There are many options to improve the appearance of your lips. The methods used may also reduce fine lines and wrinkles around your lips.
Who are the best candidates for lip augmentation?
You must be in good general health. You might not a good candidate for lip augmentation if you have oral herpes, scarring, or certain diseases such as diabetes, lupus, connective tissues disorders, or blood clotting problems.
Like any other cosmetic surgery, lip augmentation requires a lot of responsibility. You can only determine for yourself if you're ready. We've included the most popular injections and implants here; this information should serve as a general overview only and should not replace your doctor's advice. Once you've selected a doctor, you will communicate with him or her and decide together which option best suits your needs.
Good candidates for lip augmentation are those who have realistic expectations of the outcome. Injections or implants can enhance and improve your natural look, but they're not designed to create a radical change in your appearance.
As with any medical procedure, you should tell your doctor of any allergies or any medications that you are taking, and you will be required to discuss your medical history. Certain conditions or diseases can increase your chances of complications, such as blood clots, diabetes, or poor circulation. If you are a smoker, this may also be a complicating factor.
These are performed on an outpatient basis in your doctor's office or an outpatient center and you will be sent home the same day. Your surgeon may use local anesthesia to make you more comfortable during the injection of the filler. The local anesthetic (pain killer) may be topical (applied to the skin) or injected prior to the procedure.
How long will my recovery take?
Your recovery will depend on your lifestyle and which procedure you undergo. Most people having injections are fine within a day or two. There might be bruising or swelling however that can last as long as two weeks depending on the type of injection. If you are having surgical implants or grafts, you should plan on it taking two weeks before you will feel comfortable in public. As with any procedure it is recommended that you stop aspirin or any type of blood thinner two weeks prior to treatment to help minimize bruising and swelling.
It's important that you know yourself. Discuss how much time you think you'll need for recovery with your doctor. It may be necessary to take some time off work. You also may not be able to exercise for a few days to a few weeks depending on the type of procedure.
How to prepare
It's important that you have someone with you who can drive you home from the operation. If you are a smoker, you may be required to stop smoking for a period of time before and after the procedure. You should follow your doctor's instructions carefully on this. Make sure you wear loose, comfortable clothing. Be especially mindful of the shirt or blouse you choose to wear that day -- it should be a button down, if possible, so you do not have to pull it over your face.
Before your procedure, establish a home recovery area with the following:
- Comfortable pillows on which you can prop yourself
- Ointment or cream if recommended by your doctor
- Plenty of soft foods, such as jello, pudding, oatmeal and yogurt that do not require chewing
- Telephone within reaching distance of your recovery area
Risks and complications
As with any surgery, there are risks and complications. You can experience bleeding that might require going back to surgery to stop the bleeding. There is also a risk of infection that may require antibiotics or implant removal. It's very important that you discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to surgery and that you make your doctor aware of any existing medical conditions that may cause further complications.
Risks and Benefits of Lip Augmentation
Very few patients experience significant complications with lip enhancement, but like all surgical procedures, risks do exist. Bleeding, infection, and swelling are a possibility with any surgery. Side effects more closely associated with lip augmentation include lumping, scarring, numbness, cold sores, and asymmetrical lips.
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