Lips are, after our eyes, the most expressive and noticeable feature of our face. They are called on daily to speak for us, and in the process they call attention to themselves with their motion. They are also one of the most prominent features distinguishing a masculine face from a feminine one.
Feminine lips are full, round, shapely, with a pronounced cupid's bow (the m-shaped region of the lips directly below the nose). On the other hand, masculine lips are thin and relatively flat. Our lips lose collagen and shrink as we age, contributing to the popular perception that men often grow more handsome as they age.
Lip augmentation creates fuller, plumper lips and reduces fine wrinkles around the mouth. Lips may be injected with collagen or with fat transferred from any other 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.
Another augmentation choice is laser lip rejuvenation, which tightens the natural collagen and elastic tissue beneath the lips.
Immediate return to normal activities (one-day return if sedated) for nonsurgical procedures; depending on the procedure and materials used, recovery period is within a week for surgical procedures.
AlloDerm and Dermalogen do not require patients to provide donor tissue and are not rejected by the body, because they are human tissue. Usually they have a pliable, natural feel.
Gore-Tex implants are permanent, easily inserted and well tolerated by the body.
Temporary procedures like collagen or fat injection can be tried by the patients who want to experiment with a fuller-lipped look, but not necessarily commit to it.