Fuller lips are a sign of youth and sensuality. In many cultures, thin lips are considered unappealing. Hence, there is a good demand for augmenting the lips. This can be accomplished by fillers or fat grafting.
The fillers are made of cross-linked hyaluronic acid molecules. They are hypoallergenic and absorbable. Fillers are available as preloaded 1ml injections. Nerve blocks or ice packs can be used before injection fillers to numb the lips. Fillers can be given into the white roll and vermillion of the lips, to increases the sharpness and volume. Fillers can also be used to fill defects or deficiencies or irregularities if any. There is minimal or no downtime following filler injections. Fillers are absorbable and need to be given from time to time. The duration which filler lasts depends upon the degree of cross-linkages, in the hyaluronic acid molecules. The more the linkages, the denser the filler and more long-lasting. Most fillers last between 6-12 months in the lips. Also, augmentation by fillers can be reversed if the results are not satisfactory.
Fat grafting is another technique used to augment the lips. Here local anesthetic is given to the subcutaneous fat in the abdomen. Fat is then aspirated using 1.5 – 2.0mm cannulae. This fat is decanted, washed and converted to micro fat globules. This purified micro fat can be injected into the lips using 0.8 – 1mm cannulae, similar to a filler. However, post-procedure edema can be expected which can last up to a week. Up to 40% of the injected fat is expected to be absorbed in the following months. At times, an additional amount can be given to compensate for the expected loss in volume. The fat that is remaining at about 3 months lasts a very long time and this procedure can be considered permanent.