When it comes to any plastic surgery procedure, your medical provider wants to ensure you will experience the best possible outcome. This is why patient selection is important when it comes to lip augmentation. By evaluating your overall health and possible allergies, your physician can help you achieve your goals for a fuller or shapelier mouth.
Getting a Lip Augmentation Consultation
A consultation is a good way for a plastic surgeon to evaluate your medical history and skin health in order to determine if lip augmentation is the right procedure for you. This is also an opportunity for you to ask questions about the procedure and materials used. You may wish to ask your surgeon for examples of previous lip augmentation procedures. Because lip augmentation is part science and part art due to the surgeon shaping your lips, viewing the results of your surgeon’s previous procedures is a useful method to share with your physician which looks you like and which you don’t.
At this time, you will likely be asked to complete a full medical history. Always disclose all medications you are taking, especially any blood thinners that may affect your body’s ability to clot. You also should disclose any supplements and vitamins because these could affect blood clotting. Your physician will take these into consideration when recommending an appointment time or considering what material type is best for you to use.
If you are a smoker, this can affect your lip augmentation’s outcome because smoking affects blood clotting and can alter the texture of your lips. Always disclose any smoking to your physician so this can be taken into account.
Medical Conditions That Affect Lip Augmentation Success
Having certain medical conditions may keep you from being the best candidate for lip augmentation. For example, diabetes can affect your body’s ability to heal. If your diabetes is poorly controlled, your physician may not recommend lip augmentation due to the increased risk for bleeding or poor results. Connective tissue disorders, lupus and blood-clotting disorders such as sickle cell anemia may also affect your body’s healing abilities.
Oral herpes or the herpex simple virus type 1 — most commonly known as chronic cold sores — may affect your lip augmentation results, as well. Talk to your physician about the frequency of your outbreaks and any anti-viral medications you may take to reduce the likelihood you will experience a cold sore.
Some injectable fillers used for lip augmentation are harvested from non-human sources. For example, bovine or cow collagen is a component of Artefill, which is a synthetic microbead plastic that offers longer-lasting results than collagen alone. However, the cow collagen portion can increase your risk for adverse effects. If you have had a reaction to lip augmentation materials in the past, always disclose these to your physician. Many filler materials are available, including those harvested from your own body, which should not cause an allergic reaction.
Lip Augmentation and You
One of the biggest factors that can make you a great candidate for lip augmentation is if you have realistic expectations. While your physician can add volume and somewhat re-shape your lips, changing their appearance completely is not a realistic expectation. Also, some women may desire over-filled lips, which can be difficult to achieve without giving a lumpy or bumpy appearance.
Talk to your physician about what you are hoping to accomplish with lip augmentation and realize it may take your physician several attempts to fill your lips before you reach your desired results.
“I give my patients an estimate of how much volume they’re going to be needing for a specific product,” says Fernando Colon, MD, a board-certiified plastic surgeon and Medical Director of The Skin Center Medical Spa located in Gahana, Ohio. “When patients are satisfied with the estimate, I like to give them as much as they need, but not more than they need.”
You also should discuss how long your results will last and signs your lips are starting to lose fullness from the injected filler. Your physician may likely suggest using fillers for some time and considering a more permanent procedure later on if you are pleased with your results.
Because you can experience swelling and redness immediately following the procedure, your results may not be immediately apparent. Talk to your physician about how you can minimize redness and swelling following lip augmentation, such as applying lip ointments, taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, keeping your head elevated and eating soft foods such as oatmeal, gelatin and yogurt to minimize trauma to your lips.