Lip Augmentation

Lip enhancement procedures have been very popular in recent years, with more people getting cosmetic treatments for a fuller and lifted lip appearance. Lip enhancement procedures add or restore volume to the lips and define the vertical lines around the lips. The lip cosmetic procedures can be either surgical or non-surgical, but both cases are classed as minimally invasive procedures.

There are two types of lip cosmetic services; Lip Augmentation procedures and Lip Lift procedures. These procedures are divided into different categories; permanent and non-permanent procedures, or surgical and non-surgical procedures.

Lip augmentation procedures are usually for those who want to achieve fuller and softer lips and it can be done either surgically/permanent with lip implants or non-surgically/non-permanent with lip fillers (injections).

Lip lift procedures are usually suited to those who want to achieve a more defined lip and mouth shape. The lip lift is a permanent, minimally invasive procedure that shortens the space between the nose and the upper lip changing the shape of the mouth.

In both types of lip cosmetic procedures, the results are very impressive and instantly visible, and the process is very simple and quick with a low risk of complications.

Lip Augmentation Procedures

Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure that involves injectable dermal fillers, or implants to give fuller and plumper lips. Dermal fillers are more common than implants as is a non-permanent and non-surgical procedure that adds volume to the lips, while the implant procedure is a permanent and minimally invasive surgical process for fuller lips.

Both surgical and non-surgical procedures are performed under local anaesthesia and are quick methods, however, the duration of the procedure, complications, aftercare, and results can vary between the two processes.

Suitable candidates for a lip augmentation procedure tend to have small and thin lips and have a desire to modify the appearance to achieve a fuller lip aesthetic. These cosmetic procedures offer a chance for people who are unhappy with their lips to achieve their desired shape or size.

The most common categories of Lip Augmentation

Lip Filler Injections

Many different types of dermal fillers can be injected into the lips but the most common type of fillers are the ones that contain hyaluronic acid substances. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance found in the body and is widely used in lip injections to add volume to the lips.

Hyaluronic acid lip fillers offer temporary lip augmentation and improve the lip appearance by improving the shape and structure of the lips and adding volume, making them appear fuller and softer. The effect of the hyaluronic acid filler lasts for about 6 to 12 months, once the filler has dissolved, if needed, new dermal fillers can be added to the lips.

The lip filler injections are carried out under local anaesthesia and the procedure usually takes a maximum of 30 minutes to complete.

The benefits of the lip filler injections are the following:

  • Procedure lasts only 15 to 30 minutes
  • Controlled procedure – control over added lip volume
  • Lumps on the lips can be dissolved manually and easily
  • Visible results immediately after the treatment
  • Reversible treatment – non-permanent as it lasts about 6-12 months
  • Impressive results – softer, fuller and plumper lips
  • Limited and low-risk side effects and complications

Fat Grafting or Fat Injections

Autologous fat injections, also known as fat grafting or fat transfer, are injections involving the transfer of fat from one part of the patient’s body to the lips to be used as fillers. Therefore, the are no risks of allergic reaction to the material used as filler.

Fat grafting usually involves liposuction surgery, where fat, typically from the abdomen, is harvested and after undergoing a purification process can be transferred through injections into the patient’s lips. This type of lip augmentation needs to be performed by a specialized cosmetic surgeon.

The procedure lasts about 60 to 90 minutes and it is performed under local anaesthesia. The results can last longer than dermal lip filler injections as they can have an effect on the lips for many years.

The benefits of the fat grafting/ fat injections include:

  • Lips look more natural and softer
  • Results last for many years, no need to repeat the treatment
  • Impressive results – softer, fuller and plumper lips
  • Visible results immediately after the treatment
  • Zero risk of allergic reactions to the fillers
  • Patient can go home same day of the procedure

Lip Implants

A lip implant is an alternative type of lip augmentation that is semi-permanent with longer-lasting results. In a lip implant procedure, the fillers are inserted inside the lips surgically, instead of being injected into the lips.

Implants can be either synthetic or natural materials, typically made from biodegradable substances or soft silicone rubber, achieving a significant increase in lip volume.

Before the surgery, the cosmetic surgeon will decide the size of lip implants that would best suit the patient, according to the natural size and shape of their lips. The surgery is performed under local anaesthesia and begins with two small incisions made in each corner of the mouth.

Using surgical tools, the surgeon opens a tunnel in each lip, where the implant is inserted and placed in between the lip fat and the lip muscles. Once the implants are place the incisions are closed using dissolving sutures.

Implant surgery lasts for about 30 minutes and the patient can go back home the same day as the procedure.

The benefits of lip implant surgery include:

  • Quick and easy surgery – it takes only 30 minutes
  • Long-lasting results – semi-permanent
  • Rapid recovery
  • Visible results in only a few days after the surgery
  • Voluminous and softer lips

What are the possible complications of Lip Augmentation?

Lip augmentation procedures, surgical or non-surgical, are very safe and have a very low risk of complications or side effects.

However, as with every cosmetic procedure, even if it is minimally invasive may have some potential complications, these include:

  • Infections and bleeding (at sites of injections or incisions)
  • Bruising, loss of sensation, redness or swelling on the lips/mouth area
  • Negative reaction to anaesthesia
  • Allergic reaction to filler material
  • Some of the treatments might need to be repeated for volume maintenance
  • Unsatisfactory or poor results
  • Extra procedure may be required for implant removal, in the rare case of unsatisfying lip implant results

What is the cost of Lip Augmentation?

Compared to other cosmetic procedures, lip cosmetic procedures are cost-effective and easily accessible to many people. The prices can vary from clinic to clinic and depends on the amount of filler or implants. The price can start at £250-£500 per syringe, and depending on the extent of lip augmentation the price will increase.

Generally, repeated sessions of lip injections can cost about £1000 per year, including maintenance. For semi-permanent lip implants, the average price is about £2000.

NHS does not provide cosmetic services.

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