Lip Augmentation

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Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that can give you fuller, plumper lips. These days, an injectable dermal filler is the most commonly used method of lip augmentation. … Read More

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Lip Augmentation

What is a Lip augmentation procedure?

Lip augmentation or lip enhancement is a cosmetic procedure that enhances the shape and size of the lips that are not affected by trauma or congenital deformity. As we grow old, the lips that were once full and voluptuous become thin and develop wrinkles, making a face look old. Lip augmentation restores the youthful fullness of the lips [1]. Typically, the upper lip is treated more frequently than the lower lip.  lip augmentation   Picture Courtesy: Plastic surgery  

What are the ways through which lip augmentation can be done?

It can be done in two ways:
      1. Lip injections or non-surgical lip augmentation – In this procedure, lip augmentation can be done using dermal fillers, for which no incision or no anesthesia is required.
      2. Lip implants – These provide results that are more permanent than compared to fillers.
What are the benefits of lip augmentation? The benefits are:
      • Lip augmentation surgery gives the instant effect of increased lip volume.
      • Lip augmentation surgery improves the lip structure and corrects the balance.
      • A surgeon can perform all the types of lip augmentation procedures under local anesthesia, and the patient can get discharged on the same day [2]
What are the disadvantages of lip augmentation? The disadvantages are:
      • Severe and prolonged swelling and bruising.
      • Lip asymmetry
      • Lumps and irregularities in the lip
      • Injection into the blood vessels causing loss of tissue [3].

What are the steps for the lip augmentation procedure?

Before the surgery: Before the surgery, the surgeon takes the patient’s complete medical history and does a physical examination of the patient. The patient has to undergo a couple of blood tests for the procedure. Once the patient is medically fit for the procedure, the doctor discusses the type of lip augmentation procedure and consults the patient regarding their choice of surgery. The surgeon counsels the patient regarding the pros and cons of the procedure and their associated risk factors. At the time of the procedure Most lip augmentation surgeries are done on a daycare basis. Most of the surgeries are done under local anesthesia, and the patient can go home on the same day unless there are no complications. The two types of lip augmentation procedures are
      1. Lip injections or non-surgical lip augmentation
      2. Lip Implants 

1. Dermal Fillers- 

Dermal Fillers   Picture Courtesy: MeditPharma Dermal fillers are considered a minimally invasive procedure done under local anesthesia that can remove fine lines and wrinkles and plump the lips. It is considered one of the safest procedures to enhance the lips temporarily. A few of the dermal fillers are- Hyaluronic acid filler (the most commonly used filler), non- hyaluronic acid fillers such as calcium hydroxylapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, polymethylmethacrylate, collagen, and others such as dextran particles, autologous fat transfer, polyacrylamide gel, polycaprolactone, and agarose gel [5]. The only disadvantage of dermal fillers is that they are not long-lasting. As we grow old, they become over-inflated over the years.

2. Lip Implants

Lip Implants   Picture Courtesy: Docshop This procedure is done under local + IV sedation to keep the patient comfortable and experience less pain. A small incision is made at the corner of the lips. A tunnel space is created to place the implant. After placing the implant carefully, the incision is closed with stitches [6]. The recovery period for the lip augmentation procedure will take about 6-7days. The doctor will give oral painkillers to subside the pain for a few days. The patient is advised to follow a few instructions after going home. They are:
      • Avoid any pressure or pulling around the lip area for 2-3 weeks after the procedure.
      • The patient is advised to place ice packs and head elevation to minimize the swelling after the procedure.
      • Contact the surgeon immediately if the pain persists or any other discomfort is noticed.
      • Have a regular follow-up with the surgeon after the procedure.
  After the procedure The patient will be shifted to the recovery room for a couple of hours after the procedure for observation. The patient can go home on the same day if no complications are seen. 


    1. What are the risk factors associated with lip augmentation?

The risk factors associated with lip augmentation surgery are:

      • Formation of hypertrophic scar after the surgery.
      • Asymmetry of the lips
      • Pain, numbness, lumpiness of the lips
      • Complications of fat transfer include- hematoma collection, scarring, infection, lumpiness, asymmetry 
      • Hardening of lip implant or causing interference with lip function [4]. 

2. Does lip augmentation last forever?

Lip fillers do not last forever, whereas lip implants last forever.

3. How long does lip augmentation swell last?

Lip augmentation swelling usually starts subsiding after 2-3days after the procedure. The complete swelling will take about 2-3weeks to subside.

4. Is lip augmentation dangerous?

Lip augmentation surgeries are generally safe, but they have their pros and cons and associated risk factors as with cosmetic surgeries. They may include bleeding, scarring, failure of the procedure, etc.

5. Can lip augmentation be reversed?

Lip implants are generally permanent augmentation procedures, while Lip fillers can be reversed to a great extent, but not entirely. If the person is unhappy with the procedure’s outcome, the surgeon can inject an enzyme to dissolve the lip filler [7].

6. What are the types of lip implants used?

Lip implants are a permanent type of augmentation procedure where they use plastic implants to plump the lips. Two types of implants can be used. They are:

      • Silicon
      • expanded polytetrafluoroethylene [8]