Lack of fullness in the lips can be an inherited characteristic or the result of the aging process. Fat augmentation will make the lips look fuller and softer. For most patients who have lip augmentation, the result is permanent; in some patients more fat may need to be added at a later time. Collagen may also be used for lip enhancement but it only lasts an average of three months, requiring repeated injections to maintain the desired fullness.
Fat is harvested from a donor area on the body, usually the abdomen or buttock, and then cleansed and concentrated. The fat is then injected into the area being treated. The area is normally overcorrected because the body will absorb some of the fat immediately after the procedure. The treated area(s) will usually be swollen for 10–14 days.
Fat transplantation may also be used to fill in the depressions and wrinkles which develop on the back of hands. This condition is caused by a loss of fat and decreased elasticity of the skin. The procedure has not been in use long enough to project long-term effects, but the results to date have been very rewarding. Although fat transplantation will not replace other cosmetic procedures such as facelifts, forehead and eyebrow lifts or chemical peels, it will soften depressions, fill furrows and frown lines, and improve contour problems.