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Types of Lip Augmentation

Posted January 12, 2012 in Facial Plastic Surgery

Patients that desire fuller lips have more choices available to them than ever before. In the past, patients had to rely on make-up and lip plumping products to make the lips look larger. At the practice of Kimberly Henry, MD, our San Francisco plastic surgery patients can undergo tissue grafting or dermal filler injections to add volume to the lips. In this blog post, we review the advantages and disadvantages of tissue grafting versus lip injections.

Tissue Grafting

Patients that are searching for a lip augmentation procedure that offers long-term results may be good candidates for tissue grafting. This procedure involves the removal of tissue from one area of the patient’s body so it can be used to add fullness to the lips. To graft the tissue into the upper or lower lips, Dr. Henry will numb them with a local anesthetic and make tiny incisions in the corners of the lips. Next, she will create a small tunnel that runs along the inside of the lip. The tissue graft is then threaded through the tunnel to add uniform volume to the lips. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures.

The benefits of the tissue grafting procedure may also be seen as drawbacks by some patients.

  • Permanent enhancement: Unlike dermal filler and fat transfer treatments, lip enhancement with tissue grafting offers permanent results. Patients do not have to maintain results with additional injections. But if patients are unhappy with the increased fullness, they will have to undergo lip reduction surgery to reverse the results of treatment.
  • Cost: The cost of lip enhancement with tissue grafting is more expensive than dermal filler injections. However, because it is a one-time procedure, the cost is often less than the long-term expense of undergoing lip injections every few months.
  • Increased Volume: The goal of lip enhancement with tissue grafting is to add permanent fullness to the lips. Patients should be sure that they want larger lips before undergoing treatment, as lip volume will not decrease over time.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are commonly used to plump up the lips. Restylane®, Perlane®, and Juvéderm™ add fullness to the lips for three to six months, while the effects of Radiesse® can last for up to two years. Each of these hyaluronic acid-based fillers safely increases the size of the lips with few side effects. Patients may experience mild swelling, redness, or bruising in the treatment area for a few hours or a couple of days after treatment.

This lip enhancement treatment involves the injection of your chosen dermal filler product into the lips. Dr. Henry will massage the product into the lips to produce smooth and uniform results. Patients will immediately notice the results of treatment.

  • Benefits: Does not require any time off of work, results in few side effects, offers immediate results, good value, safe, and effective.
  • Drawbacks: The procedure is not permanent, it requires maintenance, and patients have to return to the doctor’s office for re-treatment.

To find out which lip augmentation procedure is right for you, contact the practice of Kimberly Henry, MD, today.

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