For patients who desire fuller, plumper lips but are reluctant to inject foreign materials into their body, lip augmentation with fat transfer is a great solution. While other lip fillers, such as collagen and Restylane®, are commonly derived from animal or human donor tissue, lip augmentation with fat transfer utilizes your body’s own tissue, giving you soft, natural-looking results.
Lip augmentation with fat transfer involves removing fat from one area of the body and injecting it into the lips. During fat transfer, only the body’s natural tissue is used, so rejection or allergic reaction rarely occurs. After the procedure, patients are left with soft, natural-feeling results that last from six months to more than a year.
In the lip augmentation with fat transfer procedure, fat is first removed from a location on the patient’s body (usually the abdomen or thighs) with liposuction. This will not produce a noticeable effect in the removal site unless the lip augmentation procedure is being performed in conjunction with a body liposuction procedure. The fat is subsequently injected into the lips with a syringe and blunt needle. The injections leave only tiny prick marks, about 0.2 centimeters in diameter.
Lip augmentation with fat transfer is typically performed under local anesthesia or light general anesthesia, depending on Dr. Johnston’s and your preferences.
Lip augmentation with fat transfer is a relatively low-risk procedure. As with any surgical treatment, however, it is possible for certain side effects to occur. These may affect either the area from which fat is taken or the injection site (the lips), and include infection, bleeding, swelling, and minor discomfort. Unfortunately, some of the fat cells die during transfer. Because there are so many variables, 10% to 80% of the cells could possibly die, which is why it is important to choose an experienced surgeon like Dr. Johnston who will take steps to prevent this from happening, such as injecting the fat at intervals, rather than all at once.
One of the main benefits of the procedure is that it is very rare for a patient to have an allergic reaction or to reject the tissue, as it is taken from the patient’s own body. The results are supple and natural. It is also a simple outpatient procedure, requiring only a few hours recovery time before the patient can go home and resume normal activity.