Lip Augmentation – The Raw Facts
by: J O’Neal
Lip augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. Last year, approximately 264,000 people underwent lip-plumping surgery. With fuller lips one can create a more youthful, vibrant look. This is primarily achieved through injections and grafting.
Injections: using small needles, the lip is filled with a soft substance to create a fuller appearance. The most widely used substance is collagen, which is found in cow skin. Although purified, collagen can cause allergic reactions in some patients.
A sensitivity test should always be performed prior to the actual procedure. Because the body slowly absorbs the collagen, results usually only last one to three months although the procedure can be repeated as many times as desired.
Fat harvested from other areas of the body – usually the abdomen or thighs – can also be injected into the lips. One great advantage to this procedure is that there is no possibility of an allergic reaction, although as with collagen the results are temporary.
Other injectable lip plumpers include Artecoll, a synthetic material which augments the natural tissue to create long lasting results, Autologen (collagen from the patient’s own skin), which also has relative longevity and Dermalogen, which is extracted from the skin of a human donor then screened and processed to prevent the risk of disease.
The effects of the latter are relatively short term and similar to the effects of collagen.
Grafting: under local anaesthesia, material is inserted through incisions made in the inside corners of the mouth. The incisions are then closed with stitches.
Alloderm is a popular human donor material, which is strictly processed to prevent infection. The material is often absorbed, so results are temporary lasting between 6 and 12 months.
A more effective material is Softform, which does not shrink and is never absorbed into the body. Scar tissue forms at each end, keeping it in place. This also makes it easy to remove if it becomes infected.
Fat grafting produces lasting results in about 50% of those who try it. Though it can be reabsorbed by the body in time, this is popular as people are comfortable with the idea of using fat from their own bodies in order to enhance their own lips.
Most lip enhancements take between 30 minutes and two hours to perform. If the patient has no medical problems the procedure is usually on an outpatient basis, allowing them to return home a few hours after surgery.
Topical anaesthesia is generally used before injections so the procedure involves no discomfort. Most people are able to return to their normal routine within two days. Grafts usually involve more pain and a longer recovery period. Local anaesthesia is used in grafting.
Local anaesthesia makes the procedure painless but may lead to discomfort later. Recovery time may take one to two weeks and the patient may experience some problems with drooling. Grafting can also leave lips feeling unusually stiff for up to two to three months.
As with any surgical procedure, there is always a possibility of infection or reaction to anaesthesia.
There are non-surgical options for lip augmentation. One such method can be performed by your dentist. The premise is simple. The structure underneath is enlarged in order to change the appearance of the surface. Teeth support the lips so enlarging the teeth gives the lips a fuller appearance.
Dental lip enhancements are performed in one of two ways; either by changing the shape of one’s arch of teeth (or bite) through orthodontics or changing the shape of the front teeth through restorative treatments such as laminate veneers or porcelain crowns. The former treatment is nearly permanent; the latter can last between 5 and 12 years.
Now that you are armed with information relating to cosmetic lip plumping procedures why not learn about some more natural methods that can give you sexier, fuller lips without the potential risks.
About The Author
J O’Neal guides you through the pros and cons of cosmetic lip enhancement. Learn the facts before you decide on potentially disfiguring cosmetic surgery.Discover more about safe non-surgical lip augmentation tecniques at: http://www.radiantyouth.com
This article was posted on August 31, 2005