Lip injections (also called lip fillers) and lip augmentation surgery create shapely, volumized lips that enhance your other facial features. If you’ve researched your options, you may be wondering whether fillers or surgery will give you the best result.
Before choosing the lip treatment for your specific concern, it helps to understand each option better. How does each procedure work? What kind of results can you expect? We answer those questions and others in this blog post, including how long your results will last and how much downtime is needed.
How Do Lip Fillers Work?
When a filler is injected into the lips, it creates volume by filling the tissue under the lip’s surface with a soft, smooth, and supple Hyaluronic Acid gel. Depending on the type of filler your injector chooses, you can add volume to the upper and/or lower lip to balance asymmetry, add overall fullness, define your cupid’s bow, define the vermillion border, or soften lip lines. Lip fillers are versatile, minimally invasive treatments that improve the look and feel of your lips, as you can see in the before and after photos below. (Browse through more lip filler results in our photo gallery.)
How Long Do Lip Fillers Last?
Filler treatments are temporary, so when you use filler to enhance your lips, you will need to maintain your results routinely. Fillers such as JUVÉDERM® Ultra XC, JUVÉDERM VOLBELLA®, and Restylane® Kysse™ last anywhere from 6 to 12 months, so you’ll probably need 1 to 2 touch-up treatments a year.
What Is Lip Augmentation Surgery?
Lip augmentation surgery may use fat transfer to add fullness to the lips. A lip lift is another lip augmentation surgery; it reduces the distance between your nose and lip to reveal more of the upper lip’s pink tissue. As a plastic surgeon, I performs these surgeries and will decide if you are a candidate. You will need to recover for 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the procedure.
What Are the Differences Between a Lip Lift and Lip Filler?
The most apparent difference between the two options is that a lip lift is a surgical procedure while lip filler is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure. There are other differences too:
- Recovery time: Most people can resume their usual daily activities after lip fillers, but surgical options require at least a few days to a couple of weeks of downtime.
- Cost: The cost differences between the two can be deceiving. Surgical lip augmentation is usually more expensive at the outset. However, you’ll need to repeat your lip filler treatments to maintain your results. In the long run, fillers may eventually be the more expensive option.
Should I Choose Lip Fillers, a Lip Lift, or Both?
When choosing between lip fillers or surgical options like a lip lift, consider your facial goals. If you are looking for longer-lasting results from your lip procedure, surgical augmentation with fat transfer or a lip lift may be your best option. However, if you don’t mind keeping to a maintenance schedule in exchange for fast, minimal-downtime injections, lip fillers might be a better choice.
You can also combine these surgical and non-surgical lip procedures for a more dramatic or complete transformation. Myself or your provider can let you know if you are a good candidate to combine them.