Upper and lower lips show the effects of aging, gravity, sun exposure and smoking over time. Lines and creases tend to become more exaggerated. Soft-tissue fillers can be used to help smooth these areas. Materials used for fillers are collagen, fascia grafts, Gortex and fat grafts. These materials are all used for lip augmentation.
Each of the materials will be discussed below. Areas most frequently requested are for lip augmentation and nasolabial folds (the lines from the nose to the corner of the mouth). Individual results vary with age, skin type, and depth of the wrinkles, skin condition, genetic background and lifestyle.
Gortex is another substance that is used for soft tissue augmentation. Gortex is a synthetic material which has been used in the body for over 20 years. Gortex is a very soft, supple material that comes in different thickness and is used for facial and lip soft-tissue augmentation.
The advantages of augmentation with Gortex are:
A relatively simple piece of material to thread underneath a wrinkle or to augment the lip;
No other incision made to obtain graft material;
Results are permanent.
Fascia is a "gristle" substance that is located in many parts of the human body, which can be used for grafting purposes. It has minimal physiological requirements compared to fat injections and tends to last for years after it has been transplanted. Fascia is typically harvested from the scalp area or from behind the ear. This can be done either as a separate procedure or at the time of a combined procedure with, for example, a facelift.
Once the fascia has been obtained, a small incision is made at the filler site, say for example the lips. A small tunnel is made and the fascia is placed beneath the skin. Usually one stitch is used to close the incision. The areas tend to remain puffy and swollen for approximately four to six weeks after the surgery. Many patients have long-term results with fascia grafts lasting seven or eight years.
A filler such as Restylane can fill in deeper lines and creases for a smoother, more youthful-looking appearance. This is temporary, with the injections lasting approximately two to six months. The filler is injected underneath the skin to fill in the wrinkles and it is used to augment the size of the lips.
A filler is most commonly used in the lips and the nasolabial folds. It is injected with a fine needle inserted at several points along the area being injected. Some minor discomfort is expected when injections are taking place. The treatment takes approximately ten to forty-five minutes to perform.
Immediately after the injections patients may notice some mild discomfort, stinging, or throbbing in and around the injected area. Any redness that might occur at the injection site usually disappears within 24-36 hours. There is no aftercare associated with filler therapy. Patients are able to put makeup on immediately after the injection has been performed.
For lip augmentation in Seattle or Bellevue contact Facial Plastic Surgeon William Portuese.