Lovely Lips

September 5, 2007 at 7:09 pm (collagen, lip implants, lip injection)

Hello again everyone. I hope everyone’s long weekend was a pleasant one. As for me, I had a fun and busy Labor Day weekend. The family and I got to go to the beach and we got to spend time with a couple of family friends. The non-stop barbeques and dinners with my sister-in-law (who I haven’t seen in two years) were fun as we spent long nights chatting and drinking wine outside.

Speaking of my sister-in-law, she was looking fabulous. Her collagen-injected lips looked very Angelina Jolie-ish, and she looked a lot younger with fewer wrinkles, and with her jowly jaw line gone— the Lifestyle Lift she had done has also worked. She might be 48 years old, but she looked like she was in her mid thirties. It wasn’t exactly the Lifestyle Lift that made her look younger, it was her lips.

Angelina Jolie and her Luscious Lips

Her lips were plump, and smooth— which I think, made her face younger. I’ve had some work done before, but I’ve never had anything done with my lips. And now, since I’ve seen how it can dramatically improve someone’s look, I’m thinking about getting it. But which procedure should I have done for my lips? There are so many options. Here are the kinds of injections I have found so far. If anybody has any recommendations, let me know.

Collagen-Injected LipsCollagen-Injected Lips

Artecoll is a synthetic material that makes the lips look more plump. Since Artecoll is synthetic, people are at higher risk of having an allergic reaction to it as opposed to getting an injection of collagen or fat. However, the results do lasts longer than the either injection options.

Autologen is the injection of a person’s own collagen, taken from another place on their own body. Although there might not be a risk of allergic reaction, the results are only temporary. (I’m thinking about getting this one since I’m not fully ready to commit to a permanent result.

Collagen is a natural protein found in bone, cartilage, skin, and tendons that can be injected into the lips. But the risk of an allergic reaction is there, so it’s probably best that those thinking of getting collagen injections have their surgeon give them a test dose before continuing on to the full dose. The results from getting Collagen shots are temporary. They usually last fro 4 weeks to three months.

Dermalogen is collagen taken from deceased human donors. This procedure may be a temporary fix, but people’s bodies should not reject it.

Fascia injections employ a certain type of connective tissue collected either from a person’s own body or from a deceased human donor. It can be implanted surgically or injected. However, there is a negative aspect to this procedure. Within a year of the injection, the fascia will be reabsorbed the person’s body.

Fat from a person’s own thighs or abdomen can be injected into their lips to better their look. There’s no risk of allergic reaction and people can have permanent results with fat injections. Aside from having the fat injected, it can also be surgically implanted.

Hylaform is a material created from hyaluronic acid, a natural body substance. There is an upside and downside to the procedure though. The upside—there’s no risk of infection. The bad downside— those that choose to have the procedure done will need repeated treatments to maintain the result since Hylaform injections are only temporary solutions.

Restylane is a clear gel that also contains hyaluronic acid. It’s biodegradable, so the body will absorb the Restylane injection within about six months of the injection.

In getting any of these injections, the surgeon will probably use topical anesthesia. This would serve as a painkiller as it would be applied directly to the lips for injections. In addition, these lip injections are performed in the doctor’s office, and you will be sent home the same day.

Aside from getting these injections, people can also get implants and surgeries for their lips, which are also done with the use of local anesthesia in the doctor’s office or the outpatient center. These are the procedures I’ve found so far. Some of them can take up to two hours.

Before & After Lip ImplantsBefore & After Lip Implants

-Alloderm is a sheet of collagen created and extracted from deceased people. The surgeon inserts the Alloderm through the tiny incisions made on the inside part of the lip. However, it has been reported that the results of this procedure only lasts up to 10 to 12 months.

-Fat grafting is the surgical procedure of having a person’s own fat inserted into their own lips to get the look they want. Although people may get permanent results from this procedure, this method is different for each person. Because it’s one’s own fat, there is a chance that the body can reabsorb the fat.

-Goretex, SoftForm and soft ePTFE are other synthetic materials that can be inserted into a person’s lips to have a more permanent look. Unlike some of the other implant or surgery options, the results from having these synthetic materials implanted are more lasting. The body will not absorb these. However, since these materials implanted are synthetic, there is a chance for people to have an allergic reaction.

-Local flap grafts is a surgical procedure that extracts tissue and skin from the inside flap of your mouth. The surgical method is considered to be far more invasive, and it is usually considered the last resort with plastic surgeons.

The recovery process for each of these implants and the lip injections ultimately vary since some people might have different reactions. But generally, for lip grafts/ implants, the recovery process takes about one to two weeks. People might experience some drooling and their lips might feel unnaturally stiff for two to three months after the procedure. And as for the lip injections, the recovery process can take about one to two days after the injection. However, the length of time for bruising and swelling can vary. But as usual, it’s always important that you speak to your doctor about how long it would take for you to recover and if you’ll need to take some time off.

It has been reported that the average cost for a lip injection is around the $300s. For the lip implants/ augmentation, it’s around $1800. Insurance might cover lip augmentation if the surgical procedure is done for reconstructive purposes, such as a congenital defect or as reconstruction after an injury or an accident. However, if the procedure is being done entirely for cosmetic purposes, like most cosmetic procedures, it won’t be covered by insurance. And remember, it’s always important to obtain an estimate of the charges and to work out a payment plan if required.

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