Georgeanna Huang, MD Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

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Lip Enhancement

For ages, full and luscious lips have been associated with beauty. Actresses that have made their names using their signature pouts and lips have become an icon of sensuality and allure.

Now with the advent of technology, lip augmentation has become within reach of average consumers. It is a relatively easy plastic surgery procedure, and you can have full luscious lips to enhance your facial features. Lip enhancement is a type of cosmetic surgery that aims to improve the appearance of the lips by increasing their fullness through enlargement. Full lips with an accentuated border have often been associated with beauty and youth. It has been suggested that this is because the lips occupy both sides of the face and, with the smile, constitute a major focal point of overall facial beauty. Tribal peoples worldwide have introduced various materials into and through the upper and lower lips of both genders to enhance beauty. Unfortunately, one of the effects of human aging is atrophy of facial fat including the lips. In most cultures, this translates as no longer attractive, youthful nor desirable. The procedure to enlarge lips can also reduce the fine lines and wrinkles above the top lip, flaws often referred to as “smoker’s lines.”

Lip augmentation creates fuller, plumper lips and reduces fine wrinkles around the mouth. Lips may be injected with collagen or with fat transferred from another site in the patient's body. Both liquid collagen and fat are absorbed and repeat treatments are necessary to maintain results. Newer, longer-lasting options include implantable materials like AlloDerm and SoftForm.

A natural or synthetic biocompatible material, or the patient's own fat, is injected or implanted in the lips. One injection is usually sufficient to produce the desired result, which may be temporary, depending on the material used. Injections may need to be repeated periodically. Proper placement of the injected material is important. AlloDerm, a natural collagen sheet made from donated skin, is inserted through tiny incisions inside the corners of the mouth. Once the AlloDerm implant is in place, it eventually becomes integrated with the natural tissues. Gore-Tex, SoftForm and soft ePTFE are other synthetic implant options.

Immediate return to normal activities (one-day return if sedated) for nonsurgical procedures; depending on the procedure and materials used, recovery period is within a week for surgical procedures. AlloDerm and Dermalogen do not require patients to provide donor tissue and are not rejected by the body, because they are human tissue. Usually they have a pliable, natural feel. Gore-Tex implants are permanent, easily inserted and well tolerated by the body. Temporary procedures like collagen or fat injection can be appealing to patients who want to experiment with a fuller-lipped look, but not necessarily commit to it.

 

 
 
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is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, with subspecialty training in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast.
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BOTOX® Cosmetic is a registered trademark of Allergan, Inc. and JUVÉDERM® is a registered trademark of Allergan Industrie, SAS.

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