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  • A puffy pout is a symbol of female sensuality, and the quest for long-lasting full lips is ongoing. Fillers are usually a temporary solution, and a potential new lip augmentation alternative with more permanent results has emerged. The plastic surgery procedure uses grafts of the sterrnocleidomastoid, or SCM, neck muscles and the overlying skin and transplants the tissue into the lips.

    Lip Augmentation Surgery

    The main caution with this procedure is head mobility, as the SCM muscles are responsible for turning and tucking the head. Surgeons must use caution in the selection and size of the grafts to be taken in order to avoid complications with muscle movement. But, with careful technique, negative effects on muscle function seem negligible.

    The neck graft procedure works best to correct the sagging, flattening, or lengthening of lips in an aging individual. The surgery can be performed simultaneously with a facelift to prevent further stretching of the lips.

    Risks associated with traditional lip augmentation procedures include resorption, asymmetry, cysts, and unnatural feel. Synthetic lip fillers can produce serious lopsided or hard results, and the SCM neck muscle procedure strives to avoid such side effects by using natural grafts.

    Lip Augmentation Results

    Using muscles and overlying connective tissue, or fascia, from the side of the neck, positive lip augmentation results can be achieved. Researchers say that after about two years, the amount of pink tissue visible on both the upper and lower lips increased by about 20% to 25%, and the projection of the lips also increased. Thus far, results have lasted at least two years with no reported problems. The grafting procedure does produce some swelling in the lips, which should subside after about a month

    Generally, plastic surgeons should account for about a 50% decrease in the immediate post-operative size of lips.

    Because natural tissue is generally preferred to produce better results in lip augmentation, the neck muscle procedure is a promising option. Fat and collagen are also viable natural lip fillers, but may not produce results that compare in duration to the neck muscle surgery.

    Recovery time is similar to that of a facelift, especially considering that the neck grafting and facelift are suggested as tandem procedures. If a patient doesn’t wish to undergo both, he or she should be aware that scarring in the lip augmentation procedure will still have a similar location and appearance – behind the hairline.

    This procedure might not be right for everyone, and seems to be best for older patients and not young Angelina wannabes. Additionally, there may be room for further improvement in patients who undergo the surgery, so SCM grafting is not the panacea for thin lips.

    The SCM grafting technique was performed and researched at the Aesthetic Surgery Centre in Naples, Florida. Since this is a relatively new procedure, it is not yet widely available, but is becoming increasingly popular as a long-lasting lip plumping option.