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Lip Augmentation and Fat Injections

Jun 2, 2008
During the past decade, the size and shape of lips has gained special attention and prominence in the sphere of cosmetic surgery. Enhanced, full, sensuous lips have become the accepted standard as a characteristic of beauty. Great emphasis has been placed on the full lip in glamour and fashion magazines, which has influenced millions of women to achieve this look. Lip enhancement gained particular popularity in the late 1980s with the invention and availability of Collagen. Over the past decade, surgeons have looked for a variety of ways to achieve this look with products and methods that are both safe and long lasting. Today the most popular techniques include Hylaforms, such as Restylane and (Juvederm, Collagen, and Fat injection.

Lip augmentation is an excellent, minimally invasive technique used to augment thin lips and improve the shape of ones lips. Thin lips can appear at any age, while changes in shape and the appearance of fine wrinkles can be a function of the aging process. This method can be used to rebuild volume as well as fill in fine lines around the mouth. A lush, sensuous and youthful look is quickly achievable. As with all Plastic Surgery, the goal is to improve self-image and, in turn, invigorate self-confidence.

Hylaform is an injectable substances made from Hyaluronic acid, a substance that is naturally found in skin and other body tissues. The two most well known products are Restylane and Juvederm. Since this is a natural occurring substance the body is very likely to accept this substance. Experience has shown that there are very few allergic reactions to the Hylaforms. Skin allergic reactions are so rare, a skin test is not typically required. The Hylaforms come as a gel, which is injected, into the deep dermal layer of the skin. This puffs out the skin giving a smooth, fuller appearance. In the lips, it is most commonly placed along the border between the red and white portion of the lips. The injection of Restylane and Juvederm takes only about 15 minutes and patients can return to work or their daily routine. Hylaform generally lasts between three to 6 months.

Collagen is the product, of all the commonly used injectables for lip augmentation, which has been around the longest. Collagen is also a naturally occurring substance. Collagen fibers are the building blocks of the skin and all other of the bodys tissues. Collagen is an essential component of tissue strength and substance. Injectable collagen is most commonly obtained from bovine tissue; consequently, it does contain some structural differences from human collagen, thus making it occasionally susceptible to allergic reactions. About 3% of the population is allergic to bovine Collagen; therefore a skin test is required for all patients who elect to undergo collagen injections. Dr. Lent typically recommends that his patients undergo two skin tests over a six-week period of time. Collagen will typically last for two to four months following injection.

Fat injection is an excellent technique for lip augmentation as it offers the only natural method for potential permanent results. Fat is aspirated from another part of the body, such as the abdomen or thigh, and then injected into the lips. Since fat cells are living tissue, the body will recognize them and new capillaries will attach to the cells to keep them permanently alive. Since the fat cells are from the patients own body, they are not recognized as foreign and will not cause an allergic reaction. The fat transfer technique usually requires at least two to three treatments to achieve a permanent result as the body reabsorbs much of the injected fat.

Recently, there have been attempts to use permanent, non-absorbable materials to augment lips. These materials, which have included Gortex and Artefill, suffer from the same problems; they can induce a rejection reaction from the body. Additionally, if there are any problems, such as lumps, malpositioning or other complications, the material can be very difficult to remove and can leave severe scarring.

Lip augmentation can be an excellent compliment to many facial Plastic Surgical procedures. It can be performed in conjunction with a Facelift, with a Forehead/Brow Lift , with Laser Eyelid Surgery , with Laser Skin Resurfacing, Rhinoplasty,and with Facial Implants . Lip augmentation can be done at the same time or separately from other cosmetic surgical procedures.

The hottest subject in the Plastic Surgery world for the past few years has unquestionably been the subject of how best to smooth facial lines and wrinkles and how best to create fuller lips. Several new generations of injectable fillers, such as Collagen and Hylaform (Restylane) have been invented, but all suffer from the same problem; they are not permanent solutions and are quickly absorbed by the body. They also carry the risk of allergic reactions. Synthetic materials, such as Gortex, have been tried as a solution, but are associated with a whole host of potential problems, most notably a rejection reaction by the body.

Fat cells can be transferred from one part of the body to the other. Fat is living tissue just like any other part of the body such as skin and muscle. Just as skin can be transfered from one location of the body to another as a skin graft, so can fat. As with a skin graft, new tiny blood vessels, capillaries, will grow and attach to the living fat cells, thus keeping them alive. The transplanted fat can therefore be a permanent and natural solution for the treatment of facial lines and thin lips.

Fat transfer procedures offer patients great versatility. Fat injections can be used to treat the nasolabial folds, the deep lines around the mouth, marionette lines, the deep lines that form at the corners of the mouth, deep wrinkles that develop between the eyebrows, sunken cheeks, thin lips and just about any other location of concern.

Fat transfer can usually be performed in an office setting, requiring a small surgical procedure to harvest the fat cells. This can be done by first numbing the area with local anesthesia. After the fat cells are removed, they are allowed to separate from the bodies other fluids and then are injected just under the lines needing correction. It is important for patients to understand that they will likely need multiple treatments as with each treatment a significant portion of the fat will be absorbed by the body prior to the attachment of the new capillaries. The average patient requires two to three treatment sessions to achieve a permanent result.

Fat transfer is an excellent method for restoring facial youthfulness. It can be done quickly with little or no down time, no loss of work, and no need to reschedule social activities. Patients also do not need to worry about allergic reactions as, unlike other injectables, this is from their own body. Fat injections are considered safe, but like all medical procedures there is some risks, such as bleeding, infection, bruising, lumpiness or dimpling at the donor site.

Fat injection can be the perfect compliment to many Plastic Surgical procedures done for the treatment of facial aging. Fat grafting can be performed in conjunction with a Facelift, with a Forehead/Brow Lift , with Laser Eyelid Surgery , with Laser Skin Resurfacing, and with Facial Implants. Fat injections can be done at the same time or separately from other cosmetic surgical procedures.
About the Author
LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery . Learn more about lip augmentation and cosmetic surgery procedures.
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