Everything You Need To Know About Plumping Your Lips With Implants

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Creating plump-appearing lips with longer-lasting results other than the common lip augmentation options has now been made easy with the help of lip implants.1,2  Lip implants are smooth plastic or silicone prostheses that are placed within the lip for shaping and augmentation. Here Haute Beauty experts Lauren Valentine, Allan Weidman, and Dr. Samuel Lin, MD share the details on lip-plumping techniques, their benefits, results, and a whole lot more.

Lip-Plumping Techniques

Various lip-plumping techniques exist including lip fillers and lip eversions. Lip fillers involve injecting hyaluronic acid to add volume and shape to the lips. Lip eversions, more commonly referred to as “lip flips”, involve injecting botulinum toxin into the muscles surrounding the lips, relaxing them, and leading to a more everted appearance.3 Both of these treatments require maintenance with the need for repeat injections every few months to a year.

Benefits of Lip Implants

In contrast to these two non-surgical options, lip implants are initially more invasive but result in more permanent results. Additionally, while lip fillers are reversible with an injection, lip implants must be surgically removed. There is no current consensus on how long implants should or can remain in place. While some surgeons describe implants as fully permanent, others recommend removal and replacement after 7 years.4

Ideal Candidate

Patients should consult a plastic surgeon to determine if lip implants are right for them. People with “hypoplastic lips”, which is a medical term describing smaller lips with decreased volume, are appropriate candidates for lip implants. This may be due to genetics, age, or a combination of the two factors. Conversely, patients with asymmetric lips would not be good candidates for implants because the procedure would not adequately treat the asymmetry. Additionally, patients with lips that are too thin to fit even the smallest implants are not good candidates, due to the risk of the implant coming through the skin and becoming exposed.

Treatment Timeline

Once a patient decides to undergo this procedure, their surgeon will likely ask that they stop smoking and don’t use any blood thinning medications within 1 to 2 weeks of the treatment. Similarly, some surgeons may require the use of antiviral medications before and after surgery, especially if the patient has any history of herpes virus infection.5

Most surgeons will elect to do lip implant treatments in their offices without general anesthesia. Instead, they will inject local anesthesia into the lip to sufficiently numb the area before the procedure. Once appropriately numb, the patient’s face and lip area will be covered with sterile drapes. The surgeon will then make small, approximately 4-5 mm incisions on either side of the lip, which are then connected to form one pocket in which the implant will be inserted. The incision on each side is then sutured closed with a few small stitches. This can be repeated for the second lip if the patient has decided to receive implants in both lips.5 The entire procedure may take less than 30 minutes and has a recovery time of one to three days.6,7

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Recovery Time

Recovery following lip implantation surgery is relatively simple. The pain is often minimal and only lasts for about 1-2 days following the procedure. To minimize swelling and bruising, patients often place ice packs around the mouth for 24-72 hours. Patients often return to the office in one or two weeks for their surgeons to assess the healing process and remove any remaining sutures. While the pain and swelling are not expected to last more than two full weeks, some surgeons will recommend mouth exercises for a few weeks to months following the surgery.


Patients are often satisfied with lip implant treatments. A study of 100 women who received lip implants revealed that 93% of the recipients were satisfied with the procedure. Further, 47% described their result as extremely natural appearing while another 47% described it as very natural.1 Aside from cosmetic benefits, lip implants are unique in that they offer a predictable and permanent option for lip augmentation. Lip implants come in variable widths and lengths allowing patients to select their desired look. Many of the implant options are also able to be removed at any time.1,2

Cost Associated

Lip implants range in price depending on the brand, size, and whether a patient opts for one or both lips to receive implants. According to the input of over 250 patients who underwent the treatment, the average cost of lip implants was $2,550. However, this treatment option can range from $1,500 to $4000.8 Despite the initial cost, lip implants may be a more cost-effective option for lip augmentation due to the lack of need for repeated injections with botulinum toxin or filler3.


  1. Guida S, Mandel VD, Farnetani F, Manola CM, Rubino G, Ruzzu S, Pellacani G, Longo C, Urtis GG. Permanent implants for lip augmentation: Results from a retrospective study and presentation of tips and tricks. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2017 May;70(5):699-704. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2017.02.005. Epub 2017 Feb 27. PMID: 28336448.
  2. Winslow C. Surgical and Nonsurgical Perioral/Lip Rejuvenation: Beyond Volume Restoration. Clin Plast Surg. 2018 Oct;45(4):601-609. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2018.06.008. Epub 2018 Aug 10. PMID: 30268245.
  3. Li Y, Chong Y, Yu N, Dong R, Long X. The use of botulinum toxin A in upper lip augmentation. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2021;20(1):71-74. doi:10.1111/jocd.13731
  4. How Long Will A Lip Implant Last?. RealSelf. Published September 16, 2011. Accessed December 13, 2022. https://www.realself.com/question/long-lip-implant-last
  5. Brody-Camp S, Raggio BS. Lip Implants. [Updated 2022 Jun 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546691/
  6. Lockett E, Hannan C. All About Lip Implants. Healthline. Published January 15, 2022. Accessed December 13, 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/lip-implants
  7. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Lip Enhancement. American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Procedure Learning Center. Accessed December 13, 2022. https://www.americanboardcosmeticsurgery.org/procedure-learning-center/facial-procedures/lip-enhancement/
  8. Orofino E. How Much Do Lip Implants Cost? RealSelf. Published February 15, 2022. Updated December 9, 2022. Accessed December 13, 2022. https://www.realself.com/surgical/lip-implants/cost

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