Lip Implants Explained - How They Augment the Lips

Posted August 02, 2021
Explanation of how lip implants work

As a person ages, the lips can start to lose volume and gain an older and thinner look. In order to combat aging of the lips, patients can have lip implants placed to restore a full and plump look to the lips. Lip implants use plastic implants to provide the desired augmentation to the lips. There are multiple lip implant choices (SoftForm, GORE-TEX, AlloDerm) that can be placed in the lips to give them a more youthful look and shape. Patients interested in learning more about lip implants will find the information they want to know in the article below so they can make an informed decision about having this lip augmentation procedure.

Lip Implants Procedure Explained

The placement of lip implants is performed in the office of a doctor and can take about 30 minutes to complete. The surgeon sterilizes the treated area and also uses a local anesthetic to numb the lips.

An incision is made on either corner of the mouth so a clamp can be placed in the incisions in order to create a tunnel or pocket. Once the pocket is created by the surgeon, the clamp is opened so the lip implant can be inserted. The lip implant is threaded through the tunnel and then trimmed to the proper length to fit in the lips.

The clamp is removed by the surgeon, but the lip implants remain in place inside the lip. The surgeon then closes the incision using sutures.

Lip Implants – Alternative Lip Augmentation Choices

Patients that do not want to have implants placed in the lips can undergo tissue grafting (where tissue from another part of the body is used to provide volume to the lips) or fat grafting (where fat that is taken from another area of the body is placed in the lips to provide additional volume).

Patients can also have fillers placed in the lips in order to provide a plumper and fuller look to the lips. Lip fillers are usually made of hyaluronic acid which is a substance that is found naturally in the body. The doctor will massage the treated area after the fillers are placed in the lips to eliminate any bumps and provide a natural appearance.

Lip Implants – Recovery and Results

For the first week or two after the procedure, patients should not place any kind of pressure on the lips or pull the lip area for any reason. These actions (along with compressing the lips) can cause the lip implants to shift out of place.

It can take a few weeks for the lip tissue to begin scarring so the implants will properly be held in place. Patients can elevate their heads to minimize the amount of swelling after the surgery. There might also be some stiffness in the lips as the patient gets used to having the implants in the lips.

The results are long-lasting and can even be considered to be permanent. If the patient is not happy with the final results, it will require another surgery to remove the implants from the lips.

Lip Implants – Ideal Candidates

Patients that are ideal candidates for lip implants include:

  • Someone with enough lip tissue that is able to stretch over an incision and hide the lip implant
  • A person with lips that have a good amount of symmetry to them
  • A patient that wants to achieve long-lasting results when it comes to restoring volume to the lips

Lip Implants – Possible Risks

In general, cosmetic surgery procedures carry some level of risk with them. Here are some of the possible risks involved with having lip implants:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Being allergic to the lip implant
  • Possibility of the lip implant moving out of place

Lip Implants – Cost

The total cost of lip implants depends on the type of implant placed in the lips, any fees that are charged by the doctor or the medical facility and the section of the country where the treatment is performed. Overall, the cost of lip implants can run from $2000-$3500.

Lip Implants – How to Find the Right Doctor

Once a person makes the decision to have lip implant surgery, it is time to find the right doctor to perfume the procedure.

It is important to find a surgeon experienced in the field of lip augmentation and who can share the pros and cons of the treatment with the patient. The surgeon should also share “before and after” photos of actual patients to give the person a better idea of the type of results that can be expected.

It is also important for the surgeon to examine the current condition of the lips to make sure the patient is an ideal candidate for the procedure. The examination of the lips will also allow the surgeon to determine the best type of lip implants that will provide the desired augmentation.

Once the doctor and patient agree about the final results that can be achieved, the lip implant surgery can be scheduled and performed.

- MA


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