What is Lip Enhancement?
The primary technique for lip enhancement is fillers that are injected in the office. Lip augmentation with filler is expected to last about 12 months at which time repeat injections can be pursued. A very natural, subtle enhancement is noted after filler injection. Fat grafting is a technique where a patient’s own fat is harvested and processed then injected into the lips. This technique results in a much fuller lip than fillers can produce and last much longer; some fat may remain in place for several years. For patients in the operating room for face and neck lift that desires lip augmentation, another option is to use some of the tissue removed in the procedure-a strip of SMAS-to enhance lip volume. This is the longest lasting result with the tissue present for many years.
How long will does the procedure take?
Injections take minutes in the office. Fat grafting is generally performed in the operating room in combination with other procedures and the time therefore varies based on procedures performed.
What kind of anesthesia will I have?
Topical anesthesia for fillers, and the fillers have local anesthesia to enhance comfort during the injections. General anesthesia is used for fat grafting because it is safe and very well controlled. West Magnolia Surgery Center, on site at West Magnolia Plastic Surgery, is fully accredited by the AAAHC. Local anesthesia in injected into the incision once the patient is under anesthesia for enhanced postoperative comfort
What is recovery like?
Patients should expect bruising and swelling for up to 2 weeks but the majority of swelling after fillers has resolved by 48 to 72 hours. Swelling after fat grafting can take longer to resolve because there is more volume injected into the lips; most patients have returned to their normal, albeit enhanced, appearance in about 2 weeks. The fat is harvested from a small area of the patient’s body that they desire some correction and a compression garment like SPANX is worn until no visible bruising or swelling is noted, usually about 2 weeks.
What are the risks of a Procedure?
Asymmetry of the tissues, inadequate correction resulting in need for additional injections, failure of fat take and loss of results, contour deformity from the area that fat is removed from.
How do I prepare for surgery?
After a consultation to discuss the patient’s interests, an office visit is scheduled for the actual injections. Photos are taken for later comparison and topical anesthesia is applied for about 15 minutes prior to injecting. If plan to proceed with fat grafting in the OR, a preoperative appointment is scheduled approximately 2 weeks prior to surgery. At this time, all consents and recommendations, instructions for before and after surgery are reviewed. A long list of medications to avoid is reviewed and prescriptions are given for postoperative management. The day before surgery, all patients are called to review final questions, confirm nothing has occurred since the patient was seen at preop that might require rescheduling of the procedure and to finalize arrival time at the facility. All patients are given ample information at the preoperative appointment regarding a time line of what to expect in the recovery process and when.