As we enter our late thirties, our lips begin to shrink slightly. They become thin and pale as we age. Women tend to form vertical lines in the skin above the lip. Lip augmentation is a procedure in which the lips are made fuller and smoother by the insertion of an implant or implant materials. An augmentation may include the entire lip or may be used only on the borders of the lips. In some cases, the augmentation may smooth fine wrinkles around the lips. There are several types of implant materials. Implants may be injectable fillers, which are temporary, or they may be made of solid material, and are permanent.
With the advancement of soft tissue fillers and experience with the problems and limitations with solid implants, lip augmentation is best achieved using fillers.
Often the reason why we perceive are lips shrinking is not a lip problem. As gravity affects the facial soft tissue causing it to sag into a lower position, the lower face becomes wider, square or bottom heavy. Since our lips are part of this region, as our lower face becomes wider at the bottom the lips or mouth appear smaller. Sophisticated facelifts recreate a fuller lip appearance by repositioning the sagging facial tissue back to the cheekbone region, narrowing the bottom part of our face making the lips appear fuller without altering the lips.
A facial implant is a medical-grade rubber like or plastic device that is placed under the skin to augment a facial feature. The most commonly used implants are chin implants and cheek implants. They come in a wide range of sizes and styles, and are customized for the patient. Facial implants may be performed as a single procedure or can be done in combination with a facelift or other procedures.
Chin augmentation, called mentoplasty, increases the projection of the chin. It is used to bring a receding chin into balance with the rest of the face. A receding chin can be perceived as a sign of weakness in both men and women; men often choose chin implants because a more prominent chin is also considered more masculine. Similarly, a weak chin can make the nose look larger than it is. Some patients who go to cosmetic surgeons inquiring about a rhinoplasty-a nose procedure-really need only a chin implant. When performed in combination with a facelift revision, the chin implant provides an extension of the chin, helping to create a more defined jawline.
Cheek implants, though not used as frequently as chin implants, can reduce a hollow or sunken look in your cheeks and can also correct underdeveloped cheekbones; the implants add fullness and lift to the cheeks, producing a healthier, more youthful look, especially for those with long faces.