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A blog about cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, including non-surgical procedures and skin cancer.

Lip Augmentation: The Path to Plumper Lips with Dermal Fillers

Lip augmentation using dermal fillers is a non-surgical treatment for creating full, voluminous lips. In the past, lip augmentation typically involved collagen injections. Today, the most popular dermal fillers contain hyaluronic acid, which is safer than collagen and produces longer-lasting results. Hyaluronic acid occurs in the body naturally and adds volume to the area where it is injected. Other cosmetic procedures to increase lip volume, including implants or fat injections, are rarely used today because of the risk of inconsistent results and side effects.

Common Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

The most frequently used dermal fillers for plumping of the lips include Juvederm, Restylane, and Restylane Silk. They work by adding structure, shape, and volume to the lips. Each of these fillers involves a similar procedure and produces comparable results. Some fillers also contain the local anesthetic lidocaine to help make the injections more comfortable. The effects of the injection typically start to lessen after approximately six months. Repeat injections are required to keep the lips plump.

Benefits of Non-Surgical Lip Augmentation

Hyaluronic fillers immediately start to support and reshape the lips. Fillers offer a number of benefits over other methods of lip augmentation.

  1. The doctor can control the amount of lip volume that is created by adjusting the amount of filler used.
  2. The treatments can be spread over multiple appointments in order to achieve the desired results.
  3. Bumps or lumps created by normal lip movement dissolve easily.
  4. Hyaluronic acid fillers tend to create less swelling and bruising than other types of fillers.
  5. Hyaluronic acid is a natural substance that is unlikely to result in an allergic reaction.

What to Expect During Lip Augmentation

A cosmetic surgeon can perform injectable lip augmentation using dermal fillers during a quick in-office procedure. The doctor will numb the area with a topical numbing agent or by injecting a local anesthetic. Dr. Schwarcz, a cosmetic and oculofacial reconstructive surgeon, will mark the areas to be treated before injecting the filler using a fine needle. The results of the cosmetic procedure should be noticeable right away.

Potential Risks and Side Effects

Complications following lip augmentation injections are rare and typically include:

  • tenderness and redness at the injection site,
  • bleeding at the injection site, and
  • minor bruising and swelling.

It is normal to experience some minor discomfort and swelling, but these symptoms can usually be alleviated with ice.