This procedure takes advantage of the adjacent tissue of the lip to enhance the visible pink portion. Multiple incisions are made inside the lip and mucosa is advanced outward. In patients with a broad smile, this procedure can lead to a degree of augmentation approaching twice the size of the pre-existing lip. The amount of pain is minimal and the sutures that are used to repair the incision dissolve so their removal is not necessary.
When a more dramatic augmentation is desired or if the smile is narrow, lip augmentation with tissue from another area of the body is the procedure of choice. This tissue can be taken from the lower abdomen, which is ideal in women that have had Cesarean sections or other abdominal surgery, the gluteal crease (the fold beneath the buttocks), or from the temple through an incision within the hair. This tissue is placed in the lip through small incisions in the central portion of the upper and lower lip. When a facelift is being performed, the tissue can be harvested in conjunction with the procedure, foregoing the need for an additional surgical site.
If the distance from the base of the nose to the pink part of the lip is excessive, then a lip roll is considered. This procedure requires the placement of a well-camouflaged incision at the junction of the white and pink portion of the lip. Some of the skin of the white portion of the lip is then excised and the pink portion rotated superiorly. Meticulous closure of the incision and the use of the CO2 laser is done to diminish the visibility of the incision. When performed well, this procedure produces a very narrow, nearly invisible scar, which is noticeable only to the patient and surgeon when looked for.