There are numerous cosmetic procedures available for people nowadays and lip implants are one of them. It is aimed to improve the plumpness and fullness of the lips. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that more than 30,000 people made use of lip implants in 2018. In addition to that, the number of people who made use of this procedure has been steadily increasing since the early 2000s.
However, it is still an unknown procedure for a lot of people worldwide. It is not as common as rhinoplasty or otoplasty, for instance. Therefore, this article answers the most common questions people have about this type of cosmetic procedure.
What are lip implants?
As was already mentioned, lip implants are a cosmetic procedure, which is used to enhance the fullness and plumpness of the lips. This procedure uses plastic implants to plump the lips. Specialists typically use two types of implants and they are as follows:
- Expanded polytetrafluoroethylene
Both types are believed to be safe. However, a study conducted in 2002 showed that later mentioned is more favourable in terms of tissue response. Furthermore, these implants are softer and easier to compress than the silicone version. It means that expanded polytetrafluoroethylene implants are less noticeable and feel more natural.
Along with plastic lip implants, there are two other types of implants procedures that can be performed and they are as follows:
- Fat grafting: This procedure involves usage of fat that has been transferred from the abdomen to fill the lip
- Tissue grafting: this procedure involves usage of skin from the lower stomach area for the purpose of filling the lip
How does the procedure look?
Lip implants procedure involves several preparation steps that need to be taken. Facial plastic surgeons recommend their patients to stop smoking before the surgery takes place. In addition to that, you might be asked to make use of antiviral medications. You have to keep in mind that lip implants are an in-office procedure. Before the procedure, your doctor will sterilize the area and use local anesthetics to numb the nails. Specialists claim that lip implants procedure can be also performed under general anesthesia but it is not required.
The following steps will be taken by your facial plastic surgeon to insert the implants:
- An incision is made on either corner of the mouth
- The specialist inserts a clamp into the incisions and a tunnel is created
- After the creation of a tunnel, the clamp will open and the implant will be inserted
- The final step is removing the clamp and the implant remains inside of the lip.
- Incisions are closed with small sutures
The lip implant procedure normally takes around 30 minutes if no complications appear during the process. Once the procedure is completed, there is no need to stay in the clinic overnight and you can drive home right away.
The recovery duration for the lip implants varies between 1 to 3 days. However, specialists still recommend avoiding pulling or pushing around the lip area including compressing the lips too much, opening the mouth too wide. These actions have to be avoided because implants might shift out of place. It normally takes between 1 to 2 weeks for the tissue to begin holding the implant in place. Some people might also need to use pain medication. For the purpose of minimizing scarring and swelling after recovery, it is advised to use ice packs and head elevation.
Are there any complications of lip implants?
As was already stated, lip implants are generally safe. However, as with any cosmetic surgery, lip implants procedure involves a certain degree of risks such as infection, bleeding, and allergy to the anesthetic or implant. Doctors say that there are limited side effects after the surgery and the person will be able to resume regular activities already after 3 days.
Although, there are several cases when the lip implant can shift or move. If this occurs, another surgery might be required for the purpose of repairing the implant. Facial plastic surgeons say that lip implants are a long-term solution and the vast majority of people are happy with the outcomes. But there are also people that are not satisfied with the way their lips look after the surgery. Some people might decide to undergo one more lip implants procedure in order to repair the implants or remove them completely.
How much do lip implants cost?
People need to keep in mind that lip implants are a cosmetic procedure, thus, it is not covered by medical insurance. According to recent studies, the average cost of this cosmetic procedure varies between $2,000 and $4,000. Even though this procedure is considered very expensive, lip implants are believed to last longer than other lip augmentation procedures. Tissue grafting and fat grafting procedures cost nearly the same but they last less than 5 years, whereas lip implants tend to last more than 10 years. Lip fillers are the cheapest option but they last only between 6 to 8 months.
How important is the facial plastic surgeon?
This type of cosmetic surgery requires highly qualified, board-certified and skillful plastic surgeons. As was already mentioned, there are some people who are not satisfied with the results of lip implants procedures. Thus, you want to make sure that your lips are under the control of a board-certified specialist with extensive experience in this field. A few tips on searching for the plastic surgeon are listed below.
- A specialist has extensive experience in the field of lip augmentation
- A specialist has a lot of before-and-after examples available for viewing
- A specialist is comfortable with answering all your question during the consultation
- A specialist shows a great attitude and work ethics in order to ensure that you are recovering properly
Apart from that, potential users of this type of surgery can use the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in order to find a board-certified specialist near your area.
To summarize the aforementioned, it can be concluded that lip implants are a great option for everyone who is looking for enhancing the appearance of the lips. This procedure is aimed to improve the fullness and plumpness of a person’s lips. The cost of this procedure typically varies between $2,000 and $4,000 and is performed in-office under local anesthesia.
People have to keep in mind that lip implants procedure is not covered by medical insurance. This is because of the fact that lip implants procedure is performed for cosmetic purposes and not medical. The recovery process normally takes between 1 to 3 days and there is no need to stay in the clinic overnight. You can drive home right after the surgery.
Lip implants procedure is believed to be safe but it still involves a certain degree of risks. However, they are not as severe as might be with other types of cosmetic surgeries. You need to devote a significant amount of time to searching for the board-certified specialist. It would be a great idea to ask any of your friends whether they have used this procedure and whether they are satisfied with the results. The word-of-mouth will provide you with the best, in-depth information about the facial plastic surgeon.