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Lip Augmentation

Lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure done through fillers, fat, or implants. The procedure is commonly performed to provide patients with fuller, plumper lips, and to reduce fine wrinkles around the mouth.

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Types of Lip Augmentation

Typically, a plastic surgeon performs a lip augmentation by injecting a filler or fat around the lips. You may also be a candidate for lip implants made of synthetic biocompatible (not harmful to living tissue) materials or natural fat tissues.


There are various types of fillers commonly used for lip augmentation today, and many contain hyaluronic acid, which is a substance that the body naturally produces.

A few examples of fillers that contain hyaluronic acid include:

  • Belotero Balance®
  • Juvederm Ultra®
  • Restylane®

Once injected, these fillers help improve the appearance of the lips by refining their shape and structure, in addition to increasing their volume.

Fat Grafting

Another method for enhancing the lips is called fat grafting. This method involves the surgeon removing fat tissue from the patient's buttocks, thighs, or stomach, and then transferring the fat tissue to the lips via injection.

To remove the fat tissue, the surgeon performs liposuction. Since very little fat tissue is used for the treatment, the effects of the liposuction are often not noticeable in this case.


Lip implants aren't performed as often as lip injections. This permanent method of lip augmentation involves the use of implants made of synthetic biocompatible materials or natural fat tissue.

Synthetic biocompatible implants are made of silicone or expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, a synthetic fluoropolymer. For implants made of natural fat tissue, your plastic surgeon will acquire the tissue from other parts of your body to create an implant.

Is Lip Augmentation Right for Me?

Lip augmentation is designed to give a fuller, more youthful appearance to the lips. If you feel like your lips are too thin, desire to eliminate wrinkles around your mouth, or just want to change the appearance of your lips, you may be a good candidate for lip augmentation.

Before the Procedure

Before receiving a lip augmentation injection, your doctor may give you a few instructions to follow to avoid increased bruising and swelling after the injection. For example, they may encourage you not to take anti-inflammatory drugs because these increase the chance of bruising after the injection.

If you have a history of fever blisters on your lips, your doctor may start you on anti-viral medication prior to the procedure in order to decrease the incidence after injections.

During the Procedure

In most instances, a local anesthetic will be administered. During the procedure, a natural or synthetic biocompatible material is injected or implanted in the patient's lips, or the patient's own fat will be injected into the lips with the same desired results.

Recovery After Lip Augmentation

Patients who receive injections can usually return to their normal activities immediately, but patients who receive implants may require a day or two to recover.

Are Results Permanent?

The results from the injections are temporary, and the procedure must be periodically repeated to keep desired results. Results from lip implants are designed to be permanent, but complications may arise which would require another surgery, including the implants shifting.

Lip Augmentation Risks

Risks can include:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Lip asymmetry
  • Rejection of the implant material
  • Scarring

Not every person is a candidate for this procedure, and your risks may be greater or different than those of other patients. Your plastic surgeon will review all potential risks and complications with you prior to the procedure.

Insurance and Financing

Health insurance rarely covers the cost of elective medical procedures. Call 1-877-639-9688 to discuss alternative payment options with UPMC experts.