What is it?
Lip augmentation creates fuller, plumper lips and reduces fine wrinkles around the mouth. Lips may be injected with collagen or with fat transferred from another site in the patient's body. Both liquid collagen and fat are absorbed and repeat treatments are necessary to maintain results. Newer, longer-lasting options include implantable materials like AlloDerm and SoftForm. Temporary procedures, like collagen or fat injection, can be appealing to patients who want to experiment with a fuller-lipped look, but not necessarily commit to it. Patients with a reaction to the pre-treatment collagen skin test, who have a serious allergy history, or are allergic to lidocaine (a local anesthetic) should not consider lip augmentation. Treatment is sometimes postponed for patients with active inflammatory skin conditions or with infections.

How does it work?
A natural or synthetic biocompatible material, or the patient's own fat, is injected or implanted in the lips. One injection is usually sufficient to produce the desired result, which may be temporary, depending on the material used. Injections may need to be repeated periodically. Proper placement of the injected material is important. AlloDerm, a natural collagen sheet made from donated skin, is inserted through tiny incisions inside the corners of the mouth. Once the AlloDerm implant is in place, it eventually becomes integrated with the natural tissues. Gore-Tex, SoftForm and soft ePTFE are other synthetic implant options.

Further options include:
Autologen—injectable dermal implant material made from the patient's own skin. Dermalogen—injectable Human Tissue Matrix (HTM) procured from donor tissue.