Lip Augmentation Overview
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.
"I had some plastic surgery done to correct my a creator on head after a traumatic event. Dr Schendel gave me a few options to consider, which resulted with excellent results."- A.K. / Google / May 09, 2018
"I am taking the time to share the positive experiences I have had of Dr. Schendel because it is important that any public information is accurate. Firstly, the doctor went out of his way and..."- A.T. / Yahoo / Dec 03, 2017
"I am taking the time to share the positive experiences I have had of Dr. Schendel because it is important that any public information is accurate. Firstly, the doctor went out of his way and made room in his schedule to consult regarding my 8 year-old daughter's needs when we had no prior relationship with him and oral surgery was imminent. He was gentle with her and honest with me about our choices. His expertise and care allowed me to make the best choice for my child.Secondly, he has cared for more than one individual I hold dear. This family has faced over 20 years of medical intervention and combined, upward of 30 surgeries. Dr. Schendel has been steadfast, consistent, and brilliant in his care of my dear one and her child. As her friend, each time they have faced yet another intense physical challenge or surgery, I have rest assured that she was getting the absolute best treatment because she was in Dr. Schendel's care. The bottom line is I trust him, both to care for my family and those I cherish.Aneea Toomajian PPS, LMFTEducational and Behavioral Consultant"- A.T. / Yelp / Dec 03, 2017
"Dr. Schendel has been my surgeon since I was 15 years old, I am now 44. I have been incredibly grateful for his work and dedication to his field. He has performed several procedures on me to correct a severe unilateral cleft lip and palate. I was referred to him because my clefting was so unusual and other surgeons had been unsuccessful with my case. My cheekbones were non-existent, eye sockets sucken in, jaw extremely recessed, palate permanently open and I had existing scar tissue from previous cosmetic surgery attempts by another surgeon. These are ALL the things Dr. Schendel has fixed with expertise, compassion and dedication. californiacraniofacialin…Over the years, Dr. Schendel has carefully and compassionately rebuilt my face from the inside out. Giving me the bone structure that I was not born with due to the severity of my cranial facial anomalies.When I first met him(I was 14) he excused his entire team of fellows who were there to observe him. He gave me the privacy I needed, handed me a mirror and asked me, "What don't you like about your face?". As a teenager, I was given the space to communicate the things that were great sources of pain. I explained the various things about my cleft lip that caused other kids teased me about. From that moment Dr. Schendel set out to give me a normal face with nothing but determination, dedication and true compassion.Over the years, I have faced other complications with my bone structure and degeneration from my severe cleft. Dr. Schendel has fiercely, carefully and methodically worked to fix the constant erosion and instability in my face. He has striveded to continually find the newest, best techniques available. I have been able to have implants along with bone grafts to retabalize my eroding palate, stem cell procedures to improve the tissue and blood flow to my face and cosmetic revisions-- I have been incredibly grateful and happy with the results.Dr. Schendel's ability to listen and connect with me has been amazing. As a youth, I felt safe, validated and listened too as a patient. As an adult, he has heard my worries and validated the pain I have felt in my face and palate. He has worked tirelessly to fix my cranial facial anomalies. I believe that his ability to be so compassionate and careful with his patients comes from YEARS of working with cleft affected children here and in third world countries. A few years ago, I learned that Dr. Schendel has also volunteered countless hours of surgery in third world countries to operate on children. He has insisted that the surgeries are learning sessions for local doctors in those countries. He has created a learning environment to teach the newest techniques to other physicians in these countries. He also spends months of his own time collecting supplies to take to these countries to donate for the surgeries. Dr. Schendel's passion for rebuilding faces generates from a desire to truly want to help rebuild lives--physically...and emotionally.Our son is also bilaterally cleft affected, he is now 13. Dr. Schendel has revised his soft palate and his lip. It is with tremendous gratitude that we have Dr. Schendel as our son's doctor. His revision is beautiful and his cleft is a non-issue. His speech has also VASTLY improved due to the titrated listening of Dr. Schendel in knowing how to revise our sons palate so skillfully so he can now make sounds like "J" "P" "K". I have referred Dr. Schendel to several family friends for various things that are not cleft related. Not because Dr. Schendel is an incredible oral maxillary and plastic surgeon. But because of his ability to connect with his patients, to hear them, to see them and then to use his dedication to medicine to help them."- V.L. / Yelp / Dec 03, 2017
"Dr. Schendel has been my surgeon since I was 15 years old, I am now 44. I have been incredibly grateful for his work and dedication to his field. He has performed several procedures on me to..."- V.L. / Yahoo / Dec 03, 2017
Lip Augmentation Surgical Technique
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 During/After Surgery
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 Expected Cost
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.