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Facial features can be derived anywhere from congenital conditions to hereditary factors, and the majority of the time people are uncomfortable with the minor imperfections in their personal appearance. Sometimes a simple medical procedure can correct that slight imperfection. For example, a person with very slight lips can achieve amazing results with lip implants. Lip implants can be placed to increase the fullness of your upper lip, lower lip, or both lips, but it will not improve problems with lipstick bleed along wrinkles.
Lip implants are performed under local anesthesia, reducing the risks associated with general anesthesia. Lip implant materials are available in liquid form for injection or sheet form for surgical placement. The type of material used for the procedure will determine the method of surgery for the lip implant. The use of sheet material requires small incisions made at the corners of your mouth. Each sheet of material is then threaded through your lips to provide smooth, even augmentation. The incisions are hidden inside your mouth to achieve aesthetically pleasing results.
As long as local anesthetic was used, you may return to your regular routine immediately following lip implants. If you were sedated, then you may resume your usual activities the following day. Discomfort is minimal, and prescription pain medication is often not required, however, swelling and bruising last anywhere from a few days to one week.
Types of lip implants can be classified as liquid form or sheet form. Liquid collagen injections were once the primary type of lip implants, but due to short-lived effects, which were usually only 6 weeks, other types were developed. Newer injection types include Restylane, which has the consistency of gel and lasts 6-9 months; or Radiance, which has the consistency of toothpaste and lasts 3-5 years.
Other types of methods for lip implants require materials in sheet form. The options for sheet form lip implants are Alloderm, Dermaplant, fascia, or Gore-Tex. Even your own fat can be used for lip augmentation. This has the benefit of being easily accepted by your body and of giving a permanent, natural result.
Lip implant types Alloderm and Dermaplant are freeze-dried collagen that is prepared in sheet form. The lip implant is obtained from a postmortem human donor. These types of lip implants result in natural, soft, and pliable lips, however the downside is that the lip implant will shrink over the course of a year, at which time you will look the same as you did prior to your lip implants. The cost for this procedure is approximately $1500 - $3000 to augment both lips. Currently, because its ease of placement and consistent results, sheet collagen is the lip implant material of choice for many plastic surgeons, however plastic surgeons continue to search for a longer lasting alternative due to its provisional effects.
Another type of lip implant is fascia, a dense white connective tissue that surrounds your muscles. Fascia is found in many areas of the body, such as in the scalp above either ear, and can be harvested for cosmetic use. Unfortunately, fascia requires surgery for harvest, resulting in another area of discomfort and potential complications. The cost of fascia procedure is similar to that of Alloderm placement, and they will also shrink and become absorbed by your body within 6 to 12 months.
An extremely versatile material used for lip implants is Gore-Tex. A cross between cloth and rubber, Gore-Tex is used to make high-quality raincoats and other breathable, water-resistant outdoor gear. Gore-Tex is slightly stiff, but most recipients become accustomed to this. One advantage of Gore-Tex lip implants is that they will never shrink, compared to Alloderm and Dermaplant, and they cost about the same, $1500 to $3000. Unfortunately, there is no perfect lip implant, and one disadvantage is that Gore-Tex may potentially push its way out of your lips.
For this next type of lip implant, you may already have the required material in stored away in your body. Fat can be harvested from your body and injected into your lips for augmentation. This is a carefully performed technique by a skilled surgeon, with optimal results being smooth and lasting. Some initial shrinkage will occur only during the first 3 months, with permanent results then being evident. Once again, every lip implant technique has its drawbacks. Few surgeons are skilled in this technique, swelling and bruising can last 2-3 weeks, and there is a limit to how large the lips can be made. However, because the results are lasting, this is becoming the most reliable option for lip augmentation.
Lip augmentation has become popular due to the impressive cosmetic results possible through this relatively simple procedure. However, because the ideal implant material has not yet been identified, and plastic surgeons continue to research this area. Fat injection, in the hands of an experienced surgeon, shows the best and longest lasting results. An experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon can help you determine which lip implant technique will work best for you.