If you swoon at the full, pouty lips of actors like Angelina Jolie and Julia Roberts, and lament your own rather thin ones, you might consider having the lips you were born with surgically enhanced. Or, if it’s not actors’ lips you crave, but the ones you had in your youth, you might look into having your lips returned to the size and shape they once were.
Lip augmentation is an increasingly popular, relatively simple surgical procedure for teenagers, men and women of all ages who want to add a bit of oomph to their lips.
Lip augmentation – also called lip enhancement or lip enlargement – is usually an outpatient surgical procedure to fill in, puff up and generally enhance your own lips. More than 30,000 people have opted to slightly change the appearance of their lips with at least one of the nearly 10 techniques plastic surgeons use for lip augmentation, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Your doctor can extract some of your own body fat from one area on your body – usually the groin – and inject it into your lips. Or, your physician can use a synthetic material, such as Gortex – yes, the stuff that keeps you dry in the pouring rain – to give your lips the “pout” you desire.
Will your new look last forever? Some methods are temporary; if you like your new look, you will have to return to the clinic to have the technique repeated. Temporary solutions appeal to many people who just want to experiment with puffier lips. Yet for others who are certain the new appearance of their lips is for them, more permanent techniques – such as local flaps – would be used.
Usually a safe operation, there are risks you need to know about. You may not be thrilled with the initial results because of the swelling, but this usually resolves within a couple of weeks. Some methods result in temporary bruising and swelling; others require an incision to insert the material that will enlarge your lips.
To ensure you are as educated as possible about the lip-augmentation procedure you want – and the look you desire – discuss with your doctor advantages and disadvantages of each technique. And ask your doctor to see before and after photographs from his/her patient case file. Your lips already are a prominent feature on your face; you – and your doctor – want to be happy with your new, fuller lips.