If you would like a permanently pert pout, lip augmentation can be achieved through a cosmetic surgery procedure to insert soft, pliable implants into the lips. While many people wanting to enhance their lips opt for dermal fillers, lip implants can offer a more permanent and reversible solution for plumper youthful lips. Lip implants are small silicone or ‘expanded polytetrafluoroethylene’ implants that can be inserted into the lips via a small incision to give a fuller, sexier pout with long-lasting results.
If you have naturally thin lips or have lost shape or volume in your lips due to ageing, then you could be a candidate for lip implants.
The best candidates for any cosmetic surgery procedure are generally fit and healthy and have realistic goals and expectations of what can be achieved.
You shouldn’t have lip implants if you have an infection, such as cold sores, in the area or if you have active acne around your mouth as it increases the risk of complications.
The best way to find out if you are a suitable candidate for lip implants is to have a consultation with a surgeon.
Your lips will be quite sore and swollen after the procedure so be prepared to look like you have a trout pout for a couple of days. This will go down however and is not representative of the final result.
You may also get some temporary numbness in the area but this should only last a couple of days.
Some people find that their speech is slightly affected until they get used to the implant or that they have difficulty eating and drinking but this will be temporary.
It may take a couple of weeks for your lips to fully heal and all the swelling to go down.
Any scarring you get should be minimal and hidden at the corners of your mouth. The incisions made are very small so you should not get noticeable scars.
The main risk of having a lip implant is infection. Symptoms of infection include fever as well as severe tenderness, redness, and swelling.
If you develop an infection, then you may need to have the implant removed which can be quite complicated.
Another potential complication is scar tissue forming around the implant, which can make the lip area feel hard and look deformed, however this is rare.
Make sure you carefully follow the post treatment aftercare advice you are given to minimize the risk of any complications.
The first stage of the lip implant procedure is the consultation. During this time your surgeon will discuss the types of implants available and talk to you about the risks and benefits of undergoing the procedure. This is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions and explain what your goals and expectations of the treatment are.
The surgeon will take a full medical history to make sure there are not any reasons you should proceed. They will also usually take pictures so you can see the difference between what you looked like before and what you look like after the procedure.
You will be given a consent form to sign. Make sure you read this and all the associated material carefully.
Once you have decided to go ahead with the treatment your surgeon will inject local anaesthetic into your lips to numb them. In some cases, lip implants can also be done under sedation, which will make you drowsy. The surgeon will then make small incisions at the corner of your mouth. The implant will then be inserted and cut to size before you are stitched back up.
You may get some swelling and bruising and experience some pain after the procedure. Your lips will also be very tender for a couple of weeks. You can take painkillers to help with the pain.
You should be able to return to work after a couple of days but it may take up to three weeks to fully recover. You will need to return to your surgeon to have the stitches removed after around a week to 10 days.
The most common type of lip implant used is made from a substance called ‘expanded polytetrafluoroethylene’ (ePTFE) a sterile, rubber-like material, which has been used in other areas of medicine such as vein replacement, hernia repair or reinforcing the stomach wall. The substance is also used for chin and cheek implants. In the lips this type of implant can offer a permanent, consistent enhancement, which is fully reversible in most cases.
Other types of lip implant are made from silicone. Silicone lip implants are like small silicone tubes that are inserted into the lip during a minor surgical procedure. Silicone lip implants also offer a long term solution to lip enhancement and can be removed if you are not happy with the results.