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.