The lips of some people might not look very attractive because they are too thin. With cheiloplasty it is possible to modify both the shape and the volume of the lips. It is possible to increase only the red part on the edge, compared to the fair one of the skin, or emphasize the free edge labial crest as well as the so-called “Cupid’s arch”. Such corrections can be performed both on the upper and lower lip. Several techniques, both surgical and non-surgical, can be used to perform lip plastic (cheiloplasty). These corrections can be temporary or definite. A permanent correction of the lips can be carried out by increasing their volume or by modifying their shape, without increasing their volume.
Among the most useful techniques to achieve this goal, a filler can be used: it is an injectable, safe and anallergic substance, that is biocompatible; it is slowly reabsorbed by the tissues, as the hyaluronic acid. It is injected in the tissues with a needle that is extremely thin. In order to reduce any possible discomfort, a local contact anaesthetic can be applied to attenuate sensitivity.
To increase the volume of the lips (additive cheiloplasty), it is possible to use the fat from the very same patient, drawn with a special syringe from the subcutaneous adipose tissue of hips or abdomen, with the technique devised by Coleman, the famous surgeon from New York. The fat is centrifuged in a sterile environment to separate the part that has the best possibilities to take root and only this part is injected in the lip that has to be increased.
Such a method can be applied also to correct a lack of volume in other parts of the face. It is particularly appreciated by patients, because no alien substance is introduced in their lips and the results look very natural. A synthesis definitive filler that is used to increase the volume of the lips is Aquamid: it can be injected in the desired quantity in an outpatient session lasting a few minutes.
Another excellent filling material is Goretex, which is highly biocompatible, definitive, soft, which integrates with the surrounding tissues. It is implanted in the lip with a small surgical operation. If the shape of the red portion is to be modified because it is too thin, it is possible to perform a small surgery, which is carried out from the internal surface of the lip with the technique of the lip plastic or cheiloplasty according to Aiache.
Another surgery that is very requested for the lips is the attenuation of the fine wrinkles which, in time, appear on their skin. They can be reduced with a chemical resurfacing (peeling) or, better, with the laser resurfacing technique or the technique of Coblation, which presents fewer risks and good results, giving the lips a more youthful and sensual look. (See paragraph about Wrinkles).