Lip augmentation enhances the beauty of the lips by making them fuller or reducing lines and wrinkles. Dr. Stephen Schendel, Palo Alto plastic surgeon, offers a host of options to improve the appearance of the lips, including fat injections, derma fillers and implants. Also referred to as lip enlargement or lip enhancement, these techniques can be performed to enlarge the upper or lower lip, or both. Women seeking dramatic, permanent results may consider an implant. Patients desiring a nonsurgical alternative to fuller lips may turn to an injectable filler, such as Juvederm®. Each option can be discussed during the initial consultation.
Lip Enhancement Options
- Lip Implants: This is a surgical procedure that provides a permanent increase in lip size. There are two alternatives available that most surgeons use, including PermaLip, which is a solid silicone material that offers a natural, soft result; and Advanta Lip, which uses a synthetic Gore-Tex material that offers a fuller result with a firmer feel.
- AlloDerm: This is a popular surgical method to enhance the lips. It consists of components from the most durable part of the skin, known as the dermis. It is harvested from cadavers and placed within the lips through tiny incisions. It integrates with the natural tissues and fibers within the lips to create a smooth, natural appearance.
- Fat Filler: This is a nonsurgical injection, also referred to as a fat transfer. The process involves removing fat through liposuction from the patient’s body, filtering this fat and then transferring it to the lips.
- Injectable Filler: This is a nonsurgical injection that is made to the lips to create a fuller look. There are a variety of filler products available including those made of collagen, hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxyapatite, etc. These are marketed under various brand names and offer varying results.
"Dr. Schendel is helping me feel like myself again after a tumor changed my life. - I am 28F and was diagnosed with a rare pituitary tumor resulting in a condition called acromegaly in 2015. Because of this condition my brow grew, the soft tissue in my face increased and the right side of my jaw grew asymmetrically which resulted in a quickly developed underbite. After surgically controlling the tumor by an SF neurosurgeon to ensure no more growth would occur, my husband and..."- B. / RealSelf / Apr 28, 2017
"Best decision I ever made! - Best decision I ever made was to have a mid-face lift with Dr. Schendel. He listened to my concerns and came up with a strategy that I would be pleased with. Dr. Schendel has a great bedside manner and put my fears to rest pre-surgery. He and his staff were very attentive post surgery as well. I look renewed and refreshed not "done". I no longer cringe when I look in the mirror. Thank you for giving me a decade+ back."- C. / RealSelf / Mar 24, 2017
"Dr. Schendal is a consummate professional with a warm caring disposition. He is held in very high regard by everyone I spoke to at Stanford Hospital. I had absolute confidence in him and my surgery held no surprises due to the care he took in explaining everything and setting realistic expectations. His post op care was just as good."- L.G. / Healthgrades / Oct 23, 2016
"Dr. Schendel is a great doctor. My family and I have been fortunate enough to be under Dr. Schendel's care for many years. He has been helping me look and feel beautiful since my 50th bday... many years ago. He and his staff are wonderful in every way. His office manager, Carol Oderio, and everyone in his office treat you with the greatest care and make sure everything is perfect:) Dr. Schendel is able to enhance your beauty in an amazing way, all while looking very natural."- J.H. / Yelp / Mar 14, 2016
"I've been getting Botox from Dr. Schendel for several years - and I still look forward to my appointments because he always manages to make me smile and laugh. The office is clean, easily located by the freeway, and the staff is courteous and always prompt."- C.R. / Yelp / Nov 01, 2015
The technique used to perform lip augmentation will vary depending if the patient is having a surgical or non-surgical procedure. Patients who are having a surgical procedure with an implant or with AlloDerm will have incisions that will start on the outer corner of the mouth. These incisions allow the surgeon to create a tunnel within the lip where the implant can then be placed. The same approach is used for AlloDerm. Once the implants and/or tissue are in correct placement, the lips are then sutured and the incisions closed. These sutures are dissolvable.
Lip enhancement procedures that use an injection will take place with a local numbing anesthetic. These injections are made through a syringe that is placed inside the lip. The substance that is used is injected in layers until the desired fullness has been achieved. Some patients will need to have this process repeated several times depending on how quickly the body absorbs the injected material.
Lip augmentation (surgical and nonsurgical) is performed as an outpatient procedure in an accredited surgical facility. The surgical process to place an implant typically takes about an hour and is performed under general anesthesia, in most cases. Lip augmentation using an injectable filler is performed in-office and usually takes about 30 minutes. A numbing cream is generally used for injections. The lips will be sore and swollen for a few days. This subsides and the results are fuller, soft lips.
Lip augmentation will vary in cost. Some injections can average between $300-$500 per injection, while lip augmentation using implants can run between $4,000-$5,000.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $1,500 - $2,500
- Recovery Time
- 1-2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 1-2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1-2 Days
- Procedure Recovery Location
Lip Augmentation FAQs
Implant or Filler?
The good news to this question is that there are many choices and alternatives, each one offering specific benefits to meet each patient’s goals and desires. Women who wish to have permanent results will probably be better suited to have implants or some sort of filler treatment that produces longer lasting results. Some patients may not be sure how they will feel following lip augmentation, and may want to take baby steps with their lip enhancement. Luckily, there are many procedures they will offer a fuller lip, but that won’t last forever. During your consultation, all of these techniques will be discussed so that the right decision can be made.
Is This Reversible?
Patients who do not like their lip implants can have them removed. It’s important to make sure all swelling has subsided before making the decision to have them taken out. Injections will slowly absorb into the body and thus the lips will naturally become smaller when an injection is involved.
What About Scarring?
Scarring is very minimal with a lip augmentation surgery because the incision is placed on the outside of the mouth in the natural crease of the lips. Once healed, the incision is barely noticeable at all.
Do Implants Look Fake?
Lip implants are made with flexible, synthetic materials that are produced to result in a natural look and feel. After a few months, the lips will take on a normal appearance and the implant will integrate with the natural tissues and fibers of the lip. Most patients remark that their new lips look and feel both natural and soft.