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Want Fuller Lips?

Wish you could have fuller lips but don’t want to look like a duck? There are several options available today for natural appearing, fuller lips. The options range from temporary to permanent and include artificial fillers, autologous fat injections, and implants.

For those who want a temporary solution for their concern, synthetic fillers are a good option. Currently there are no fillers which are FDA approved for use in the lips though many have been used with good results for some time. Hyaluronic acid fillers can be used safely in the lips. These fillers will last anywhere from several months to a year. They are injected in the office and require minimal down time. The down side to these procedures is that they can be rather costly and will disappear in a fairly short period of time.

For people who want the look obtained with temporary fillers but want a more permanent result, autologous fat is a good option. Fat can be transferred from a person’s abdomen (belly) or thigh and injected into the lips. The procedure can usually be performed with local anesthesia and depending on patient preference in the physician’s office or as an outpatient surgical procedure. The benefit to fat injection is that it is the person’s own fat and there is no risk for rejection. Since it is a person’s own fat being used, the feel of the lips are still natural. The one caveat is that it may take 2 and rarely 3 procedures to get the lips just right. This is due to some resorption and movement of fat around the time of injection. Once the right balance is set, the fat is permanent and will not decrease over time. The person though can expect continued aging so there may be some additional loss of fat but this usually is not evident for many years.

An additional option for lip enhancement is implants. Implants can be made of several substances including ePTFE (tradename Gore-Tex), silicone, and others. These implants can produce nice results and again can be performed using local anesthesia or as an outpatient surgical procedure. The benefit to implants is that they can be removed, though with some this becomes more difficult over time. The down side to implants in the possibility of infection of the implant requiring removal, movement of the implant producing an unnatural result, and the feel of the implant not being natural.

The key to determining which method of lip augmentation is right for you is to determine your goals. The next step is to choose a facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon with experience in lip augmentation who can produce a natural result. Going through the time and expense of a lip augmentation procedure to have it look unnatural is not worth it. As always, there are risks associated with all invasive surgical procedures, including temporary fillers. As such, you should talk with an experienced physician and let he or she know about all of your medical concerns before proceeding with any procedure.