Seeking More Voluminous Lips? Here’s What You Need To Know

Dr. Johnson Lee is an award-winning board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and one of a few plastic surgeons in the country who completed an integrated residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and pursued further training in Oculoplastic and Aesthetic Surgery under world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Mark Codner. This unique combination of experiences has given him the knowledge and skills to become the premier Beverly Hills plastic surgeon specializing in aesthetic eyelid and facial surgery.

Haute Beauty sits down with Dr. Johnson Lee to learn more about a lip augmentation, which is adding volume to the lips in order to increase size or enhance shape and symmetry.

HB: How does a lip augmentation work?

The most common form of lip augmentation is with injectable hyaluronic acid fillers. Patients are often first numb with numbing cream for 10-20 minutes. Filler is then strategically injected to the lips in order to create the size, shape, and overall style that the patient is looking for. Other options include surgery using fat grafting or an implant. Fat grafting uses fat from somewhere on your body and injected into the lips. It is good for enhancing overall volume, but not ideal for detailed shaping of the lips

Lip FillerPhoto Credit: Photo courtesy of Dr. Johnson Lee

HB: Who is a good candidate for a lip augmentation?

Patients who have small thin lips or disproportionate sizes between the upper and lower lips are great candidates. Other patients may have good volume, but poor shape or texture (dehydrated look with wrinkles). In these patients, a small amount of filler can minimize size increase but create a more luscious smooth pout.

HB: How does this procedure compare to others of the same nature?

Using injectable lip filler is temporary and patients should expect injections once or twice a year. Of the current existing hyaluronic acid fillers, my favorite filler is Restylane Kysse. This is long-lasting and strong enough to create shape, but super soft and smooth. The filler is designed to bend and flex with lip movements to appear more natural and to feel more "kissable'' hence the name. Fat grafting or implants are more permanent options but require a surgical procedure. Fat grafting can be unpredictable in the amount of fat that becomes permanent and is not ideal for fine detailing of the lip. Implants give predictable volume but can feel firm and have a higher risk of infections and scarring.

injectables LipsPhoto Credit: Photo courtesy of Dr. Johnson Lee

HB: What does recovery look like?

Injectable fillers have minimal downtime. Most patients have swelling for the first few days which can be minimized with ice. Some patients may also have temporary redness, soreness, or bruising. Healing is usually completed within the first week. Surgical lip augmentation using fat grafting and implants can have longer downtime with more swelling and bruising for the first 2-4 weeks.