Lips may lack fullness either as a normal genetic variation or as a result of aging. In either case the lips can be made fuller by implantation of various materials.
- Filler materials (Restylane, Juvederm, or fat) are most commonly used. These require an injection. However, those injections are temporary and must be replenished. Fat injections have been attempted but generally have been unpredictable.
- Surgical grafting of a segment of your own skin (dermis graft) is a more permanent or long-term fullness option. . The use of a dermal graft most commonly is done in conjunction with other cosmetic surgeries that remove skin such as a face lift.
- Alloderm or other manufactured preserved dermis is also frequently used as a graft material.
The procedure is done with local anesthesia. Incisions are made in the corner of the mouth and a tunnel is made between the lip muscle and the pink part of the lip (vermilion). A strip of the desired implant material (dermal graft, Alloderm) is threaded into the tunnel.