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Lip Enhancement

Full lips are sensual, attractive and a sign of youth. As we age, our lips lose volume, deflate and lines or wrinkles, often vertical ones, start appearing on our lips. People with genetically thin or small lips may have their lips vanish altogether, leaving them with a perennially stern appearance. Lip enhancement can restore the bloom of youth to this focal point of the face.

Lip enhancement can be done alone, but it is often done in conjunction with other facial procedures. It can be the finishing touch of a facelift. Lip enhancement can be temporary or more permanent. The techniques used for lip enhancement are synthetic filler injections, augmentation with your own skin or your own fat, or implantation of skin substitutes.

LIP ENHANCEMENT TECHNIQUES

SYNTHETIC FILLERS

Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the body as the lubricating substance found between our cells. Two of the most commonly used hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are Juvederm and Restylane. Since hyaluronic acid is not a foreign substance to the body, the body does not react to it and allergic reaction is not a possibility. Since Juvederm and Restylane are a synthetic hyaluronic acid, there is no chance of transmission of disease via prions, as there was when fillers were manufactured from rooster combs and other animal parts.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are well-suited for lip enhancement. They are lightweight, clear gel substances that are soft and pliable. Both Juvederm and Restylane will last nine to 12 months.

A skillful, experienced injector is the key to a beautiful result with lip fillers. Dr. Delgado has extensive experience with lip augmentation techniques using dermal fillers and can inject the lips in various ways to fulfill a patientís goals and expectations. Injecting along the lip line, he can define the outline of the lips and to some degree, minimize vertical lines on the upper lip. He can plump up the body of the lip and even give lip corners a little upward turn. Guided by a keen sense of aesthetics, he does not overfill the lips nor inject age-inappropriate volume. Too many times fillers will be overused, giving the lips and face a bizarre appearance. Dr. Delgadoís techniques produce an enhanced, yet still natural look to the lips.

Enhancement of the lips with Restylane or Juvederm can be easily done in the office. A local anesthetic is given, much like the ones dentists use and this makes for a comfortable procedure.

The hyaluronic acid filler is malleable for 24 hours and sometimes even up to a week. During this time, the patient can smooth away any filler lumpiness with gentle finger massage. In the unusual event that a lump persists, Dr. Delgado can inject a small amount of an enzyme product called hyaluronidase to dissolve the filler in the trouble spot.

GRAPHS WITH YOUR OWN TISSUE

Dermal Graph
A piece of skin is taken from another part of the body and grafted into one or both lips. The advantage of using your own skin is that it will not be rejected and a custom piece can be accurately tailored. The disadvantage is that a scar is created at the donor site unless the skin is taken from a previous scar.

Fascia Graph
If one is having a facelift, a portion of the SMAS (Superficial Musculo-Aponeurotic System) that is excised to tighten the facial musculature, can be reserved for lip graft material. This deep, soft tissue is very pliable and strong. The tissue is shaped and then threaded through the lips. The enhancement will last for many years.

Fat Injections
Your own fat, usually from the abdomen, can be processed (condensed and purified) and injected into your lips. Using fat in this manner is best used to replace volume in the face, as results are less predictable with lip augmentation. Even so, fat injections give a natural, even result when used in the lips, although it can take multiple attempts to achieve sufficient volume. Generally, fat injections do not last as long as the various graph methods. Also, the duration of the enhancement from fat injections varies greatly from patient to patient.

ALLODERM GRAPH

What is AlloDerm? It is human tissue that has been donated to a tissue bank the same way that other transplanted organs are donated. It is put through a special process to enhance its safety while retaining the components of the bodyís own tissue. The AlloDerm can be rolled up in a small cigar-shaped tube that is surgically inserted through the lip line. Since AlloDerm is a natural material, the body cannot reject it.

OUTCOME

Lip enhancement or lip augmentation improves the shape and volume of the lips. This restores a youthful appearance and creates balance in the facial features, especially when done in conjunction with other facial cosmetic surgical procedures.

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