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Lip Augmentation

Home Non-Surgical Lip Augmentation

Lip Augmentation in Orange County

Full, plump lips are an indication of youth and health and can make your face more attractive. If your lips are naturally thin or have thinned with age, lip augmentation is a quick, easy way to boost your allure. Lip augmentation can also correct asymmetrical lips or change your lips’ shape to complement your other facial features.

To learn more about how lip augmentation can enhance your appearance, contact UCI Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation. We have five Orange County and Los Angeles-area locations: in Orange, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Yorba Linda, and Newport Beach, CA.

woman smiling displaying lips

Why Might I Consider Lip Augmentation?

The reason to consider lip augmentation is simple: to make your lips fuller and your face more attractive. Plumper, wider lips are more enticing and kissable.

You might consider lip augmentation if you have naturally thin lips or your lips have grown thinner and less noticeable with age.

Lip augmentation can correct:

  • Thin lips
  • Lips that disappear when you smile
  • Fine wrinkles and lines on your lips and around your mouth
  • Lips that droop at the corners
  • Uneven or asymmetrical lips
  • Poor lip definition

What Are Your Options for Lip Augmentation?

There are several approaches to enhancing your lips’ appearance.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are the fastest, easiest, and least complex method of augmenting your lips. Dermal fillers are gel-like substances injected beneath the skin to add volume. No surgery or recovery downtime are involved.

At UCI Plastic Surgery, we use special formulations of the fillers Restylane® and Juvéderm® for lip augmentation. Both fillers consist of hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body that helps the middle and lower layers of the skin retain moisture and volume. Filler injections also stimulate collagen production, which helps skin and lip tissue maintain youthful resilience.

Dermal fillers work to plump and smooth your lips, and a skilled injector can use these products to enhance your mouth’s shape. Different filler formulations can soften facial wrinkles and fill hollowed areas on other parts of your face, in addition to augmenting your lips. For example, Belotero Balance is an excellent choice for smoothing vertical lines above and below the lips. The filler formulations used for lip augmentation are finer and more flexible than those used for smoothing deeper facial lines and creases or for adding volume to the cheeks or under the eyes.

Filler treatments aren’t permanent, so you can use them to try out the appearance of fuller lips without committing to a long-lasting change. Each filler treatment lasts from six months to a year or more. When the effects begin to wear off, you can repeat the treatment to maintain your new look.

Surgical Options

Skilled surgeons can also perform lip augmentation using surgical techniques for longer-lasting results.

  • Fat grafting uses fat from elsewhere on your face or body to increase your lips’ volume. A surgeon may harvest this fat using liposuction in a procedure to reduce unwanted fat deposits on your abdomen, thighs, or under your chin, then process it for injection into your lips. Fat grafting can also augment your lips as part of a facelift. Results of lip augmentation with fat grafting last longer than enhancement with dermal fillers.
  • Tissue grafting, like fat grafting, transplants your body tissue to add volume to your lips, typically in combination with another cosmetic procedure. In tissue grafting, a surgeon removes a small sliver of skin from elsewhere on your body, such as the lower stomach or a C-section scar. After removing the outer part of the skin section, the surgeon rolls the inner layer and inserts it into your lips through an incision just inside your lip.
  • Lip implants involve the placement of a silicone or expanded polytetrafluoroethylene insert into the lips through a small incision just inside the mouth.
  • Lip lift and vermilion lip advancement are two surgical options for widening and raising the upper lip. These procedures don’t add volume to the lips, but make the upper lip more prominent and give more definition to the edge of the upper lip. These surgical procedures can also enhance your lips’ shape — forming a Cupid’s bow, for example, or lifting the corners of the lips for a happier look when your mouth is at rest.

What Happens During Lip Augmentation?

Non-surgical lip augmentation using dermal filler is a relatively fast in-office procedure. Your provider will use an extremely fine needle for the injections, both to minimize your discomfort and to precisely control the filler amount and placement. The filler contains lidocaine, which numbs the treated area. We may also apply a topical anesthetic to the lips before beginning the procedure. Multiple injections  distribute the filler evenly for a natural look.

The entire visit typically takes about 30 minutes, after which you’re free to go home. The results are visible immediately and will continue to improve over the next few days as the filler attracts moisture and increases in volume.

Fat grafting, tissue grafting, lip implants, lip lift, and vermilion lip advancement all involve surgery, which takes more time and involves incisions and local anesthesia. Your surgeon may choose to use general anesthesia if you are combining your surgical lip augmentation with another surgical procedure, such as a facelift.

What Can I Expect After the Procedure?

You’ll have no downtime after lip augmentation with dermal fillers, though you may experience some mild bruising, swelling, or soreness immediately after your treatment. Because of the possibility of these after-effects, you may want to schedule your treatment at a time when you can rest or work from home for the next couple of days. Cool compresses can help reduce swelling. Application of topical Arnica Montana may help minimize bruising. You can also hide any discoloration with makeup.

Recovery from surgical lip augmentation – such as fat or tissue grafting, lip implants, lip lift, or vermilion lip advancement – takes longer and typically involves downtime for rest. Your surgeon may advise you to keep your head elevated for a few days to promote healing and reduce swelling. You may also need pain medication to ease discomfort.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lip Augmentation

Results of lip augmentation with dermal fillers typically last for six months to a year or more, depending on the filler used. Other factors, including your metabolic rate, can also affect how long the results last. When the effects start to wear off, you can schedule a refresher treatment. Smaller quantities of filler are typically necessary for these follow-up maintenance treatments.

The results of fat and tissue grafting are long-lasting, as your transplanted tissue becomes a permanent part of your lips. While your lips may continue to thin because of the aging process, many patients maintain fuller lips for 10 years or more.

Surgical lip enhancement with a lip lift or vermilion lip advancement is permanent. Your lips will always be wider and more prominent than they were before the surgery.

This is very physician dependent. Overall, when injecting into the lips, we try to use fillers that contain smaller particles.

No – lip fillers last about 12-18 months, especially in the lip, which gets lots of motion.

This is very patient-dependent. However, we typically see that newer fillers like Voluma and Belotero work better than others.

Choose an expert lip injector so that your lips do not appear over-filled or distorted.

Certain compounds in the filling material can create a reaction. Any reactions are usually very minor and can be alleviated with time, heat, and message.

As above – choose a board-certified plastic surgeon or an APP overseen by a plastic surgeon.

Common risks of lip augmentation include overfill, infection, bleeding, bruising, and hard nodules.

Ice for the first 24 hours and gently massage the area. The side effects should dissipate quickly.

Yes, but you may want to start with soft foods at first until you are comfortable.

Schedule a Consultation in Orange County

Contact us today to schedule a consultation to learn how lip augmentation can enhance your appearance. We’ll answer your questions and explain which filler or treatment will best meet your needs. We have five Orange County and Los Angeles-area offices: in Orange, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Yorba Linda, and Newport Beach, CA.


The doctors at UCI Plastic Surgery are leaders in the field of cosmetic surgery. Through their teaching and lecturing roles at UCI, they stay current with state-of-the-art techniques and technology. With their advanced technical skills, they consistently produce better, more natural-looking results for their patients.