Lip Augmentation and Enhancement
AT UT Southwestern Medical Center, we treat all types of patients, from young to old. We never simply “plump up” lips or mimic how someone else looks. Our plastic surgeons are experts at adding fullness or smoothing out fine lines around the mouth, while accomplishing natural-looking results in harmony with facial features. Understanding what will work for your face is among the first steps in considering lip augmentation.
A variety of techniques and augmentative fillers are available for lip augmentation, including fat injections and grafting, hyaluronic acids, and AlloDerm (freeze-dried dermis).
Options for Lip Augmentation
During a clinical evaluation, your surgeon will discuss the most effective approach to lip augmentation for your face.
This may include:
- Allograft using AlloDerm
- A freeze-dried, processed human skin that is grafted and carefully inserted into the lips. Before the lip augmentation procedure, we measure your lips. Your plastic surgeon will use a local anesthesia to numb the lips and a light cover is then placed over your face. A small incision is made along the inside corners of the lips for the AlloDerm to be implanted. Once it is positioned, we close the incisions.
- Direct lip lift (DLL)
- Increases the height of the red lip, decreases distance from the upper red lip to the nose. This technique will result in more of the front teeth showing, which is often more aesthetically pleasing.
- Fat grafting
- Core fat grafts, segmental fat grafts, and dermal fat grafts are other lip augmentation techniques that use your own fat. With these procedures, larger blocks of fat are inserted in the lips for enhancement.
- Fat injections
- A small amount of fat is removed from the abdomen or buttocks, and the fat cells are separated with a specialized centrifuge. We then inject your fat cells into your lips. The procedure takes 30 minutes to an hour. The results are permanent if the fat cells “take.” There have been reports of up to 80 percent of the fat cells taking with the newer and enhanced techniques we use.
- Indirect lip lift (ILL)
- By elevating the central portion of the upper lip by hidden incisions at the base of the nose, we can enhance the lip “pout” and roll the red lip outward, giving it a more natural plump look. Just like the DLL, this technique will result in more of the front teeth showing. This technique is offered to patients who have thin upper lips, a long lip-to-nose distance with inadequate front teeth show, and a well-defined lip line.
- Lip corner lift
- A small triangular excision of the skin around the corner of the upper lips can result in an aesthetically pleasing elevation of the lateral corners of the lip.
- Soft tissue fillers
- When our patients want the most possible fullness for their lips, we use soft tissue fillers (Collagen Restylane; Juvéderm or Juvéderm Plus; Perlane). The filler provides natural lip volume and smoothes wrinkles. For the lip augmentation, we inject tiny amounts of a clear gel (Restylane or other fillers) inside one or both lips. To create a natural look, the filler is aligned with the lip line and the nose. A combination of techniques is used to accomplish the best look. Restylane and other fillers can last for about one year for smoothing out wrinkles and six months for lip augmentation, according to research.
If You Are Considering Lip Augmentation
- It is important to receive care at an accredited medical facility from a board-certified plastic surgeon experienced with lip augmentation.
- The results should be in harmony with your facial features.
- It is safe to have lip augmentation in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as a facelift or laser resurfacing.