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Full lips are often seen as a sign of youth and beauty. A full mouth is sensual, a well shaped mouth helps to make the face symmetrical and pleasing. For those not born with the bee-stung look or for those looking to make their lips more harmonious with their face, Lip Enhancement is the way to go: it’s relatively inexpensive and has very little “down time.”

Lip Augmentation is usually performed one of three ways: through injection, grafts or “local flap procedure.” This page focuses on the two most common procedures: Injections and Grafts.

Lip Enhancements with Injections. When lips are enlarged with injected fillers, the material is placed by the use of very fine needles. No scars are created and only a topical or local anesthetic is required. There is no bruising and very little swelling. Most injections do not create permanent results, but can be repeated over time. As with Grafts, there are several types of filler materials that can be used with Injections.

While Collagen, Restylene and Dermalogen are all manufactured, Autologen and Fat Injections are done from filler created from your own body. Autologen uses collagen extracted from your own skin cells, typically from a previous surgery such as a Face Lift. Excess and unneeded tissues are removed and just your own collagen is injected. This ensures no allergic reaction and provides for relatively long-lasting results. The filler for fat injections is also created by your own body. The excess fat is typically taken from the patient’s abdomen and thigh region. As with Autologen, there is no risk of allergy, but the results are not as long lasting.

Normally Lip Enhancements that use Injectible Fillers have relatively no down time. You can be back to work within a few hours to a couple of days. You’ll be able to wash your face and apply make up the following day. Strenuous activities can be resumed in a week or two.

Lip Enhancements with Grafts. When lips are enlarged with grafts, the grafts are placed via very small incisions in the inside of the corners of the mouth. Any scars are generally not visible. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia and there can be some bruising and swelling – the amount depends on the type of graft. Some grafts produce life-long results, while others provide long-lasting temporary results

Lip Enhancements with Grafts may require a bit more time to heal compared with Injectibles, but the results typically last much longer. There can be swelling, tenderness and numbness.

A Time to Heal

Healing times depend on the type of Lip Augmentation performed as well as the individual patient’s unique reaction to the procedure. Typically, Injections result in less swelling and bruising. There are no sutures to remove, no scarring and normal life can be resumed in a matter of hours. Grafts may require a couple days off from work and the patient may experience moderate swelling and tenderness. Sutures can be removed in about a week and strenuous activities can be resumed in a couple weeks. Any numbness or tenderness experienced will slowly diminish over time. Grafts may take a couple months to “soften.”

Risks and Complications

Some filler and graft materials can cause an allergic reaction. Dr. Volshteyn will perform an allergy test on you, as needed, about four to six weeks prior to the procedure. Other possible complications include scarring, lopsidedness, numbness, infection and bleeding, but these are rare. Grafts can also harden or “kink,” requiring an additional, corrective procedure