What is Lip Enhancement?

Pamela Pleasant

Lip enhancement refers to plastic surgery performed on a person's lips. The cosmetic procedure is also sometimes known as lip augmentation and it can produce plumper, fuller lips. There are many techniques and procedures that can be described as lip enhancement,including surgery to correct the symmetry of the lips, address sagging or drooping of the lips, and reduce the wrinkles and fine lines that surround the lip area. Recovery from lip enhancement surgery can take anywhere form 24 hours to a week, depending on the surgical procedure.

Lip augmentation enhances the size and appearance of the lips.
Lip augmentation enhances the size and appearance of the lips.

No matter what lip enhancement procedure is used, the process begins with plumping the lips. This can be done using a fat transfer. A plastic surgeon will liposuction fat from the patient and place it into a syringe. The fat can then be injected directly into the lips to make them appear fuller. A fat transfer injection can look very natural and because the patient’s own fat is being used, there is little to no chance of tissue rejection. This procedure, however, is not a permanent plumping solution.

Lip enhancement creates a fuller, sculpted look.
Lip enhancement creates a fuller, sculpted look.

Certain fillers can also be used with lip enhancement surgery. Collagen is a protein that is found naturally in the skin, bone, and cartilage. When the body’s own natural collagen starts to break down, the lips can droop downward but by adding it back into the lips they can be replenished. Restylane is a hyaluronic acid and it is also used as cosmetic dermal filler. It is known as a long-lasting gel and the results can be seen years after the lip enhancement procedure.

Lip implants are smaller plastic tubes placed inside the lips. They are filled with synthetic material and they are a permanent plumping solution. A few tiny incisions are made along the lip line and the implants are placed inside of these incisions. Once the plastic tubes are placed within the lip, they stay stationary and do not move. This type of lip augmentation can produce better results than using fat or collagen but the recovery time and cost are considerably more.

Any of these surgical procedures can be accompanied by other lip enhancing techniques. For example, after a fat transfer injection, the fines lines surrounding the lips can also be eliminated and more dramatic results can be seen. If a lip is crooked or asymmetrical, fillers can be used along with certain corrective incisions to make the lip area appear more balanced.

Plastic surgery can make the lips appear fuller and bigger.
Plastic surgery can make the lips appear fuller and bigger.

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