This is suitable for anyone who would like larger or fuller lips. In addition there are people who were born with abnormalities of the lips or who’s lips have become deformed for one reason or another in later life.
There are a large number of different procedures to choose from but they can be grouped together.
Many substances have been used to temporarily enlarge the lips. These substances are primarily injected under the white line. That is the white hair free line which outlines the vermilion (red mucosa) of the lip and is distinct from normal lip skin. This gives a pouting (Paris) lip. (see illustration). The bulk of the lip can be increased by injections into the muscle but these tend to dissolve at a faster rate. Hyaluronic acid gel is used and often needs to be topped up every 3 to 6 months.
It has the advantage that one is using the patient’s own tissue and therefore there will be no allergic reaction. The fat is collected either prior to some other liposuction procedure or harvested specifically for the purpose of augmentation of the lips. Usually it is taken from the abdomen or buttocks. Injection of fat does cause more temporary swelling than the injection of other substances.
Surgical advancement of the vermilion
The mucosa of the inner side of the lip can be advanced downwards to make a fuller lip or even advanced downwards and round to replace normal skin. This last operation will however destroy the normal white line. These reconstructive procedures tend to be used to treat congenital deformities and those acquired through injury or disease.
Which procedure is the best?
There are many procedures that can be used to enhance the lips. Some patients prefer temporary ones as they can change their minds. They may also wish just to try the appearance of larger lips as a preliminary to something more permanent.