Lip Augmentation, Fillers, and Injections

Getting plump, juicy lips that look insta-ready without makeup are possible thanks to lip enhancement procedures. If mother nature didn’t give you the lips that you want, having the plump pout you deserve is easier than ever. So easy in fact, that a lot of patients have the “good problem” (ha!) of having too many choices. You might be confused trying to understand the different lip enhancement treatments available. Lip injections? Lip fillers? Fat injections? What options are the best and most recommended by the experts?

Before and after lip augmentation with fillers. Natural results. Dr. Carlos Fuentes patient.

Lip enhancement: Augmentation, Fillers, and Injections: key differences

One thing to be grateful for is the new options and techniques that are available to enhance and contour your lips. Gone are the days of fake silicone lip augmentations, of ‘trout pouts’ and disfigured smiles. These days, patients are able to enhance and plump their lips while maintaining a natural appearance.

Fat transfer 

Fat transfers are all the rage for body contouring and body enhancement procedures (BBLs and natural breast augmentations, we see you.) On the other hand, fat transfers to the lips are probably not as popular as other techniques.

Procedure: Fat transfer to the lips is performed under local anesthesia and takes 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. Your plastic surgeon harvests fat from another area in your body, usually your abdomen. The fat is purified and carefully injected into your lips.

Results: The results can last from a couple of months to several months, depending on the amount of fat you got injected.

Risks: The main risk of fat lip injections is the surgical component. Liposuction, even when performed in a small area is surgery and therefore you’ll need to consider recovery, potential complications and discomfort. With the advances, convenience and minimally invasive advantages of lip fillers, few surgeons recommend going through liposuction to get lip injections.

Cost: The average cost of fat lip injections varies greatly depending on your specific aesthetic goals and how fast your body metabolizes the fat (which again, varies greatly from person to person). 

Lip Implants 

Implants are a permanent lip augmentation option. Implants are made of soft silicone and come in different shapes and sizes. Lip augmentation with implants is a surgical procedure that requires local anesthesia and small incisions.

Procedure: After determining the size and shape of the lip implants, your surgeon anesthetizes the area and makes small incisions in the corners of the mouth. Your surgeon then creates a sort of tunnel or pouch the follows the natural curve of your lips where he positions the implants. The procedure lasts 30 to 45 minutes and you can go home the same day. 

Results Results from lip augmentation with implants are permanent. New implants feel more natural and adapt to the natural shape of your lips, however, if you are unhappy with the results you’ll likely need a second surgery. Subtle lip enhancements are harder to obtain with implants.

Risks: As this is a surgical procedure there are surgery-related risks, such as anesthesia complications, infections, and scarring (although minimal, since the incisions are tiny). Implant displacement is also a risk that might call for revision surgery. 

Cost: The cost of lip implants will vary depending on the size you want. You also have to add surgeon fees and the cost of anesthesia. 

Dermal fillers for perfect lips 

Dermal fillers are the safest and best option to create a naturally beautiful pair of juicy lips. Hyaluronic acid-based fillers, like Juvederm, plump the lips by providing volume and hydration and restoring elasticity. This type of lip injections is also quick and requires no anesthesia or downtime. Some patients even get their lip injections during their lunch break and go back to their daily routine with an improved pout! 

Dr. Fuentes’ patient

Procedure: The first step is to decide with your surgeon the augmentation you want. An experienced surgeon will explain to you how your lips will look fuller but natural. You will discuss the different formulations of dermal fillers and what you can expect from each. After deciding what and how much, you are ready to get your injections! First, your doctor will apply numbing cream or gel to minimize discomfort in the area. Then, a series of carefully placed injections will follow. An experienced plastic surgeon will distribute the filler in a way that achieves an attractive shape and the volume you want. After that, you are ready to go! Injects require no downtime, there are no incisions or scars to think of. Lip fillers last 12 to 18 months, depending on the brand you choose. 

Results: Results from lip fillers can be adapted to the patient’s liking. You can go for a subtle lift or a dramatic increase in volume (Kylie fans, pay attention!) Plastic surgeons prefer working with dermal fillers to achieve beautiful lips because they can control the shape, size and volume at a very precise level, guaranteeing happy patients with perfect lips. 

Risks: There are no major risks from having lip fillers at the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon. Some people may develop small bruises where they received the injections, but it is rare and bruises fade quickly. Since our bodies naturally produce hyaluronic acid, the risk of having an allergic reaction to the fillers are incredibly rare. 

Cost: Dermal fillers are priced by syringe. The cost of a syringe varies from $350 to $550 USD. Your plastic surgeon will tell you how many syringes you need to achieve the results you want. 

Bonus: Lip fillers Q&A

Before and after photo | Lip Fillers | Dr. Carlos Fuentes

Why are dermal fillers the best option to achieve fuller lips? VIDA surgeons always recommend dermal fillers to enhance the lips because it’s a natural substance that can be shaped to look and feel natural. As mentioned above, results are semi-permanent, risks are minimal, the procedure is quick and they can be dissolved if you are not 100% happy with the results. 

Are lip fillers permanent? No, they are not but they last for several months without needing a touch-up. 

Should I be worried about lip fillers ruining my lips? It’s possible for people to abuse dermal fillers but if you go to a certified plastic surgeon you don’t have to worry about that. A qualified expert will always let you know when and how often you should have touch-ups in order to maintain an attractive mouth. Board-certified plastic surgeons will always put the safety and satisfaction of their patients first. These experts know the best techniques to apply fillers in order to deliver consistently great results. 

Feeling like your lips need some lifting and plumping? Call VIDA Wellness and Beauty at (619)738-2144 to schedule a one-on-one appointment with a plastic surgeon.