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Lip enhancement procedures are commonly done as office procedures using injectable fillers such as Juvederm, or done as an adjunct to other cosmetic surgery procedures. Although Juvederm contains an anesthetic, for all but our most stoic patients we offer topical anesthetics and anesthetic blocks for management of the discomfort. Since lip enhancement is usually a brief office-based procedure with minimal down-time, we often combine it with other nonsurgical facial cosmetic procedures such as Botox injection. In the lips, Juvederm lasts 6 months or more for most patients.
Fat transfer is another option, using your own fat to augment the lip volume. This is more of a cosmetic surgical procedure, and although it can be done in the office using local anesthesia, it is more commonly done in the operating room, and usually in concert with other procedures such as facelift and fat injection to other areas of the face. Properly harvested and injected fat is a permanent procedure, albeit with some caveats. There is always some unpredictability with regard to how much of the fat lives or "takes", but what does take will be like your other fat. In most cases the vast majority of the fat takes, and no additional fat injection procedures are necessary.
I do not do lip implants of any kind. In my opinion, they are not a good idea. I have seen and taken care of too many complications from them. Some of the complications I have seen include infection, extrusion, scarring, and lip distortion. If you currently have lip implants and have any concerns about them, please make a consultation with me. It is better to remove the lip implants and consider alternatives before a problem arises.
Facial rejuvenation surgery often involves a lip enhancement procedure to restore some of the lip shrinkage that comes with age. I often encourage this to balance the other rejuvenating effects of a facelift and blepharoplasty for example. To rejuvenate the rest of the face and leave the lips thin from age could create a disharmony. Although fillers could be used for this, I usually suggest a more permanent solution, such as fat injection or SMAS augmentation. The SMAS is a layer of tissue within the cheek that is elevated during a facelift and supports the lift. Some of the SMAS is trimmed, and this can be threaded through the lips for a nice subtle lip augmentation.
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