Lip augmentation creates fuller, plumper lips and reduces fine wrinkles around the mouth. Lips may be injected with collagen or with fat transferred from another site in the patient’s body. Both liquid collagen and fat are absorbed and repeat treatments are necessary to maintain results. Newer, longer-lasting options include implantable materials like AlloDerm and SoftForm and injectable materials like Cymetra, Restylane, and Radiance.
There is a tremendous "Buzz" around the hyaluronic acid derivatives like Restylane, which will soon be FDA approved in this country. This material can last 6-12 months.
**However, something even more promising is now starting to be routinely used for injections - Radiance. Made by Bioform, this injectable substance is made of hydroxyapetite (something normally present in your bone and teeth). Because calcium hydroxylapatite is a normal constituent of bone, it should not elicit a chronic inflammatory or immune response. It is actually softer than collagen and very easy to inject. There is no allergy testing required. It is supposed to last 2-5 years which is truly remarkable!
It has been used in Europe and Canada for some time and is FDA approved for other uses, but not yet for facial rejuvenation. Remember, Botox was used since 1989 for facial rejuvenation without being FDA approved. Botox was only FDA approved in early 2002. FDA approval for Radiance is expected in the summer of 2003. Dr Speron has been using it since January of 2003 and is very impressed with it.
Technique: A natural or synthetic biocompatible material, or the patient’s own fat, is injected or implanted in the lips. One injection is usually sufficient to produce the desired result, which may be temporary, depending on the material used. Injections may need to be repeated periodically. Proper placement of the injected material is important. AlloDerm, a natural collagen sheet made from donated skin, is inserted through tiny incisions inside the corners of the mouth. Once the AlloDerm implant is in place, it eventually becomes integrated with the natural tissues. Gore-Tex, SoftForm and soft ePTFE are other synthetic implant options. Further options include:
Another augmentation choice is laser lip rejuvenation, which tightens the natural collagen and elastic tissue beneath the lips.
While many techniques exist for lip augmentation, none are ideal.
Post Surgical Care:
While many of the lip augmentation techniques are temporary, there are certain clinical skin care products that can aid in maintaining a youthful appearance of the lips. Dr. Speron recommends neaclearplus Liquid Oxygen Lip Repair Cream. This unique product helps to repair sun damaged, wrinkled lips, while giving a fuller appearance.