How is a lip enhancement performed?
Lip enhancement is typically an outpatient procedure. There are several different ways to perform a lip enhancement, with some options being more invasive than others. The type of lip enhancement you receive will depend on your desired results.
- If you want to change the plumpness and volume of your lips, injections, grafting, and implants may be right for you.
- If you want to enlarge or enhance the size and shape of your lips, you may want to consider fat injections, filler injections, dermal grafting, vermillion advancement, lip implants, and lip lifting.
- If you want to change the shape of your lips and increase the amount of colored area of your lips, vermillion advancement and lip lifts may be best.
What are my lip enhancement options?
There are many methods for lip enhancement. Your surgeon will recommend an option that aligns with your aesthetic goals and recovery time frame and may recommend you get two or more procedures to achieve your ideal look.
Injections - Fillers
Lip fillers are the least invasive option. Fillers are made from a natural or synthetic biocompatible material such as collagen or hyaluronic acid and act as a fat substitute to plump up the lip. The results, however, are temporary, and you’ll need to have additional injections to maintain your results.
- Patient Safety Warning: Silicone injections are an unsafe and unacceptable option to use as a filler. These injections are not FDA approved and often offered by unlicensed individuals, and you should avoid them. Always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon, preferably a member of The Aesthetic Society, if you have questions about a particular type or brand.
Injections - Fat Transfer
A fat transfer is a more invasive injectable procedure that provides permanent results. Your surgeon will take autologous fat (fat from another area of your body) using liposuction and inject it into your lips. Your surgeon may do several injections until you get your desired result.
Surgery - Lip Implant
Lip implants are the least invasive surgical option. Your surgeon will insert lip implants through tiny incisions inside the corners of the mouth. There are many natural or synthetic implant options available. Your surgeon will discuss which option is best for you. Your results are permanent unless you choose to remove the implants. However, removing implants is difficult and not usually recommended.
Surgery - Dermal Graft
For a dermal-fat graft, the surgeon takes fat from the deeper layers of the skin, then positions it under the mucosa (the lining of the lip) to add additional plumpness. The surgeon also augments the lips by making incisions inside your mouth and surgically advancing the lip forward.
Surgery - Vermillion Advancement
With the vermillion advancement technique, the surgeon makes an incision along the border of the colored portion of the lips, removing a strip of skin outside the border and then pulling the colored portion to increase the area of your lips and make them more proportional.
Surgery - Lip Lift
If you have a downward sloping mouth, your surgeon may conduct a lip lift by removing extra loose skin and lifting the lips. To increase the upper lip, the surgeon makes an incision under your nose and shortens the skin to pull up the lips. If you want to expose more teeth, your surgeon can shorten the upper lip.
If you want to avoid surgery, some patients found that permanent makeup helps accentuate the lips and increase their visibility with the benefit of not having to apply makeup everyday.