Lip enhancement surgery is a group of procedures that can involve a variety of substances to increase the volume of the lips or surgery to reshape the lips. Lip enhancement surgery can be divided into procedures which increase the volume of the lips by adding material or procedures which reshape the lips utilizing various incisions. Occasionally, lip augmentation procedures are performed in conjunction with lip reshaping procedures. Most lip augmentation or lip reshaping procedures can be performed under local anesthesia.
Lip augmentation surgery can be performed by a variety of methods and there is no one method which is best for all patients. It is common in most practices that the patient makes various decisions regarding their lip augmentation surgery. Like everything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages for each option and every patient has different opinions and desires so you are encouraged to discuss the various options with your plastic surgeon at length to find out which option is best for you. Your board certified facial plastic surgeon will review a few common options and some of the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
There are several incisions used for lip reshaping procedures. For a lip lift procedure, the incisions are placed beneath the nostril sills and base of the columella of the nose. For a corner of the mouth lift procedure, the scars are placed at the junction of the pink portion of the lip and flesh-colored skin in the upper lip just above the corners of the mouth. The corner of the mouth lift scars are probably the most noticeable or visible of all the scars discussed so far. The most common incision used for lip augmentation is 2 small incisions near the corners of the mouth and is made outside the crease or fold of the corner of the mouth. The scars are almost inconspicuous and by avoiding the precise corner of the mouth, the risk of narrowing of the mouth is minimized.
Lip augmentation surgery can be of performed utilizing a variety of materials. A key distinguishing feature between materials is whether to use your own tissues to augment the lips or artificial tissues. Artificial tissues can include things such as Gore-tex and various types of plastic particles mixed with collagen or hyaluronic acid. In general, lip augmentation looks most natural when performed utilizing your own tissues. Several types of donor tissues can be used for lip augmentation and fascia (muscle lining), fat, tendon and dermis (the deeper layer of skin) have very successfully been used over the past 20 years with very good results. Sometimes, the donor material/site is determined by an associated procedure being performed at the same surgical setting such as a facelift or tummy tuck. You can discuss this with your surgeon during your consultation. Other materials such as Alloderm can also be effective and will become incorporated into your own tissue over time. Artificial materials such as Gore-tex or plastics do not incorporate into your own tissues and have a higher propensity to cause deformities with animation such as speech, eating or kissing.