treatments are necessary to maintain best results.
Artecol is considered a semi-permanent injectable product – it is in fact likely permanent but because it has been on the marked for less than the average patients lifespan, it cannot technically be marketed as a permanent product. Artecol is composed of both collagen and tiny synthetic implants made of a plastic product. These “plastic implants” form scars, which are responsible for the long-term enhancement. The downside to this product is that while it lasts long-term, it can produce unwanted lumpiness and texture changes to the lips.
Advanta implants are made of gortex. Gortex is a synthetic implantable material that is used in many surgeries including vascular surgery. These implants require a surgical procedure where a small incision is made inside the lips and the implant is placed from one end of the lip to the other. This procedure, if not done perfectly, can cause unwanted cosmetic results. The implants tend to be soft but don’t always feel like ones natural lip.
Full lips add to facial balance and beauty.
Do These Still Make Me Look Fat?
In addition to the various products on the market, lips may also be injected with the patients own FAT. Yes, it’s true.
If you are considering lip augmentation, you may want to enquire about this option. First the fat is removed by liposuction – usually from the abdomen – then placed in a centrifuge to separate the fat goblets, which are then strained and injected into the lips. Ah beauty! Now before you get too excited, don’t start thinking you can skip a day at the gym because of a mass migration of fat from your belly to your face – only 2 ccs usually do the trick. While this procedure can cause lumpiness to the lips, it does have the advantage of being from ones own body.
Other implants from ones own body include fascia and dermis grafts. These tissues are thought to provide longer lasting results than fat injections. Facia is a firm tissue that lies over muscle while dermis are from the deep layer of the skin.
Dr. Philip Solomon, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C) completed his medical school training at the University of Toronto and is Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. Solomon runs his own Toronto practice and is on surgical staff at York Central, St Michael’sand Etobicoke General Hospitals. He is also on the teaching faculty of the University of Toronto.