Are those Lips for Real?
Have you noticed a thinning of your lips? Do your lips appear to be rolling in? Do your lips have fine etched wrinkles engraved into the borders? If you miss your voluptuous lips of yesteryear or if you have never been satisfied with the appearance of your lips, what are your options?
The lips and surrounding area are one of the first places to reveal our true age, and if you smoke or worship the sun you will accelerate this aging process. A prune-dried, thinned-out, wrinkled lip is often considered unattractive. Many women experience difficulty placing lipstick or keeping it on the lip without it seeping into adjacent creases. Additionally, many young women who are yet to experience the pleasure of wrinkles are requesting plump, ample lips because they find them to be sensual, appealing, and in style.
Today, many patients enjoy the benefits of collagen placement into the lips. However, if you are considering augmenting your lips, be realistic. You should request and expect a modest enhancement. Unless you specifically desire it, over-filled, busting-at-the-seams lips is an obvious sign that you have had cosmetic treatments and is generally not considered attractive. Most patients request an appropriate amount of filler into the lip creating an attractively full, yet supple lip. If your choice of implant is collagen, it can easily be done in the office and does not require anesthesia. Most people return to their regular routine immediately following the treatment. The downside is that the benefits of the collagen only last three months and three percent of the population may be allergic to it. Another option and one that is very common today is to place a donor dermal implant into the lips. This procedure requires a sterile set up but can easily be placed following infiltration of a local numbing medicine.
It takes about a half an hour to perform and any swelling resolves within a few days. Dermal implants feel and look very natural and the benefits can last up to years. For those whose tolerance will only allow one treatment and are seeking long-term benefits, a permanent material may be a better option. Gortex, an often-used permanent implant material, is placed in much the same way as the dermal implant and the healing time is also only a few days. The downside to permanent augmentation though is that some patients report being able to feel the implant. Additionally, there is a persistent, albeit slight, chance that even after years of the implant doing well it can get infected and necessitate removal. But if you are desiring a permanent solution, Gortex maybe for you. If none of the above options sound interesting, be assured because the facial cosmetic implant world continues to evolve. There currently are many products that have reported success in Europe but are still awaiting FDA approval for use in the U.S. As these products become available and develop a track record, I will report on it to you. In the meantime, for those who desire fuller, rounded, and indulgent lips, seek out your local physician who has the proper training and experience performing lip augmentation.
Originally published in the April 2001 issue of HealthCare Times.