Lip injections have been popular for a long time, but there’s one very important drawback to them: they’re not permanent. If you want a permanent change, consider lip augmentation.
Lip Augmentation Explained
Lip augmentation utilizes soft silicone lip implants that are inserted into the lips. The point of lip augmentation is to add volume to the lips. The implants are tapered so that they follow the natural shape of your lips. Instead of your lips looking fake, they’ll simply look like a more enhanced, still natural version of your own lips.
You’ll work with your doctor to choose the right thickness and length of the implants. There are several options available and the one that’s right for you will be based on your natural lip shape and volume, as well as the look you want to achieve.
In general, the lower lip usually needs a larger, more voluminous implant, and the top lip usually uses a thinner implant. This models the natural thickness of most bottom and upper lips.
Lip implants are soft and natural-feeling to the touch. They may even be softer than your lips are now.
Benefits of Lip Augmentation
There are several benefits to permanent lip augmentation, especially when compared with non-permanent fillers:
- Your lip implants will be specially shaped and customized specifically for you.
- Since lip implants are permanent, you won’t need to book regular appointments with your plastic surgeon. Lip injections, on the other hand, last between four and twelve months.
- Though the upfront cost of lip augmentation is more than a lip filler treatment, lip augmentation is more cost-effective over time because you will not need frequent appointments. With lip injections, you need to refresh the plumpness every few months.
Cost of Lip Augmentation
Lip augmentation cost typically ranges from $2,500 to $5,000. Compare this to lip injections, which range from $500 to $2,000 per injection, which you’ll need at least once per year. Lip augmentation price will vary based on the specific implants you want – you’ll discuss your options with your doctor and choose implants that suit both your budget and your goals.
Preparing for the Lip Augmentation Procedure
Before your lip augmentation procedure, your doctor will likely suggest that you don’t take medications, vitamins or supplements, particularly those that can slow down the healing process or have an effect on blood clotting. You’ll also be asked to not eat or drink anything after midnight the day before the procedure. Dress in comfy, loose clothing for the procedure. Don’t wear makeup, contact lenses or jewellery.
The Lip Augmentation Procedure
Most clients experience little-to-no pain when it comes to the lip augmentation procedure. You’ll likely only have local anaesthesia (similar to what your dentist uses for a minor procedure). Before starting the procedure, the anaesthetic will numb the lip. The process takes approximately one hour in total.
Your doctor will insert the implants starting on one side of the lip, close to the corner of your mouth. The implants will be put in horizontally until they go through the length of the lip and reach the other side of the mouth. While most clients have both implants inserted during the procedure, it’s possible to have only the bottom or top one inserted during the procedure.
In order for the lip implants to be inserted, minor incisions have to be made inside the mouth. They’ll go underneath the lip and they won’t be visible. A sort of tunnel is created through the lip and then there’s a special tool that’s used to pull the implant through the tunnel and into position. It’s then secured so that it stays in place.
Once the implants have been inserted and secured, the small incisions will be stitched with small stitches that will dissolve and disappear on their own. You will not have to go back to the doctor to have the stitches removed.
It’s best to have a ride home following the procedure. Even though a local anaesthetic is the only thing that will be used, it’s always best to have someone you trust to drive you home following any type of cosmetic procedure.
Recovery from Lip Augmentation
After about five days to one week, most of the post-treatment bruising swelling will subside. In order to shorten recovery time, it’s a good idea to apply cold compresses to the procedure site for one week afterwards. If possible, sleep with your head elevated or while sitting up. This will limit swelling.
While recovering from lip augmentation, you’ll likely be prescribed a painkiller by your doctor. You may also find that it’s difficult to eat or drink while your lips are swollen. Try soft foods and make sure to cut your food into very small bites, which will make it easier to eat.
Total time for recovery from lip augmentation is one month. At this point, the lip implants will look much more normal and natural. It can take a few months for the final shape of the implants to settle, though, so don’t be surprised if they look different over the next few weeks.
Risks of Lip Augmentation
There’s a very low chance of negative side effects following a lip augmentation procedure. The primary risk is that the implant site will get an infection following the procedure. In order to limit this risk, your doctor may give you a prescription for an antibiotic following the procedure.
There’s also a minimal chance that the implant will shift or that the lips will be scarred or stiff following the procedure. However, these results are rare, and they’re highly preventable if you work with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Dr Stephen Weber, a double board certified plastic surgeon known for his facial procedures, performs lip augmentations and other procedures in Colorado.