Cosmetic Surgery Procedures
Toronto Rhinoplasty Surgeon – Otolaryngologist Head and Neck Surgeon
Perfect, Permanent, Pout.
A plump pout is universally synonymous with beauty, sensuality and youth. For years women have utilized all sorts of techniques to enhance their lips including, manual massage, injectables and augmentation surgery. Today, when it comes to lip enhancement, there have never been more options available.
Injectable fillers have been used for years to enhance lips. Fillers range from temporary to permanent injectable products. Each of these products has advantages and disadvantages. Temporary products are currently the commonest lip augmentation technique. The biggest limitation of temporary fillers is the longevity of the product. Typically temporary fillers used for lip enhancement can last anywhere from 4 to 12 months. Semi permanent-Permanent fillers such as artesense have been around for over a decade and can permanently enhance lips. The biggest drawback of artesense is the textural changes to the lips and risk of occasion palpable or visible lumps. Liquid Silicone which can also be used to enhance lips is not a legal product in Canada. For those that are looking for long lasting enhancement there are surgical solutions available. One of the commonest implants used in Canada is the Advanta Gore-Tex strips. Advanta, is a modification of what most people know as Gore-Tex which is essentially a form of Teflon. Gortex is composed of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE), this material is very soft, flexible, and compressible, much like a marshmallow. Its characteristic makes it an effective and suitable lip implant material.
Advanta is easy to place as it comes preloaded on a trocar (big needle) and is available in a wide range of sizes from very small (2.5mms) to quite large (8mms) in both circular and oval cross-sectional shapes.
Advanta can easily be placed in the office under local anesthesia. It is placed through a small incision in the corners of the mouth. A trocar is carefully threaded from one side of the mouth to the other. The biggest challenge is to be sure that the implant is placed at the same tissue depth on both sides of the lip. I typically use a split-implant technique. By using a central incision in upper lip, the implant can be thread half-way, cut, and then thread through the other side. This technique also allows for customizing the implant to avoid a sausage shaped lip.
Generally I advise patients to augment their lips with temporary filler products prior to considering surgical implants. This ensures the patient has had an opportunity see what their lips feel and look like with enhancement before committing to a surgical implant.
There is now a new permanent lip implant available. Juva Medical’s FulFil™ is an implant that does away with the drawbacks of inject able fillers that are temporary, costly and viewed by some as inconvenient. This product is a small silicone tube covered in gortex. Like Advanta it is placed surgically with a threading technique. What is unique about FulFil is that after the implant is in place it is filled with saline to plump it up.
FulFil and Advanta are both removable if a patient wishes to reverse the procedure.
Despite the frequent touting of your own fat as an injectable filler, and reports of great longevity and possible permanency, most plastic surgeons have not had that experience. Fat in the lip is unpredictable. It is still an option but patients must realize its limitations and unpredictability. Fat injection to lips is not reversible.
In specific situations surgical lip enhancement known as vermilion advancements or subnasal lip lifts are necessary to obtain desired results. While these surgical techniques are effective at making lips appear bigger, they do have risks and will produce permanent scars. Patients that have very thin and long upper lips are possible candidates for this option.
Lip implants currently not available in Canada. Interested patients should look in United States for the procedure.