For Lip Augmentation, Dr. Rodriguez chose to use the round, 4.0mm Advanta implants to fulfill this patient's desire for very full upper and lower lips.

View Patient Details

What is a Lip Augmentation?

A lip augmentation is a procedure which gives you fuller lips and can be performed on the upper lip, lower lip, or both lips.The lip can be augmented with the patient's own tissues (fat transfer or fat injections), biologic tissue fillers (Juvederm or Restylane), or soft synthetic implants (Advanta or SurgiSil).

Lip augmentation is very popular because it produces immediate results which can be subtle or dramatic, in a very short amount of time.  The degree of fullness of each lip (upper and lower)  can be controlled as the lips can be injected with different amounts, as well as the lip implant size can be varied for each lip. 

What concerns does a lip augmentation address?

My lips are thin and I really want fuller lips

-a Baltimore, Maryland patient

The lips are an important feature of your facial appearance. Lip augmentation can generally address the following concerns:

  • thin upper and/or lower lip
  • loss of volume in the lip (or lips)
  • lips that 'disappear' when you smile

However, patients should be aware that lip augmentation is not a good solution if they also have a long upper lip. While a lip augmentation is great for creating fuller, plumper lips, it will not address a long upper lip. In fact, using fillers if you have a long upper lip can produce a 'duck-lip' look, which is often not attractive at all.

When an upper lip that touches the bottom lip at rest gets fillers, the fuller lips have nowhere to go but outwards (like duck lips). A lip lift is the only way to reduce the long space between the top of your top lip and the bottom of your nose.

If you have a long upper lip, you might want to consider a lip lift, with or without augmentation. Often times, the lip lift has such a great result that patients do not even consider the lip augmetation afterwards. However, both procedures can be done if desired.

How is lip augmentation surgery performed?

Lip augmentations can be performed within a one hour time frame, while under local anesthesia or sedation. Most patients have the procedure done under local anesthesia in the office. Having lip augementation done as a local procedure in the office is comparable to the experience you might have with a dental procedure.

What types of fillers are used to augment lips?

There are three basic filler choices when it comes to lip augmentation: biologic tissue fillers (dermal fillers), synthetic implants, and your own fat.

Biologic tissue fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm are absorbable. Restylane is made from a component of naturally occurring joint fluid. Juvederm is make by Allergan, the same company who manufactures silicone breast implants.  Results from Restylane and Juvederm each last for 4-6 months. We do not use collagen for lip injections as some patients have developed reactions to it. 

Juvederm and Restylane are prepackaged in a syringe and injected directly into the lips.  To fill both the top and bottom lips,  up to two syringes may be used.  If you want a subtle look,  only one syringe may be needed to fill both lips.  However, to achieve 'full lips' you may need two syringes to fill out both the upper and lower lips.

Prior to the injection and to help with discomfort, a numbing creme or a nerve block can be performed so that you do not feel anything.  In addition, ice packs can be applied to reduce the sensation that you feel with the injections. The entire injection procedure usually takes 20-30 minutes.

Lip Implants such as Advanta and PermaLip by SurgiSil are permanent because the material is implanted in your lips. However, some patients don't choose them because they don't like the fact that they will 'feel' the implant.  However, if you want a permanent solution for your lips, I have used the Advanta implants for over 20 years with a high satisfaction rate.  Recently I have begun using the SurgiSil implant and have been very pleased with the results.

With both Advanta and SurgiSil, a tiny incision is made into the corner of the lip, and the implant is then threaded into position. It can be done under a local anesthetic or IV anesthesia. If the procedure is performed with any of these materials, it takes approximately one hour in time.

Fat Injections require a little more surgical time than either of the above methods, as liposuction is first performed to remove a small amount of fat. This fat is then decanted and centrifuged, and then reinjected into the lips.

Even though I am a huge fan of fat transfer procedures, it is not my first choice for lip augmentation. This is because the fat graft does not survive as well in the lips as it does in other areas of the body. I actually prefer synthetic fillers like Restylane in the lip. 

Are fat injections ever preferable to fillers?

Fat injections are only preferable when the patient wants to use their own tissue, instead of using a synthetic filler. To perform this procedure, we get fat from the stomach area (using liposuction), process it, and then inject it into the lip which gives a very soft look.

However, all of the fat injected into the lips will not stay because it is nearly impossible to keep the lips closed for 2 weeks! After fat injection to the lips, you still need to eat and talk, and therefore your mouth will still have a lot of activity post operatively. For this reason, not all of the fat will 'take' because the fat grafts will be disrupted by normal mouth movement during the post op period. However, a significant percentage (more than half) of the fat is retained permanently. Because of this, we 'over inject' knowing that in three to four weeks the final result will be closer to what the patient wants.

What are the pre-operative requirements?

Lip augmentation with injectable fillers is performed in the office setting.  Lip augmentation with permanent implants can be performed under local anesthesia or with IV sedation. If you elect to have a lip augmentation with local anesthesia, no pre-op testing is required.  This is comparable to visiting the dentist to have a procedure performed. However, if you elect to have IV sedation, we will require you to have medical clearance two weeks prior to surgery.

What is post-op recovery for like after lip augmentation?

Lip augmentation with permanent implants has a longer recovery period than that required for injectables.  With injectables you can return to work the following day.  Recovery period for the permanent implant may last up to a week.  All sutures placed inside the mouth for the permanent implant will dissolve within a few days. You may be restricted to a soft diet for up to ten days. 

Immediately following either method of augmentation,  you will be able to use an ice pack to help reduce swelling.  Over the counter pain relievers can help relieve any discomfort you feel for the first 24-48 hours. Depending on the type of filler used for your lip augmentation, you'll likely be asked to avoid sleeping on your stomach, to limit talking/chewing/smiling and to refrain from any strenuous activity anywhere up to 1 week following surgery.

What are the risks and possible complications?

Side effects and risks associed with lip augmentations are usually temporary and include (but aren't limited to):

  • bruising
  • swelling
  • redness, tenderness
  • infection
  • allergic reactions
  • asymmetry 

How much does a lip augmentation cost?

Lip augmentation with injections is less expensive than permanent lip implants.  However, keep in mind that that the injectable fillers only last approximately 6 months, so this should factor into your considerations.  Lip Augmentation costs are as follows:

  • Injectable fillers (top+ bottom lips) cost is $500-$1100 depending on how many vials/which product is used
  • Permanent lip implants (top+bottom lips) with Advanta is $3850
  • Permanent lip implants (top + bottom lips) with PermaLip from SurgiSil is $3500

Before and After Lip Augmentation Photos*

See our gallery of lip augmentation before and after patient photos, all performed here in our Baltimore office. Please note that all of these patients have given their written consent to use the photos at our web site. We are very grateful to our patients for participating in patient education!

Having Your Surgery in Baltimore

Many of our patients come from in and around the Baltimore area, while many others come from out-of-town. Our office and surgery center is 30 miles from BWI airport and about 20 minutes from the downtown Amtrak train station.

Contact UsGive us a call at +1-410-494-8100 or Contact Us online to schedule a time to visit our offices or participate in a virtual consultation.

doctor's signatureUpdated October 19, 2015
Ricardo L Rodriguez M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgery

*Note: Patients depicted in photos and videos have provided written consent to display their photos online. Every patient is unique, and surgical results may vary. Please contact us if you have any questions.