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Lip Implants

Lip implants are a great alternative for many patients seeking a more permanent option for lip enhancement. One of the most frequent lip implants that I use on my patients is the Surgisil PermaLip™ silicone implant. What makes the Surgisil PermaLip™ silicone implant different from its competitors and predecessors is the fact it is made of a softer type of silicone material that provides a more natural enhancement to the shape and size of the lips.

Who Is A Candidate for PermaLip™ Implants?

Typical candidates for the PermaLip™ silicone lip implant include those patients that desire a more permanent option for volumizing their upper and/or lower lip. Most patients electing to have the PermaLip™ silicone implant have already had prior lip enhancement with treatments such as Restylane and Juvederm. These patients are usually quite happy with the results of the injections. However, one of their major complaints is having to go back every year or so for repeat injections to maintain their look. By opting for a permanent option, such as the PermaLip™ silicone implant, they can avoid having to undergo continuous repeat treatments.

How Do PermaLip™ Implants Work?

PermaLip™ implants work by increasing the size of the lip using a solid implant that is placed along the entire length of the lip. The PermaLip™ implant is specially designed to extend across the lip with tapered edges on each side to follow the natural lip contour. Although the implant is solid, it is made of a softer silicone material that makes that ‘feel’ of the implant very acceptable in most patients.

The length and thickness of the PermaLip™ implant is varied and should be chosen only after examining the individual patient. In most patients, the upper lip is actually longer than the lower although the upper lip should ideally be smaller than the lower in terms of volume.

How Are PermaLip™ Implants Placed?

Fortunately, in a great majority of patients, PermaLip™ implants can be placed using just local anesthesia – much like going to the dentist. In fact, in some cases only a dental block is used to provide adequate anesthesia for placement of the implant. This means that recovery is much shorter since a general anesthetic is not used.

The surgical technique for placement of the PermaLip™ implant starts with a small incision (or cut) made along the inner corner of the mouth. Using these essentially hidden incisions, a narrow tunnel is created that extends from one corner of the mouth across the entire lip to the opposite side. As is shown in the intraoperative photo of an actual PermaLip™ implant patient of mine, a special surgical instrument is used to pass through the tunnel. The implant is then drawn into the lip and securely positioned. The incisions are usually closed with an absorbable stitch that does not require removal.
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In a great majority of cases, PermaLip™ implants are placed in the upper and lower lip at the same time. However, there are a number of patients seeking to have only the upper or only the lower lip augmented with the PermaLip™ implant.

How Is Recovery From PermaLip™ Implants?

Recovery from a PermaLip™ implant procedure is usually 5-7 days initially. Ultimately, it takes several more months for the lips to settle down completely. But most patients feel fairly presentable in the public eye within the first few weeks.

It is recommended that patients begin using a cold compress on the lips soon after the procedure to help keep swelling down to a minimum. Despite this, there is inevitably some degree of swelling that causes the lips to look overly puffy and even somewhat distorted during the first few days of recovery.

Pain is typically well-controlled with an oral narcotic pain medication that will be dispensed by my office. Most patients are also provided with an antibiotic to take for 7-10 days after lip implant surgery as prophylaxis.

Risks of PermaLip™ Implants

One of the main risks of any implant is that your body may reject it because it is a foreign material. Another risk is possible infection of the surgical site. Although not necessarily considered a risk, palpability of the implant is also possible. This means that you (or others) may feel the outline and/or edges of the implant in some cases. Fortunately, all of these risks are quite rare in my experience.

What About Asymmetry of the Lips?

Unfortunately, lip implants, such as the PermaLip™ implant, will not effectively address baseline asymmetry of the lips. Meaning, if you start off with a difference between the left and right sides, for example, this difference will likely remain even after having the lips augmented with an implant. That is because, for the most part, PermaLip™ implants will only augment the current shape that you have. If you desire to have more symmetry, you can always opt to do additional procedures after the implants, like fillers, to create more symmetry in the lips.

Results of PermaLip™ Implants

These examples here show fairly typical results following PermaLip™ implant placement. These patients desired to have fuller, more shapely lips – but wanted a permanent option. They ultimately decided to proceed with the PermaLip™ implants for the upper and lower lip.

As you can see from the before and after PermaLip™ implant photos, these patients have a very nice natural looking outcome. The upper and lower lips now appear fuller as a result of the volume enhancement from the implant. If you look more closely, you can see that the cupid’s bow is also more prominent and defined. You can also appreciate that the lips have maintained a nearly ideal balance in terms of the lower lip still being larger than the upper.

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Consult for PermaLip™ Implants

If you are seeking a more permanent solution for lip enhancement to provide fuller, plumper lips – contact our San Diego office today for a personalized consultation with lip implant specialist, Dr. John Hilinski.