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Different Types of Lip Augmentation

Different Types of Lip Augmentation

Are you thinking of getting your lips enhanced? Then go through the following article to know the options available to you, before you go under the knife...
Gauri Huddar
Every time you read any romantic novel, you will without fail, come across a paragraph that describes the looks of the main characters. And the importance of full, sensuous lips cannot be denied. God forbid, if you have to read a book that describes the lips of the main characters as, thin, shriveled lips, compressed into a straight line, with wrinkles around them, as opposed to, a rosebud mouth, with soft and full lips.., and so on and so forth! Ha ha..! Get what I'm saying? So if you are one of the people who want to change the look of your lips, then this article will give you an overview of all the options available to you, as well as the cost of lip augmentation. Find out i the following paragraphs.

Lip Enhancement: What is it Exactly?

It is one of the innumerable types of cosmetic surgeries, wherein you inject a filler/ fat in your lips, or insert implants into them, to make them appear fuller, supple and more youthful. What happens as we age is, the fat in our bodies is wasted away and our muscle mass decreases. Hence, as we age, we start showing wrinkles and form loose skin, because the muscles that this skin was covering are no longer of the same volume as before. The skin has lesser muscle mass to stretch over, causing it to come together in little folds (wrinkles), or just hang loosely in bigger folds. Also, as we age, the area between our nose tips and our upper lip (termed as the upper lip) seems to increase, making our upper lip seem too big, which is not a pleasant sight. Lip augmentation/ enhancement means injecting 'fillers' to cover up the loss of muscle mass. This makes the skin stretch out evenly again, since your lips get added volume, making them appear fuller. Also, they increase the size of the lips, making the upper lip area visibly smaller, giving you the ever desired pout. These fillers can be of various types, and the way they are inserted into your lips can vary, which is where your options come into the picture.

Lip Enhancement Procedures

Lip augmentation procedures can be differentiated based on the method of injecting the filler in your lips. If the method involves simple injection of fat or a filler into your lips without the need of surgery, then it is known as injectable method, whereas if you have implants in your lips, then surgery will have to be performed wherein cuts are made at the sides of your lips (or elsewhere if need be) and a tunnel is made to accommodate the implant, which is the surgical method. Given below are some more details about these two methods.

Lip Enhancement Using Injectable Materials
There are many types of fillers that can be used for lip augmentation, and their effects can last from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the type used. Choosing the one that is most suited for your needs is an important task, and you can consult with your doctor to discuss your requirements and then make an informed decision. In this type of augmentation, the risks are less, and there are also less chances of discomfort or side effects. The procedure can take up to a few minutes, while recovery usually takes a day or two. Fillers are basically classified into the following two types:

Collagen-Based Fillers
Collagen based fillers are further classified as those derived from humans, and those derived from animals (usually cows).
  • Human derived collagen filler: The collagen for these fillers is derived from cadavers and is the alternative for those who are allergic to the bovine fillers. Since they are derived from humans, there is no need for an allergy test prior to the procedure.
  • Bovine derived collagen filler: The bovine collagen is obtained from cows which are raised in a disease free environment. But since it is not derived from humans, those opting for this filler have to undergo an allergy test before the procedure, so as to avoid any complications. They give long-lasting results.
Acid-Based Fillers
Acid based fillers contain Hyaluronic acid. Our skin and joints contain this clear, biodegradable acid, and hence it has no harmful effects. It mixes with water in the molecules in the lips, making them plump and also provides natural moisture. It lasts longer than the collagen fillers, and doesn't require any allergy test to be carried out before the procedure.

Using Fat Transfer
Fat transfer is the most low-risk type of lip augmentation procedure. This procedure involves the removal of fat from some other part of the patient's body itself, and it is then injected into the patient's lips using an injection/ needle. The area from which the fat is taken is not affected much, and the look of the lips after this procedure is very natural, and supple. The risks associated with this type are the least because the fat is from the patient's body itself and hence, the chances of it being rejected are nil. The procedure requires a few minutes, the recovery time is a few hours. The patient can return home within a few hours, and no hospitalization is required.

* Cost
Injectable lip augmentation procedures can start from around $300 to $500 per session, and can go upwards depending on the thickness you want to achieve, and also on whether you want to do both lips or only one lip.

Lip Enhancement by Surgical Method
The surgical method requires the use of general or local anesthesia, and is performed by making cuts on the outline of the lips. These cuts are small, and are usually covered up by the red skin of the lips. After an incision is made, a tunnel or cavity has to be formed to put in the implant, and once the implant is in, it has to be threaded into the lip, after which it is trimmed to the right size, and then the incisions are sewed up. The materials used in surgical implants are also divided into two categories, as:
  • Polymer based: This implant is made from a medical version of the same material that is used for making raincoats, and tents, i.e. ePTFE. It is a little rigid and has pores for the natural growth of the tissues, so that when the tissue grows back the polymer becomes a part of the lip structure.
  • Human-tissue based: These are made from human skin or tissues, and have to pass strict FDA standards of consumer safety.
The results achieved by surgery are permanent and usually better than those achieved by other methods, but at the same time the risks associated with surgical methods are higher than those associated with the filler or fat transfer method. There are chances of infection, scarring and stiffness of the lips, implant rejection, implant migration, etc.

* Cost
The surgical procedures are costlier, and start from around $1,000 upwards.

Although it seems like a minor surgery or procedure, since it is usually done in half an hour or less, it is a surgery nonetheless, so it does have some risks associated with it. Hence it is advisable to carry out enough research on the topic - the options, the side effects/ reactions, the recovery time, the aftercare routine for lip enhancement, and also see how much a lip augmentation will cost you. Flaunt your pout, and take care!