A variety of techniques have been used over the years for lip augmentation. These have included the injection of fillers (such as collagen, Juvederm®, and Restylane®), fat transfer, lip advancement, and implant placement (such as alloderm and gortex). The two procedures which have proven to be the most effective with the least number of disadvantages are the injection of fillers and fat transfer. Dr. Lawton will discuss with you how your face can look and what you can expect from lip augmentation. Our objective is to create a natural appearance that is pleasing to you.
Collagen is a naturally occurring protein that provides support to various parts of the human body including the skin, joints, and ligaments. Injectable collagen is derived from purified bovine (cow) collagen. The purification process creates a product similar to human collagen. Injectable collagen received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 1981. Collagen is injected using a fine needle and inserted at several points along the edge of the treatment site.
An allergy patch test is required prior to collagen injection. After the test is performed, the test site will need to be watched carefully for four weeks. Any sign of redness, itching, or swelling at the test site should be reported. Collagen injection is not suitable for children, pregnant women, or anyone with a history of autoimmune disease.
Lip Augmentation Initial Evaluation
At the initial consultation, your health history will be reviewed and the procedure you are interested in will be explained in great detail. Any alternative procedures will be discussed.
During the examination, the lip thickness and shape, wrinkling, fatty deposits, and facial proportions will be evaluated. You will have the opportunity to point out the particular characteristics of your anatomy that you would like to improve or change.
After an extensive discussion, you and Dr. Lawton will arrive at the plan that will best achieve your goals. It is our commitment that you leave this initial visit with a clear understanding of your surgical options, so you may make an informed decision. We are happy to answer any questions you may think of later by telephone, email, or at another private consultation. There is never an additional charge for these subsequent visits.
The injection of filler (either collagen, Juvederm®, or Restylane®) is performed in the clinic. The procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes. Your appointment will be longer in order to allow for evaluation and topical and local anesthesia.
Fat injection is performed in our own private AAAASF Certified Class-C Outpatient Surgical Center. The procedure takes less than 1 hour. The incisions will be hidden inside the corners of the mouth. Fat is usually harvested from the lower abdomen. For this outpatient procedure, we utilize general intravenous anesthesia administered by an elite group of carefully selected, highly qualified, board-certified anesthesiologists. The techniques employed are designed to provide a smooth, gentle anesthetic experience, and prevent postoperative nausea and eliminate postoperative pain.
You may resume your normal activities and return to work immediately after collagen or Restylane® injection. Following treatment, you may notice some minor discomfort, stinging, or throbbing in the treated area. Occasionally, some bruising or swelling will occur and will last from a few days up to a few weeks. Any redness that appears in the treated site usually disappears within 24 hours. The extent of these symptoms depends upon the size and location of the treated area. In some individuals, particularly fair-skinned patients, this redness may persist for a week or more. No bandaging is needed and you are free to eat, drink, and wear makeup with sunblock protection shortly after treatment. However, it is best to stay out of the sun until the redness and bruising subside.
After fat injection surgery, rest is recommended. At home, you will have medications to ease the pain. We also prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. Arnica and bromelain are used to reduce the swelling and bruising, and to speed your recovery. We will see you in the office the day after surgery. By the fourth or fifth day, the discomfort should be significantly reduced. At one week, you will return for suture removal. You should be back to work within this first week. There are never charges for follow-up visits.
The longevity of the results vary depending on your lifestyle, physical characteristics, and the area treated. After collagen or Restylane® injection, the material is likely to be absorbed faster in areas that are more affected by muscle movement, such as around the mouth. Most patients find that maximal fullness lasts approximately 3 months. Therefore, repeated injections may be necessary.
After fat injection, some of the fullness will subside. Approximately 50% of the fat acquires a new blood supply and will survive permanently. The success of the operation is dependent upon how much movement the treated area is subjected to.