I want to get my lips done but I want something permanent or at least something that will last for awhile but I'm worried about everything looking and feeling natural. Any suggestions?
Permanent Lip Enhancement - What Are my Options?
Doctor Answers (8)
No perfect filler
I assume you are talking about making the lip more plump or to highlight certain landmarks. Different materials can be used to fulfill certain purposes depending on what you are trying to achieve. Getting more lift and definition to the Cupid's bow (curved landmark between red and white part of upper lip) is a different task than enlarging the red part of the upper lip (vermillion free border). Permanent filler consists of synthetic materials like Gortex or liquid silicone, neither of which I would recommend. Fat from your own body can be used and can be "permanent" if it "takes' or survives as a graft. This is rather unpredictable and, also over time, the fat, if it stays alive, will tend to shrink and enlarge as if the fat were still in the area from which it was taken, so your weight would have to be stable. I tend to like Alloderm strips in the upper lip, supplemented with very conservative injections of fat if necessary. Injectable fillers like hylauronic acid or collagen-based materials are temporary but well tolerated.
Permanent Lip Enhancement Options
For longer lasting enhancement, there are two options: fat transfer or an AlloDerm graft. The fat transfer process uses fat taken from another region of the patient's bodyuses the patient's own fat from another area of the body and it is re-injected evenly into the lips for a natural, complication free enhancement. There are no allergic reactions involved. An AlloDerm graft is like a lattice structure that lets vines grow in your garden. It is a piece of skin that has been stripped of its living cells; all that is left is a soft, collagen structure. The collagen structure is inserted into the lip where it allows the patient's own cells to attach and grow, which provides the enhancement. The graft is placed easily through small, inconspicuous incisions in the corners of the mouth. The result is a very natural look and feel for long term enhancement. Because both AlloDerm and fat transfer use human tissue for enhancement, there is no chance of inflammation or an allergic reaction.
Based on the information you have given, you may be a candidate for lip implants. This is a very safe procedure and can usually be performed in the office. We have had very good result with this. The look and feel is natural. Consult with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon ( ASPS) to discuss your expectations, and see some photos.
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Natural LIps and using your own Fat
I also have placed so many different permanent implants in and have removed most of them secondary to an unnatural look. I feel strongly that using your own fat as a Stem cell based graft offers the most natural appearance to lips. It is an office procedure and the results are very dependent on your surgeons technique. We are considering these micro-injection techniques to more likely to stay long term as small amounts of fat transferred into a vascular area such as the lip give the fat grafts a chance to get a blood supply, thus ensuring viability of the augmentation.
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Fillers are a start if you are looking for lip augmentation.
You should start off with injectable fllers. If you absolutely love your result, you can go for something permanent like a fat transfer. Liposuction removes fat, usually from the abdomen and the fat is injected into the lips. Fillers can last up to a year fat transfer is permanent. Both are safe.
Start with fillers
I would start with a filler that is temporary. Juvederm and Restylane last 9-12 months. If you have never had your lips augmented, I would start with one of these and see if you like the results. Then, you can move on to a more permanent filler such as fat if you like the look.
Permanent lip enhancement options
- Goretex - a well tested lip enhancer that does an adequate job of symmetrical lip fill. Downside - It can extrude through the skin or feel hard like a rope in your lip.
- Silicone Micro-Droplets - the first permanent filler, very controversial, some patients develop granulomas and this can be very unsightly. In spite of the downside, many dermatologists still use it.
- Alloderm - a collagen sheet that is derived from a cadaver. Not technically permanent, but will last a long time. Some people shy away from putting someone's skin in there system.
- Autologous Fat Injections- Newer techniques can yield more long term results. The ultimate filler if it is truly durable. Viafill system from Lipose Corp may be the technique that makes it last.
- Dermis - skin is harvested from someplace else on the body and the top layer is removed. The bottom layer or Dermis is then used as a filler. It is like using your own alloderm. The downside is the scar on the donor site and the risk of cysts.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.
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