Lip Augmentation

Lip augmentation creates fuller, plumper lips and reduces fine wrinkles around the mouth. Lips may be injected with collagen or with fat transferred from another site in the patient’s body. Both liquid collagen and fat are absorbed and repeat treatments are necessary to maintain results. Newer, longer-lasting options include implantable materials like AlloDerm and SoftForm.

Basic procedures/techniques

Anesthesia: Local
Surgery time: 30 minutes-2 hours
Lip augmentation procedures increase the size of the lips. The upper or lower lip may be treated alone, or both upper and lower lips may enlarged at the same time.
Lip augmentation can be achieved by injecting or surgically implanting materials into the lips. Some procedures are temporary, others are permanent.


Collagen injections: Prepared from the collagen found in cow skin, collagen injections are used to temporarily augment the lips.
Collagen is injected into the lip with small needles. Because the body slowly absorbs the collagen, the results generally last between one and three months.
Fat injections: The fat is harvested from another area of the body and is purified before it is injected into the lips. An advantage to this procedure is that there is no possibility of an allergic reaction. Results usually lasts longer than collagen injections.
Artecoll injections: Artecoll is composed mainly of tiny synthetic beads (polymethyl methacrylate) that stay in the lips, and raise them. This technique lasts longer than fat or collagen injections.
Autologen injections: Autologen is collagen extracted from the patient’s own skin, often from excess skin removed in a facelift. The results are relatively long lasting, and there is no risk of an allergic reaction.
Restylane injections: Restylane is a clear gel; the hyaluronic acid in Restylane is similar to that naturally found in the body.

Surgical procedures:


Alloderm is the most popular material for lip augmentation. It is a natural collagen sheet harvested from cadavers and is screened and highly processed.
Under a local anesthesia, the material is inserted through tiny incisions made in the inside corners of the mouth. Stitches are used to close the incisions.
Alloderm eventually becomes integrated with the natural tissues of the body. The material can be absorbed, so the results are only temporary, lasting from 6 months to a year.

Synthetic Implants

Gore-Tex, SoftForm are other synthetic options with permanent results. They do not shrink and are never absorbed into the body. They also remain in place because scar tissue forms on either end.
To insert the implant, a small incision is made in the inside of the lip. The material is then made into the shape of a small tube and it is inserted with a small needle.
Synthetic implants are foreign substances and may become infected or be rejected by the body. If this occurs, the implants can be removed.

Fat grafting:

This procedure has permanent results in approximately half of the people who try it. The fat is harvested from another area of the body, often the abdomen. It is then prepared and inserted with a needle into the lip from more than one point.

Local flap grafts:

Local flaps bring material from inside the mouth outside to enhance the lips. Results are temporary. An incision may be made inside the mouth to push the tissue inside the mouth upward, and outward, into the lip, sometimes in conjunction with grafting. Or, an incision may be along the upper lip line. In this case, skin above the lip is removed, and the lip is then stitched along the line of the incision.


Pain level: Mild discomfort. 0-2 days of pain medication
Swelling and Bruising: 3 days- 1 week
Work: 1-2 days
Exercise: Wait 2-3 days
Final result: Varies depending upon treatment

For faster recovery:

• Keep ice packs applied to your lips for the first 48 hours.
• Talking and chewing should be limited during the first 48 hours.
• Limit smiling and laughing for the first week.
• Sleep in a semi-upright position for the first week.
• Avoid strenuous activities for 1-3 days.
• Keep the lips clean to avoid infection.
Local anesthesia is normally used during grafts and flaps.

Risks / Complications:

– Allergic reactions to implants
– Cold sores
– Granuloma
– Hardening of implant (may require removal)
– Migration of implant
– Nerve damage
– Numbing
– Scarring
– Swelling



Where are lip enhancement procedure performed?

Lip enhancement with injectable fillers are typically performed in Dr Maamari Clinic. Surgical procedures for lip enhancement may take place in a surgeon’s office-based facility or a hospital.

Is anesthesia used for lip enhancement?

Lip enhancement may involve some form of anesthesia depending upon the particular procedure. A numbing agent or topical or local anesthetic may be used for injectables, while local anesthesia with sedation may be used for surgical procedures involving implants.

How are lip enhancement procedures performed?

For lip enhancement with injectable fillers, an anesthetic is first administered and then the filler is injected into the lips using a small canula. For surgical procedures using implantable materials, anesthesia is administered and then incisions are made, typically at the corners of the lips. The implant is then inserted and the incisions are closed.

How long does the actual procedure for lip enhancement last?

Procedural times will vary according to the particular procedure. Injectable fillers can take as little as ten minutes to perform, though repeat procedures are typically needed anywhere from four months to one year or longer in order to maintain the results. Surgical procedures involving implants typically an hour to perform.

Where are the incisions made for surgical lip enhancement and are there scars?

The incisions for surgical lip enhancement are typically made at the corners of the lips and result in little or no visible scarring

Is lip enhancement painful?

The degree of pain or discomfort associated with lip enhancement will depend upon the particular technique used. There tends to be minimal pain or discomfort associated with injectable fillers, though surgical procedures may involve more pain. If necessary, pain medication can be prescribed.

What is the recovery like after lip enhancement?

Injectable fillers used for lip enhancement tend to involve minimal recovery time and patients are typically able to return to work and other normal activities right away. Bruising and swelling can occur but typically fades within two to three days. With surgical procedures, the recovery tends to be more involved. Bruising and swelling can last about a week and patients can usually return to work within about a week.

Will I need to take off from work after my lip enhancement procedure?

Whether or not you will need to take time off from work in order to recover will depend upon the particular lip enhancement procedure. With injectable materials, patients are typically able to return to work and their other normal activities right away. Procedures involving surgery will involve a more lengthy recovery, though patients are typically able to return to work and other normal activities within about a week.

When are the stitches removed after surgical lip enhancement?

After surgical lip enhancement, stitches are typically removed or dissolve on their own within seven to ten days.

What are the risks or complications that can occur with lip enhancement?

The specific risks associated with lip enhancement will depend upon the particular technique. In general, however, the following are some of the potential complications that may occur with lip enhancement: allergic reactions, adverse anesthesia reactions, bleeding, excessive scarring, hematoma, infection, lip asymmetry, and migration and extrusion of the implant.

Are the results of lip enhancement permanent?

Some technique for lip enhancement, including most implants, are permanent. Other techniques, most injectable fillers for instance, are temporary and lasts for up to one year and a half .