Lip Augmentation and Lip Reduction are medical treatments to change the lip shape or to reconstruct injured lips. There are various different techniques including surgical procedures (Cheiloplasty) such as the Lip Lift and non-surgical treatments with fillers. Most patients undergo lip shaping for purely optical reasons. A medical indication for lip surgery would be the correction of a cleft lip and palate.
Primarily women who feel unsatisfied with the shape or size of their lips decide for lip surgery. The look of the lips depends on genetic factors as well as the age. Over the years lip volume gets lost, which leads to the typical narrowing of the red of the lips. In addition, often wrinkles are forming around the mouth area.
Regardless of whether the reason is related to genetic factors or age, many people wish for full symmetric lips, which are considered a sign of juvenile sensuality in Western culture. Lip augmentation is one of the most frequent aesthetic treatments. There are numerous techniques for lip augmentation. Apart from artificial fillers the patient’s own fat can used for lip enlargement. Alternatively, an implant can be inserted surgically into the lips.
Lip Augmentation with Artificial Fillers
Upholstering of the lips with artificial fillers involves little effort. In most cases hyaluronic acid is injected slightly above the red of the lips in local anesthesia. However, as the body degrades hyaluronic acid within a short time, the treatment has to be repeated frequently in order to achieve a lasting result.
A permanent solution is the injection of non-resorbable, that is, permanent fillers. Silicone preparations are used as filling material, which in some cases get rejected by the body and then have to be removed by means of a surgical procedure. This method is still widespread today, although it is associated with a high risk of rejection of the material.
Lip Augmentation with Autologous Fat (Lipofilling)
Today, the patient’s own (autologous) fat is used to restore lost subcutaneous tissue in many body regions. The procedure begins with an outpatient liposuction using microcannulas under local anesthesia. The harvested fat is prepared and subsequently injected into the part of the lip to be shaped with fine injection needles.
The result of the procedure are larger lips that are completely natural. However, repeat treatments are necessary for a lasting result here as well. This procedure is particularly gentle, since it does not require general anesthesia and only the body’s own tissue is used to fill the lips. If the enlargement is achieved using stem cell-enriched autologous fat, a single treatment is usually sufficient to achieve the desired result.
Surgical Lip Augmentation
Surgical procedures for augmentation of the lips are typically performed in general anesthesia. An implant made of plastic or silicone, similar to those used for breast augmentation, is inserted into the lips through a skin incision and provides permanently augmented lips.
However, due to the rigid shape of the implant, the result is often perceived as quite unnatural and the natural movement of lips during speech can be impaired. As with other artificial materials, there is a risk of rejection by the patient’s immune system. The skin incisions caused by the scalpel can leave tiny visible scars.
In principle, it is also possible to use the body’s own tissue such as skin to enlarge the lips. This form of lip enlargement, however, is only useful in certain cases, since the procedure is very elaborate.
Lip Augmentation and Rejuvenation with Lip Lift
The lip lift is a complex procedure, which serves to enlarge the lips and at the same time to reduce wrinkles. In the course of the procedure a strip of skin between the nose and the edge of the upper lip is removed to “lift” the lip. The suture is placed directly under the nose so the remaining scars are kept as hidden as possible. In contrast to fillers like hyaluronic acid, the result is long-lasting.
The desire for smaller lips is much less common than the wish for lip augmentation. In order to reduce the volume of the lips a piece of the lip is removed in local anesthesia and the incision is sutured inside the mouth without any visible scar on the outside. Depending on the shape of the lips that are to be reduced, tissue can also be removed on the outer sides – in this case there is a greater risk of permanent scarring.