The use of implants for lip augmentation is a surgical procedure that adds permanent volume to the lips. It is done as an office procedure under local anesthesia if done alone or in the operating room under general anesthesia if it is included as part of a collection of other plastic surgery procedures. The implants are inserted through small incisions inside the corners of the mouth through the body of the lip form one corner to the other. The following is a list of after surgery care and considerations for the lip implant procedure.
1. Lip implant surgery will cause some slight discomfort for the first 24 to 48 hours. Most patients find it can be relieved with mild pain relievers such as Alleve or Ibuprofen. The lips may be sensitive to touch and pressure (caused by activities such as drinking from a straw and kissing) for up to two weeks.
2. There are no dressings applied after lip implant surgery. Antibiotic ointment can be applied to the corners of the mouth at the incision site to keep the area soft and supple.
3. You will experience swelling in the lips after surgery. Swelling typically takes three days to peak and then will begin to subside over the next two weeks. You may use ice packs to help reduce the swelling and provide comfort during the first day after surgery.
4. The incisions in the corners of your mouth can get wet with no concern for infection. You may shave (men), wash your face and perform oral hygiene (brushing your teeth, mouthwash) as normal.
5. The small incisions in the corners of your mouth will have sutures that need removed one week after surgery (unless you are from out of town). These sutures should be kept moist with antibiotic ointment, applied three times a day, to the corner of the mouth. If dissolvable sutures are used, it is normal for the corners of the mouth to get slightly red in color as those sutures dissolve, applying antibiotic ointment can help lessen this effect.
6. Your lips will feel a little tight when you open your mouth widely. That will take several weeks to a month to return to normal. You may stretch open your mouth and lips as much as feels comfortable. You may eat whatever you like. Focus on liquids and soft foods for the first few days after surgery.
7. You may experience some bruising after surgery. Taking Arnica Montana tablets prior to your surgery may help to prevent bruising. In addition, topical Arnica gel may be applied after surgery to help reduce any bruising that may occur.
8. There are no physical restrictions after lip implant surgery. You may return to work and resume physical activities such as working out as soon as you feel comfortable.
9. You may begin driving again as soon as you are off pain medications, can react normally and feel comfortable doing so.
10. If any lip redness, tenderness, or drainage develops after the first week of surgery, call Dr. Eppley and have your pharmacy number ready.