Lip augmentation is a common request among adults of all ages. We aren’t all born with fullness and definition, and most of us don’t keep what we do have for life. Over time, the shape and texture of the mouth changes, and wrinkles often form around the perimeter of the lips. The development of dermal fillers has significantly improved our ability to correct these concerns. However, once patients discover how amazing they can look with fuller, softer lips, they often become dissatisfied with the temporary nature of their improved appearance. This is when it may be advantageous to consider fat injections, or fat transfer, to the lips.
Fat: The Liquid Gold for Luscious Lips
Fat transfer is a relatively new technique, but one that has been years in the making. The process involves taking fat cells from one area of the body to use elsewhere. From start to finish, fat transfer to the lips usually takes no more than an hour. Though this process is performed for cosmetic gain, it technically falls into the realm of regenerative medicine – and this is an important point.
There are three specific factors in regenerative medicine: platelet-rich plasma (PRP), growth factors, and stem cells. Each of these substances has regenerative qualities, but perhaps none more than stem cells. The presence of stem cells in the fat that is used in lip injections seems to provide benefits beyond the addition of volume. After fat transfer, the skin may appear smoother and younger, too.
How Fat Transfer to the Lips Works
Lip augmentation using fat is not the same as using dermal fillers. Cosmetic surgeons are cautious not to overfill the lips, even knowing that some of the injected cells may not survive their transplant. The typical amount of fat that is used to fill the lips and smooth smile lines ranges from 2cc to 10cc based on the degree of enhancement a patient would like to achieve.
An important note about a fat transfer for lip augmentation is that the recovery from treatment is slightly longer than it would be for dermal filler lip enhancement. Usually, patients can go right back to their usual activities after dermal filler treatment. Fat injections may cause residual swelling, bruising, and stiffness that lasts for a few weeks. Initially, the lips may look quite large. This is due to the insertion of fat cells and the subsequent swelling from injections. Over time, the lips will shrink to an ideal size.
Do you wish for fuller lips? The Skin Center has offices throughout Pennsylvania and in Columbus, Ohio. Contact a center near you for more information on lip augmentation.