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Are Lip Enhancements Right for Me?

Pretty middle age woman with perfect skin

One of the more popular procedures being requested today is lip enhancement. Lip enhancement can include temporary or permanent results–surgical or nonsurgical procedures. How do you know which action is right for you?

Ideal Candidacy

The ideal candidate for lip enhancement is someone who wants to return their face to a youthful, natural look by plumping the lips to achieve a fuller appearance. Additionally, lip filler can be used to improve the wrinkles around the lips. Regardless of which procedure you and your physician decide is best for you, it’s also important to maintain realistic expectations. Other common traits of ideal candidates for lip enhancement include:

  • Thin lips
  • Uneven lips
  • Lack of definition around lips
  • Wrinkles around lips
  • Good general health
  • Preferably a non-smoker
  • No history of chronic cold sores
  • Non-diabetic

Depending on your facial plastic surgeon’s assessment, you may find you are a fit for either a surgical or nonsurgical procedure.

Lip Injections

Most nonsurgical procedures involve the use of lip filler injectables such as Restylane® or Juvéderm®. These types of hyaluronic acid-based fillers are a temporary solution, but results generally last up to six months. Patients can often return to work one or two days after their injections, and icing the lips will help with any pain or swelling caused by the injections. We find this to be a popular and favorable treatment for many of our patients. There is also a newer filler called Juvéderm Volbella® that lasts up to a year. This injection not only treats the traits described above, but also vertical lip lines and perioral wrinkles that appear with age. Volbella doesn’t hold water, so the results that you immediately see are what your lips will look like after healing.

For more permanent results, you may be advised to undergo surgical procedures. The three most common procedures are lip fat grafting/injection, lip implants, and lip lift.

Lip Fat Grafting

Fat is a natural byproduct obtained from the patient by performing liposuction. This fat is then injected into the lips to create a more permanent solution comparable to the hyaluronic acid fillers. Although the solution may last longer, a portion of the fat still resorbs into the body. Multiple procedures may be required to obtain optimal results.

Lip Implants

Lip implants permanently increase lip volume by inserting small implants through incisions made on the corners of the lips. Depending on the patient, this procedure may take one to two weeks to fully heal before a patient returns to work.

Lip Lift

In a lip lift procedure, the skin between the upper lip and nose is shortened through surgery. Drooping corners of the mouth may also be corrected through this method. Your facial plastic surgeon will advise this procedure if the upper lip hangs lower than normal, completely covering your teeth. Recovery time for a lip lift procedure is shorter than the time needed for lip implants. Just like the nonsurgical lip enhancements listed above, application of a cold compress will help the swelling and pain associated with these surgical procedures. 


As with any surgical or nonsurgical facial procedure, it’s important to consult with a Board Certified facial plastic surgeon if you’re thinking about lip enhancement. These candidacy traits and procedures are common, but consultation will reveal the best plan of action for you. Contact Dr. Paik today to set up your consultation for lip enhancement.