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Permanent facial implants - an overview of SurgiSil and PermaLip

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
January 17, 2010 Reviewed by Sarah 1 Comment
In the quest to fend off the signs of aging, many men and women find that healthy living and anti-wrinkle lotions and potions fail to deliver the youthful looks they desire. As reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the total number of plastic surgery procedures performed in the US increased 3% in 2008, with the number of Botox and hyaluronic filler injections increasing 8% and 6%, respectively.

While nips and tucks are nothing new in the anti-aging community, there's a new contender in town that offers up something previously unavailable - permanent silicone lip implants. SurgiSil, a medical device company from Texas, offers a permanent facial implant marketed in the United Kingdom as PermaLip. PermalLip has recently gained attention in the United States since being featured on The Doctors, a popular daytime television program.

In an attempt to avoid the dreaded "trout pout" look sported by many celebrities, women are turning to Perma Facial Implant, which "is contoured, has a smooth surface to minimize tissue growth, and is reversible." Unlike commonly used lip plumpers like collagen and Restylane, insertion of the PermaLip implant is a one-time procedure and, unlike injectable fillers, PermaLip can't redistribute into an undesired portion of the lip, an ugly and obvious sign of having used lip fillers.

So is PermaLip too good to be true? Ever since we reviewed the Feather Lift procedure and saw some of the nasty results of this facial implant, we've been wary of any permanent sub-dermal insertions. Various internet message boards, which are notorious for hosting scathing beauty reviews, have glowing accounts from individuals who have had the PermaLip procedure themselves -despite procedural costs of over $2000. On the other hand, the association of silicone implants and toxicity are fairly clear.

The Journal of Toxicology reported that silicone injections led to multi-organ failure. Research collected by the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC) for the National Breast Implant Litigation shows that silicone has marked effects on the adrenal glands and liver, induces chronic inflammation, and degrades into smaller molecules, including silica. Silicone fed to rabbits produced widespread toxic effects including kidney and spleen damage within four months. (Stanford Medical Bulletin, 10:1 [1952], 23-26.) “That silicone is toxic in both animals and man is well proven“, stated John S. Sergent, M.D., and colleagues in Textbook of Rheumatology (W.B. Saunders Company, 1993).
  • September 5, 2014

    by Annette

    OK… here goes! TIA is about truth, so I'm going to open up about my PermaLip implants which I am very happy with. I rarely tell people I have lip implants because they look at me like I just escaped from an asylum. They are also shocked because my lips look 100% natural. No kidding.

    I was getting lots of wrinkles around my upper lip, although I never smoked a day in my life. It drove me absolutely crazy. The rest of my face looked good, but my lips, once plump and full, were like partially deflated balloons. Tried many expensive topical products and potions as well as a laser treatment, but the improvement was marginal, at best. The idea of getting injections in my lips every few months was completely unappealing, not to mention very costly over time. When someone suggested I see a well-known Park Ave. facial plastic surgeon about PermaLip, I decided I had nothing to lose. The implants are removable so I promised myself I'd give them six months and if I didn't like them, out they would go. I don't have breast implants or any other kind of implants, so I had no idea what to expect, and frankly, I just couldn’t imagine what lip implants would feel like. In addition, my husband was against me getting “lip worms,” so the removal promise I made was to him as well as myself.

    I took the plunge almost four years ago after a) making sure I was a great candidate for the implants; b) doing considerable research on PermaLip (now an FDA-approved device that has undergone years of extensive clinical testing); and c) being assured the length and diameter selected for me would create natural-looking results. No trout pout here! I also had the opportunity, through the work I do, to talk with the Texas-based plastic surgeons who developed the product. This helped allay most of my fears and concerns. Plus, PermaLip is a soft, flexible solid silicone elastomer designed to inhibit tissue in-growth, a problem associated with earlier lip implants made from other materials and not by Surgisil. PermaLip implants are not filled with liquid or gel silicone, cannot rupture, and do not reabsorb or break down.

    Almost four years later and I’ve never had an allergic reaction to the implants or any problems related to them whatsoever. And my husband has no complaints. They look so natural that just the other day, I went to see a fellowship-trained, board-certified plastic surgeon to get BOTOX (something I did a couple of times a few years ago but then took a break – I’m not a plastic surgery/aesthetic services addict). I didn’t know he does PermaLip and until I told him I had them, he had no idea. He told me he honestly couldn’t tell looking at me. On the other hand, I want to say this. If you desire noticeably augmented lips, PermaLip comes in different sizes – diameters and lengths (all sizes are tapered at the ends). The length is determined by measuring your lips and selecting the appropriate length. The diameter produces the fullness. The diameter my plastic surgeon recommended for me was based on my desire to rejuvenate my lips, but not to augment them beyond their natural size.

    Obviously, putting any type of implant in your body, even these small lip implants, is a personal decision. I’m not writing this comment to advocate PermaLip implants, but to share my personal experience with them. I also look nothing like the weird picture associated with this article… just saying!

    Even with the implants, I use products around my lips and the TIA Ultra Renew Plus, to keep wrinkles at bay and my skin firm. The implants are not a substitute for this or allow you to forget about maintenance.



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