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What is lip enhancement procedure?

Lip enhancement is also known as lip injections, lip fillers, and lip augmentation. Having plump lips is often considered a sign of good health, beauty, and youth. Whether you were born with thin lips or your lips are thinning due to the natural ageing process, there are many ways to enhance them or restore soft tissue loss. Lip injections using natural or synthetic fillers can keep your lips plump for months at a time. Lip implants and other surgical procedures can also be performed for a more permanent solution. Other options include lip lifts, vermillion (lip) advancement, and permanent makeup. Every year, thousands of people undergo successful lip enhancement and are pleased with the results.

“Lip enhancement procedure is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image, especially those coming from social media. Choosing a procedure based on “what’s new” is never a medically sound decision. Hearing about a brand name procedure on television, through an advertisement or online does not necessarily mean it is the best procedure for you.”

Who is a good candidate for lip enhancement procedure?

In general, you may be a good candidate for a lip enhancement procedure if your lips have always been thin and disappear when you smile, as you age, your lips have become thinner and less full, having fuller lips will help balance out your face, you want to plump up thin lips or create a fuller look, you smile and your top lip or both lips disappear, you are in good general health, you feel self-conscious about how your lips look, your self-confidence would improve from such a procedure and you have a positive attitude and realistic expectations of the outcome of your surgery.

What should I expect during a consultation for a lip enhancement procedure?

During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Dr Ricardo will evaluate you as a candidate for a lip enhancement procedure and clarify what approach is best for you. Alternative and additional treatments may be considered, once he understands your goals and medical condition. It is important to be completely honest during the consultation and be prepared to discuss your medical, drug allergies and medical treatments, current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drug use, previous surgeries, and your history with any noninvasive cosmetic procedures and why you want the procedure, your expectations, and desired outcome.

Dr Ricardo will also evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors, take photographs, discuss the approach to your surgery, including the type of procedure or combination of procedures and tell you whether your expectations are in line with typical results, discuss any risks or potential complications and share before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours.

The success and safety of the lip enhancement procedure depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. It's very important to understand all aspects of your procedure. It's natural to feel some anxiety, whether it's excitement about your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don't be shy about discussing these feelings with Dr Ricardo.

How should I prepare for a lip enhancement procedure?

Dr Ricardo and the entire staff will provide thorough preoperative instructions, answer any questions you may have, take a detailed medical history and perform a physical exam to determine your fitness for the procedure. The goal is to help you achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results, as well as to make your experience as easy and comfortable as possible. Preparation for lip enhancement will depend on what kind of procedure you and Dr Ricardo have agreed upon.

In advance of your procedure, Dr Ricardo will ask you to stop smoking in advance of the procedure and avoid taking aspirin, certain anti-inflammatory drugs, and some herbal medications that can cause increased bleeding. Injections with fillers can be performed in the office with little to no downtime and minimal preparation.


Lip enhancement surgery is performed in an accredited hospital and you will probably be permitted to go home after a short observation period unless you and Dr Ricardo have made other plans for your immediate postoperative recovery. You must arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you the first night following surgery.

How is a lip enhancement procedure performed?

There are many methods for lip enhancement. Dr Ricardo will offer you options depending on your aesthetic goals and recovery time frame. It might be appropriate to have two or more of these procedures to achieve the right look for you.

Injections - fat transfer: In fat transfer, autologous fat (fat from your own body) can be taken via liposuction from another area of your body and injected into your lips. Injections may need to be repeated until you get the desired result.

Injections - fillers: Fillers made from a natural or synthetic biocompatible material such as collagen or hyaluronic acid act as a fat substitute to plump up the lip. One treatment is usually sufficient to produce the desired result. The results, however, may be temporary and require repeat injections.

Surgery - dermal graft: A permanent method of augmenting the lips is accomplished by surgically advancing the lip forward, with incisions placed inside the mouth. A dermal-fat graft, taken from the deeper layers of the skin, may then be positioned under the mucosa (the lining of the lip) to add additional plumpness.

Surgery - vermillion advancement: This procedure involves making an incision along the border of the coloured portion of the lips, removing a strip of skin outside the border and then pulling the coloured portion to increase the area of the lips.

Surgery - lip implant: Lip implants can be inserted through tiny incisions inside the corners of the mouth. There are many natural or synthetic implant options available.

Surgery - lip lift: Removing extra skin and lifting the lips will help those with loose skin or those who have a downward sloping mouth. To increase the upper lip, an incision is made under the nose and the skin is shortened to pull up the lips. Other lift techniques can shorten the upper lip to expose more teeth. To lift a downward turning mouth, small incisions are made on the side of the mouth and the extra skin is removed. Very small sutures are used for this procedure and removed four to five days later.

There are many different options to enlarge or enhance the size and shape of your lips: fat injections, filler injections, dermal grafting, vermillion advancement, lip implants and lip lifting. Injections, grafting, and implants can physically change the plumpness and volume of your lips, while lip lifts and vermillion advancement can change the shape and increase the amount of coloured area of your lips.

Silicone injections – patient safety warning

Silicone injections are an unsafe and unacceptable option to use as a filler. These injections are not approved by the health authorities and are often offered by unlicensed individuals and should be avoided. These injections for these types of procedures can lead to serious complications, infection, including scarring, disfigurement, stroke, and death.

What should I expect during my lip enhancement procedure recovery?

The downtime from nonsurgical options (filler injections) is minimal. You may experience some bruising or swelling which will subside with time. Immediately after lip enhancement (surgical), you will experience postoperative bruising and swelling, with mild to moderate discomfort for a day or two.

A cold compress can be applied to the operative site to reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. You may be restricted to a liquid-only diet for one or two days. You will most likely be mobile on the day of your surgery, but your activities will be restricted. Stitches are removed in four to six days; sutures placed inside the mouth will dissolve in a similar period. 

You will be given specific instructions on how to care for the surgical site, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with Dr Ricardo. Remember to always follow his instructions to ensure the success of your surgery.

What results should I expect after my lip enhancement procedure?

How long the results last from your lip enhancement procedure depends on the treatment chosen and your reaction to the treatment. Fat injections may require multiple injections but could lead to permanent lip enhancement. Filler injections result depending on the type of filler used. Some dermal fillers last from three to six months, while others last almost a year. Dermal grafting, lip implants, lip lifting, and vermillion advancement provide essentially permanent results.

For safety, as well as the most beautiful and healthy outcome, it’s important to return to see  Dr Ricardo for follow-up evaluation at prescribed times and whenever you notice any changes in your lip enhancement procedure. Do not hesitate to contact him when you have any questions or concerns.

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