Today, lip augmentation is a favorite cosmetic procedure for many women. The lips are deemed sexy and the appeal to be lustful and sexy is pushing many women to have their lips surgically enlarged. Even though lip surgery is considered a minor procedure, it is associated with some rare side effects. Some of these side effects are temporary and resolve with time, others are permanent.
The possible risks and complications of lip augmentation include:
Allergies: Some individuals may develop allergy to the implant. The allergic reaction may present soon after the implant is placed and may present as continued itch, rash and pain. The treatment may depend on the severity of the reaction. If mild, it may be treated with topical steroids but in severe cases, the implant may have to be removed.
Anesthesia: There is always a chance that anesthesia may cause a problem, but these are rare
Asymmetry: Sometimes the lip augmentation is not symmetric and additional injections or reconstruction may be required. Occasionally, the skin on the lips may have an irregular lining and appear distorted.
Bleeding: The lip is a very vascular structure and sometimes bleeding can occur. The collection of blood in the lips may gel up and be called a hematoma. When the hematoma is small, it may resolve on its own. When large, the hematoma may require needle aspiration.
Herpetic sores: Some individuals do develop a reactivation of herpetic sores. This is most likely in individuals who have had prior herpes sores or have just had a recent infection. In some cases, this can be prevented by taking an antiviral medication (Acyclovir) prior to surgery.
Extrusion: Rarely, the implant may start to protrude out of the lips. This may require repeat surgery or removal of the implant.
Hardening: Hardening is a very common complaint. Some of the fillers can harden with time. The lips will feel hard and numb.
Granuloma. Rarely, there are small bumps formed along the lips. These are known as granuloma. The majority will resolve with time but in some cases, steroid injections or surgery may be required to treat them
Infection: Infection can occur but is very rare. The infection can generally be treated with a short course of antibiotics
Lip function: Rarely, the implant may mislocate/migrate in the lips and interfere with proper lip closure or function. In such cases, the severity of the lip function may determine the next step
Keloids: There are some dark skinned individuals, Orientals and Asians who are prone to keloids. This complication is very difficult to treat as any treatment can worsen the keloid.
Lumpiness: Sometimes the implant may feel heavy and lumpy. This rare complication may occur with some dermal fillers.
Nerve: There are a few delicate nerves along the lips. These nerves may be damaged during the implant and cause numbness along the lips. The condition may resolve over a few months. Rarely, the numbness is permanent
Pain: A few individuals may complain of excess pain after the implant.
Reabsorption of material: The majority of temporary fillers will disappear with time. However, some may disappear in a short time and require another procedure.
Skin slough: Sometimes the blood supply to the lips is compromised and some part of the skin may die and slough off. The new skin will cover the defect in a few weeks
Swelling: Swelling is common after lip augmentation. This generally subsides over the next few days.
Scar: Sometimes a scar may remain after lip augmentation. Camouflage or lip stick may help hide the scar