Lip augmentation and rejuvenation procedures around the mouth are truly one of the “last frontiers” of facial rejuvenation surgery and most of these procedures are only a few years old. There are several types of grafts that can be used: autografts (your own tissue, such as fat or fascia), allografts (human skin derivatives from skin banks), or synthetic grafts (Softform®). Dr. Ptak prefers the use of “Alloderm®” – a freeze-dried human skin preparation that has been reported to last permanently in the majority of patients. (Refer to the Alloderm® brochure for more information.)
Other options include: A piece of tissue is borrowed from somewhere in your body and grafted into one or both lips. Fascia (the covering of a muscle) or dermis (bottom layer of skin) are both excellent sources of tissue. Dr. Ptak will discuss the alternatives and assist in choosing the best source for you.
Who is a Candidate?
The permanent lip augmentation procedure would be great for anyone desiring a long-lasting solution for smoothing facial wrinkles and defining and enlarging their lips.
The procedure usually takes less than one hour. Although the procedure can be done with local anesthesia only, the use of sedation plus local or general anesthesia will make the operation much easier to tolerate. A short incision is made in the corner of each lip. A tunnel is created under the mucosa, and the graft is pulled through and anchored at each end. A single buried suture is all that is usually required. Doctor Ptak recommends you use ice packs on the lips for at least 48 hours and follow a liquid or soft diet.
The lips are noticeably swollen for a week or two. The sutures are completely buried and dissolve. No suture removal is necessary. Lip sensation is usually normal after healing.
Additional procedures that may enhance the result are: