We have recently noticed a rise in the popularity of lip implants at the Adams Center and I thought it would be a good idea to do a blog post on the topic. In the past filler injections have been the procedure of choice for those who want full, well defined lips. However, these injections wear off after about 4-6 months and the procedure must be repeated. Permanent Lip Implants are an appealing alternative because they are a one time procedure that in the long run saves you both money and time. The PermaLip implant we use are made from a soft, solid silicone made by the medical company Surgisil.
How are PermaLip implants comparable to injectable?
Injectables typically wear off after 4-6 months, after the gel is absorbed back into the body. This means you will need to book at least two appointments per year to maintain a consistent appearance. Although the cost of a single injection is less than Lip Implants, the cost becomes must higher if you repeat the procedure on a regular basis.
How are PermaLip implants different from other Lip Augmentation techniques?
In the past, solid implants have been the most common permanent method for lip augmentation. However, there is more of a risk with tissue in-growth using a solid implant. This can result in an uneven surface texture or unnatural smile. The PermaLip implants soft silicone structure minimizes the risk of such complications. The PermaLip implants are also removable if you are unsatisfied with the result.
I’ve heard that lip implants have a high risk of infection. Is that true?
Infection is always concern before, during, and after surgical procedures. The warm, moist environment of the mouth can be a prime habitat for bacteria. Smoking highly increases your risk of infection and can result in poor healing and unsightly scarring. Prior to your surgery, we will prescribe you an antiviral medication to be taken two times a day, one day prior to surgery. Post-operatively, it is important to maintain good dental hygiene. Incisions at the corner of the mouth should be cleaned with a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution and then applied with an antibiotic ointment three times a day.
How is the procedure performed?
First, the area around the mouth and lips is numbed with local anesthesia. I then make a small 3-5 mm incision at the corner of each mouth in the mucosa. The mucosa is the moist tissue that lines the mouth, there are no incisions made on the skin. The incisions create a tunnel in both the upper and lower lips through which the implant is inserted. After positioning the implant, I close the incisions with absorbable sutures. The entire procedure takes about 45-60 minutes, including time for numbing.
What supplies should I have on hand to prepare for my post-operative care?
– small tube of Bacitracin or Neosporin ointment
– Hydrogen Peroxide
– crushed ice, large bowl, and 4×4 gauze pads to make cool compresses
– Vaseline, Carmex, or similar product to keep lips moist
– small child’s toothbrush
Will I experience pain and swelling after the surgery? When will this go away?
Following surgery, you will experience some swelling and tenderness. Some patients experience some slight bruising around the lips as well. It is important to rest quietly after your surgery and eat foods that are soft and require minimal chewing. If you can, it is best to sleep on your back with your head elevated with a pillow to reduce swelling. The swelling and tenderness typically disappear with 24-48 hours.
When can I resume my normal activities?
You can perform routine activities the following day. However, in the days following your surgery, be wary of lifting. straining, and bending over. Exercise is not recommended for 1-2 weeks. When choosing meals, stay away from foods and liquids that are hot, salty, or spicy. It is extremely important not to smoke for at least two weeks following your surgery. Smoking can be detrimental to the healing process and greatly increases the chance for infection.
Can the implant rupture or leak?
No. PermaLip implants are made from a unique soft, but solid silicone and will not leak. The implants are removable if you decide to take them out at a later date.
When will I have a follow up appointment?
We will schedule a follow up appointment one week following your surgery. I will check the positioning of the implants and make sure the incisions are healing properly. A second follow up appointment is scheduled two weeks after surgery during which we will go over stretching exercises to help alleviate excessive scar tissue formation. These exercises also help to alleviate tightness you may be experiencing.