Lip Rejuvenation Uses Tiny Particles of Alloderm

DALLAS, TX — Minimally invasive procedures with little "down time" continue to be in demand by potential patients seeking restoration of aging faces and bodies. For baby boomers who are looking to plump thin lips and diminish the appearance of fine wrinkles around the mouth, a variety of injectable filler materials can provide good results. But the "fix" is temporary, and what patients and their plastic surgeons ideally would like to achieve is a permanent correction. A new technique presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) in Dallas shows promise in achieving longer-lasting rejuvenation of the lips.

In a search for a good source of collagen plus an injection procedure that would provide a predictable, "classic" (subtle, not exaggerated and trendy) and longer-lasting enhancement to thinning lips and perioral (around the mouth) wrinkles that come with age, board-certified plastic surgeon Diane I. Duncan, MD, of Ft. Collins, Colo, developed an exacting technique using "particulate" AlloDerm® . This technique can be performed in the doctor’s office and involves fragmenting a small sheet of AlloDerm® , which is processed human dermis that retains a collagen framework but no cells, into 2-3 mm ovals and injecting the particles slowly and evenly into the areas that need to be augmented.

Since May of 1998, Dr. Duncan has treated the nasolabial folds (the lines running from the nose to the mouth), marionette lines (lines running from the corners of the mouth to the chin) and the tiny "lipstick lines" of 26 patients. "Although it is too early to determine the long-term outcome, at 4 to 5 months 60% of the volume injected remained, and at 10 months the effects of the injections have held at the 60% to 40% level for most patients," says Dr Duncan. "The effects of the injections appear to provide a long-term improvement of facial aging lines compared with the shorter term effect of collagen and in comparison to fat."

There were no postoperative infections, graft exposure or rejections, or prolonged recovery time in this series of patients. One patient did require an additional injection to correct a mild asymmetry of the upper lip, and another patient requested an additional injection for a more pronounced enhancement.

"Patients have been uniformly enthusiastic in their level of satisfaction with this procedure," Dr. Duncan reports. In addition to minimal recovery time — most of the swelling and bruising resolves in about 5 days — she cites restoration of the youthful appearance of the lip without distortion as a major contributing factor in patient satisfaction.


The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


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