Lip Augmentation

lip augmentation
Beautiful Skin Image Gallery Luscious movie star-caliber lips don't always have to come from Mother Nature. See more pictures of beautiful skin.
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Lips lose a lot of their plumpness as people age. Sometimes, they're not even that fleshy to begin with. Not surprisingly, lots of people are turning to cosmetic procedures to keep their lips from appearing thinner as the years tick by.

A number of lip enhancing products and techniques are out there, but cosmetic lip augmentation generally refers to the use of injections, implants and surgeries to increase the size and augment the appearance of lips -- typically aimed at making them plumper and poutier. It can also help decrease lines and wrinkles around the lips. Lip augmentation can be accomplished in a variety of ways, with varying results.


But first things first. If you're considering lip augmentation it's important to choose a doctor with great care, and to formulate smart questions for prospective practitioners. Find out all about their training, certification and professional affiliations and make sure they have applicable experience. You want someone who has plenty of know-how when it comes to choosing proper fillers, completing successful procedures and dealing with any unexpected complications that could crop up. Make sure the practitioner is well-versed when it comes to discussing practical matters like the risks, results and recovery time the process will entail.

You need to share information about your complete medical history and current medications -- even over-the-counter ones -- to help ensure nothing will complicate the procedure. Also, bigger is not always better, so find a doctor with a studied sense of how natural lips should look, to ensure you don't end up appearing artificial or odd. There's more to this than just pushing the plunger on a needle, after all.

So don't grow impatient and rush through the preliminaries. You want to make sure you have all the facts about lip augmentation before you take that plunge, or the results might not be what you expected. To find out what's commonly used to make lips more luscious, click to the next page.


Filler Options

lip augmentation
Thinning lips can be a thing of the past -- just make sure you and your doctor consider the different options with care.
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Before we go too far, let's quickly discuss some of the medical reasons that can make someone a poor candidate for lip augmentation. A number factors may disqualify people, among them blood clotting problems, a current cold sore outbreak, lip scarring and diseases like diabetes and lupus. Smoking can also count as a complication. Your doctor will be able to determine if you're still eligible.

If you do make the cut, you and your doctor will also have to go over what kind of results you're looking for -- and make sure you don't have unrealistic expectations -- because your appearance goals can make a big difference when it comes to choosing which type of filler to use. Maybe you're just trying to fab up your appearance for a big reunion coming up, or maybe you're looking for something a little more permanent. Maybe you're hoping for big celebrity-sized lips, or maybe you just want them a little plumper and less ringed with wrinkles. Whatever it is, make sure you and your doctor are on the same page.


When it comes to choosing a filler, several of options have been developed over the years. Some commonly used injectable fillers include Autologen (an injection of your own collagen), Zyderm and Zyplast (an injection of bovine collagen) and Dermalogen (an injection of collagen from donated human tissue), along with HylaForm, Restylane and Juvaderm, all of which contain hyaluronic acid. When it comes to implants, AlloDerm (also from deceased people's collagen), GORE-TEX, SoftForm and Ultrasoft are typical choices, while fat transfer is a frequently used surgery.

Each option tends to have its pros and cons. For example, some are pretty pricey (like fat transfers and implants), and some don't last as long (such as bovine and human collagen-based fillers). Some require multiple procedures (like Autologen and fat transfer), and some come with a greater chance of an allergic reaction (such as bovine-derived collagen fillers), so you can see why you want an expert helping you to decide which of them is most appropriate for your specific situation. It's also a good idea to do some independent research on your own, to verify whether a specific filler has been studied for long-term effects or if it has any potential nasty side effects your doctor hasn't heard about.

Once you and your doctor have the perfect treatment picked out, there are just a few more little things you need to do to prepare. Head to the following page to learn what happens next.


Lip Augmentation Procedures: Keep a Stiff Upper Lip

lip augmentation
Lip augmentation is relatively safe, but it can pose potential complications and risks.
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Now it's time to start preparing for the procedure. Pick the outfit you'll wear that day with care. Loose, comfortable clothes and a button-up shirt are recommended (that way you don't have to pull the shirt past your face). You'll also need to follow your doctor's advice concerning activities like taking pain medication and blood thinners, exercise and smoking, if it applies.

Next, you'll need to prep the area in your home that'll be the base of operations while you recoup. Within arm's reach should be ice, soft foods, a telephone, any ointments from your doctor and some nice comfy pillows to relax with. Last but not least? Arrange for a ride home after the procedure is done.


During the procedure, a couple of different of things can go wrong. An allergic reaction, infection, bleeding and nerve damage are among the dangers you face. Also, the results might not come out how you expected. Your body might reject the implant, for example, or the implant might harden or migrate. Lip augmentation can sometimes cause scarring and lumping, or your lips might not come out symmetrically -- another reason you want a experienced doctor at the helm.

Recovery time varies greatly depending on the specific procedure -- it usually takes a couple of days to a couple of weeks. A doctor can help you estimate your specific recovery time once he or she has your medical history and knowledge of your lifestyle. Typically, during recovery you might experience some bruising or swelling in your lips. If the swelling becomes extreme, or if you have fever, you should ring your doctor right away.

For more information about lips, cosmetics and cosmetic procedures, continue on to the next page.


Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

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