What is Lip Implant?
Lip implant is a procedure that improves the fullness of the lips. It is a type of permanent lip augmentation that uses plastic implants to plump-up the lips.
The number of the lip implant procedure performed is steadily increasing each year (1)
Two types of implants are used in it:
- Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene
A study has found that the expanded polytetrafluoroethylene implants are the most favorable in terms of tissue response.(2) It is softer and can be easily compressed as compared to the silicon option making them look more natural and less noticeable in the lip.
There are two types of procedures which are used for lip implants:
- Tissue grafting that uses implant from the skin of the lower stomach area.
- Fat grafting uses fat from the abdomen to fill the lip.
How is Lip Implant Performed?
There is certain preparation one needs to do before heading up for the lip implant procedure.
If you smoke or take blood thinners, you need to stop them before surgery.
Those suffering from oral herpes are advised to start with antiviral drugs.
Lip implant is an in-office procedure. The surgeon sterilizes the area and gives local anesthesia to numb the lips. It can also be performed under general anesthesia.
An incision is then made on either corner of the mouth. A clamp is inserted into the incisions to create a pocket. As the tunnel is created the clamps are opened to insert the implants.
After the implants are inserted the clamps are removed and the incision is closed with small sutures.
The entire procedure of lip implant takes around 30 minutes to complete and you can easily drive back home.
The recovery period following lip implant is 1-3 days.
The individual with lip implant is advised to avoid any kind of pressure or pulling around the lip area for 7-14 days. Opening the mouth too wide or compressing the lips too much should be avoided.(3)
It takes the tissue 1-2 weeks to begin scarring and to hold the implant in place.
Pain medications are advised after the lip implant procedure. Ice packs and head elevation help minimize swelling and scarring after recovery.
Who Is A Good Candidate For A Lip Implant?
Lip implantation is a long term augmentation option and a good candidate for the procedure is anyone who:
- Has enough lip tissue which can stretch and hide the implant
- Has symmetrical lips
- Prefers to save money
- Has an aversion to frequent procedures
- Want a permanent solution
Anyone who wants to go ahead with the procedure should meet the plastic surgeon, who can determine if the lip implant is a good option or not.
How Safe Are Lip Implants?
Lip implants are safe but as with any cosmetic surgical procedure the few risks involved are:
In some cases, the implants might shift or move. In such a case, the surgeon needs to repair the implant.
If someone is not satisfied with the lip implant, another surgery is required to remove them.
How Does The Lip Implant Differ From Lip Fillers?
Lip fillers are the temporary lip augmentation option. They are injected directly into the lips to plump them.
Both lip implants and lip filler have their own set of pros and cons. It is important to discuss with the plastic surgeon to decide what lip augmentation procedure suits you the best.
Pros and Cons Of Lip Implants
Pros of Lip Implant Procedure
- Lip implant is a long term permanent option
- It saves money over time
- It is a relatively safe procedure with minimum long-term risk
Cons of Lip Implant Procedure
- Lip implant bears potential cosmetic surgery risks
- It is expensive
- It has a long term recovery time
- If the implant has to be removed another surgery is required
If anyone is interested in going ahead with the lip implant procedure, they should look for a board-certified plastic surgeon and get advise on the best option for lip augmentation.