What are Lip Fillers?
Lip fillers are used during cosmetic lip enhancement procedures to plump up the lips. Lip enhancement is an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia by a certified beautician or specially trained healthcare professional. Micro incisions or direct injections can be made, depending on the planned results, lip fillers are injected. Most modern Lip fillers are considered temporary and are eventually broken down and absorbed by the patient’s body. Results usually last three to ten months, depending on the individual.
Popular types of lip fillers
Bovine-derived collagens based lip fillers
Bovine-derived collagen is extracted from cow tissue. A patient opting for bovine-derived collagen usually undergoes an allergy test four weeks before the injection of the lip filler to ensure that they will not experience any negative reactions.
Examples: Zyderm, Zyplast (Allergan)
Recombinant human collagen based lip fillers
Recently developed recombinant sources of human collagen (as opposed to human-derived collagen, which is usually extracted from human tissue after hospital operations) are a reliable, predictable and chemically defined source of purified human collagen used for lip fillers that does not contain animal components. Three-Helix collagens made using recombinant technology have the same amino acid sequence as collagen derived from human tissues.
Examples: Cosmoderm, Cosmoplast (Allergan)
Hyaluronic Acid based lip fillers
Lip fillers made with hyaluronic acid are another treatment option and are the most popular. These fillers are obtained by bio-fermentation, a process in which lactic acid bacteria are used. Then hyaluronic acid is collected, purified and dehydrated to form a powder, it is used in fillers to simulate hyaluronic acid which is produced naturally in human skin and joints. Currently, Nonanimal stabilized hyaluronic acid (NASHA) is mainly used. The hyaluronic acid lip filler is a clear biodegradable gel that binds to water molecules in the patient’s lips once injected. Its effects would be instantly noticeable and last longer than collagen injections.
Examples: Restylane, Juvéderm Ultra, Perlane and others
Fat grafting (own fat transfer) lip augmentation
Fat transfer is another option for lip filler treatment. This type of treatment involves using liposuction to remove human fat from a small area of the patient’s body (Autologous fat), usually the hip or abdomen, and then injecting it into the patient’s lips. Many fat transfer patients report that the procedure makes their lips look fuller than synthetic lip fillers. The patient’s body is less likely to react negatively or reject the lip filler which is also taken from the patient’s own tissues. Also a big advantage of this method is that the effect lasts from several months to several years and is considered semi-permanent.
Lip enhancement procedures are generally considered safe and are usually performed with few complications. However, people considering lip enhancement should make sure they are in good physical health before the procedure and make sure they understand the possible side effects of the procedure. Patients can consult with their medical providers ahead of time to discuss the details of the procedure and ask any questions they may have.