Aging, heredity and lifestyle factors such as smoking all may contribute to decreased lip fullness and wrinkling. Lip augmentation can smooth out the fine lines that go from the lip to the surrounding skin and can plump-up and accentuate the lips. Lip augmentation is often performed with other facial rejuvenation surgeries. There are a variety of augmentative fillers such as fat injections, hyaluronic acids and AlloDerm (freeze-dried dermis).
If you’re considering lip augmentation the information provided will give you a basic understanding of the procedure, but it can’t answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on your individual circumstances. For more information, please view the “Frequently Asked Questions” or visit his “Resource Library” for related articles, websites and video clips.
Am I a good candidate for the surgery?
Your visit with Dr. Rohrich will determine if you are a good candidate. Lip augmentation can be used to enhance a woman’s lips, rejuvenate aging lips and can also correct asymmetries from reconstructive surgery.
Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Rohrich.
What should I expect from my consultation?
During the consultation, you will be asked about the appearance of your lips and anything else that you feel is important. You will learn about the procedure, its limitations and risks, and discuss your needs and concerns. Dr. Rohrich will explain which surgical techniques and fillers are most appropriate for you. He will carefully analyze your face and lips to make them proportionate and aesthetically pleasing. After your consultation a photographer will take photographs for your medical record and you will meet with Dr. Rohrich’s patient coordinator to discuss surgery fees and scheduling dates.
Dr. Rohrich will review your medical history and check for conditions that may cause problems during or after the procedure. You should provide any information about any medical conditions, drug allergies, medical treatments you have received, previous surgeries and medications that you currently take. It is important for you to provide complete information.
What are my augmentation options?
Techniques for lip augmentation vary and Dr. Rohrich will determine the best method to be used. One method is the insertion of an allograft . Alloderm is freeze-dried processed human skin that is grafted and carefully inserted into the lips. The procedure starts by taking measurements of your lips to determine the correct size of Alloderm. Local anesthesia is injected into your lips and can be uncomfortable but only for a minute. Once your lips are numb, your face is washed with a skin disinfectant and a light drape placed over your face. Dr. Rohrich then makes a small incision on the inside corners of each lip. A small instrument is used to pass through the lips which grabs the Alloderm implant on one side and then pulls it back through the lip to the other side. Once the implant is in and positioned, the small incisions are closed with an absorbable suture.
Another technique for lip augmentation is the use of fat injections. A small amount of fat is removed from the abdomen and emulsified before being injected into the lips using a small cannula. Lip augmentation usually takes 30 minutes to an hour to perform.
Restylane, a hyaluronic acid, is also used used to create a more pronounced mouth and fuller lips. During treatment the crystal-clear gel is injected into the skin in tiny amounts with a very thin needle into the inside of the upper and/or lower lip. This is often combined with a marking of the vermilion border (lip line) by injecting the gel along the lip line. The lines that goes up to towards the nose (philtrum ridges) can be defined by injecting the gel in the lines. To achieve an optimal result a combination of these steps is often used. The gel then gives natural lip volume and smoothes out the wrinkles.
Clinical trials show that Restylane is effective for up to one year after the treatment of wrinkles and six months after lip augmentation.
How is the surgery performed?
If lip augmentation is the only procedure performed, the surgery can be performed under local anesthesia while you are awake. If it is performed in conjunction with other procedures such as a facelift or laser resurfacing, general anesthesia is used. Medications can be administered for your comfort and to lessen the anxiety if need be.