This procedure improves the appearance of the lips by restoring volume and/or reduction of wrinkles around the mouth. Improving the volume of the lips can be achieved with fillers (see section on "Fillers") or with lipofilling (see section on "Lipofilling"). Techniques to reduce or eliminate wrinkles include resurfacing using options such as lasers or peels. One can distinguish between ablative (removing a thin layer of wrinkled skin) and non-ablative procedures. Ablative procedures include CO2 laser, Erbium-YAG laser and chemical or mechanical peels and some non-ablative procedures are intense pulse light (IPL) and radio frequency techniques which typically require several sessions to achieve the desired result.
Approximately 30 minutes to one hour.
The surgeon will decide what type of anesthesia is best according to the chosen procedure. It will vary from topical to local, local plus sedation, or general anesthesia.
These are outpatient procedures.
Possible Side Effects:
Most procedures on the lips will cause a varying degree of temporary swelling. Mild temporary discomfort is normal, rarely mild bruising. When ablative techniques are used, one often sees skin peeling and/or redness according to the chosen technique. See the specific sections on "Laser Facial Resurfacing" and "Chemical Peel" for more detailed information.
Infection, overcorrection in size, irregularities and/or asymmetry with fillers, changes in skin pigmentation, or fever blisters (Herpes Simplex) with resurfacing techniques.
In most cases, the patient can return to work and normal activities the same day. Bruising and swelling should have resolved after several days. When an ablative procedure is used, the recovery time can be several days. Changes in color of the skin can be present for several days or weeks, but can be camouflaged with makeup. When using ablative procedures, it is recommended to use sun screen for several weeks.
The outcome varies from patient to patient. One can expect a restoration of a youthful appearance of the mouth area and an enhancement of lip shape. When using non-permanent fillers, results will be lost after several months. Reduction to complete disappearance of wrinkles around the mouth after resurfacing varies by patient.