Lip implants provide permanent lip augmentation with more refined results than dermal lip fillers, making them a good option for individuals with thin lips. Three popular types of lip implants are GORE-TEX®, SoftForm, and AlloDerm®. Each one works a little differently to give patients fuller, shapelier lips. Read on to find out about which type of lip implant might be right for you.
The Lip Implant Procedure
Lip implant surgery is relatively simple and usually takes about an hour to complete. The surgeon will first make small incisions in the lips. The incisions are most often made at the corners of the mouth, but may be made elsewhere on the lips, depending on the specific technique being used. The surgeon will then create a thin tunnel to accommodate the implant. Creating this tunnel properly is vital to ensuring that the lip implant may be placed correctly and provide an even, natural-looking result. Next, the surgeon will insert the implant and thread it through the lip. Finally, the lip implant will be precisely trimmed to the proper length, and the incisions will be closed.
GORE-TEX® Lip Implants
GORE-TEX® lip implants are made from a medical-grade version of ePTFE, the same material used in tents and raincoats. This non-reactive polymer has been used in surgeries for many years. Once implanted, GORE-TEX® lip implants may feel slightly rigid, but most patients quickly become accustomed to this. GORE-TEX® lip implants have micropores through which the natural lip tissue grows, effectively making the implants part of the lip structure.
Softform Lip Implants
SoftForm lip implants are also made from ePTFE, but have a tubular shape. This allows tissue ingrowth that reportedly provides better anchoring and lessens the chance of migration. Ultrasoft lip implants are the next-generation version of SoftForm lip implants. The manufacturer claims that Ultrasoft implants are three times softer than SoftForm lip implants.
AlloDerm® is a human-tissue lip implant made from donated skin. Soft and pliable, AlloDerm® is derived from human tissue and hence will not provoke an allergic response. Production and use of any human-tissue products is under strict FDA control to ensure consumer safety.
Risks and Benefits of Permanent Lip Augmentation
Compared with other cosmetic surgeries, the risk of complications from lip implants is relatively low. However, it is a good idea to be aware of possible complications before undergoing any type of surgery. Some of the risks associated with permanent lip augmentation include implant rejection, infection, implant migration, scarring, and stiffness of the lips. These risks can be greatly reduced, however, by choosing an experienced surgeon to perform your lip implant procedure.
The main benefit of permanent lip augmentation is implied in the name: this method provides longer-lasting results than temporary fillers, which are eventually absorbed into the body.
Visit the DocShop gallery to view lip augmentation before and after photos.
Photo credit: Dr. Suzanne Yee
Find a Lip Implants Specialist in Your City
A consultation with a trustworthy surgeon can help you decide whether to choose GORE-TEX® , SoftForm, AlloDerm®, or another type of lip implant. To find out which method of permanent lip augmentation is best for you, find a qualified lip implant surgeon in your area.