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Fillers or Fat for Luscious Lips?

According to Women’s Health magazine, the first retractable lipstick tube was introduced in America in 1915. Lipstick’s ability to highlight and exaggerate the fullness of a woman’s lips helped drive the sensuality of plump lips deep into the beauty standards of American culture. A set of beautiful lips can define what we consider timeless beauty, as evidenced by actresses like Angelina Jolie and Scarlett Johansson. Additionally, scientific studies have shown full lips to be a very highly-ranked trait when it comes to what we biologically perceive as physically attractive.

Because of the important role lips can play in our confidence, attractiveness, and youthful appearance, lip augmentations have become a popular cosmetic treatment. If you’ve ever researched ways to improve the appearance of your lips, you know there are quite a few options, each with their own merits. Most plastic surgeons categorize lip treatments under the umbrellas of fillers, fat transfer, and implants. These options all give plastic surgeons creative ways to sculpt important areas of your face. In this post, we’ll cover some of the considerations you might weigh if you’re considering a facial fat transfer or fillers to bring out your lips’ unique natural beauty.

Are Facial Fillers the Answer to Thin Lips?

For people who want to recapture a youthful appearance or enhance lips that are naturally thin, there are popular dermal filler products, such as Juvéderm® and Restylane®. Most facial fillers are made from hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance that helps skin cells bind to water. When injected, this substance replenishes the lips with natural-looking volume.

One of the great benefits of having filler is that the results are instantaneous. In other words, unlike Botox®, the filler does not take several days to have its effect. Your lips will be larger and plumper immediately. Some people may swell a little initially, making their lips appear larger than they actually will be, but the swelling usually resolves after a day or two.

Many people who opt for lip injections don’t have to plan the treatment around their schedule, because it is a relatively non-invasive procedure. However, if you do have an event or function you are attending, we may recommend having the procedure at least a few days in advance. In short, fillers are one of the least invasive and quickest ways to get a fuller set of lips.

How Does Facial Fat Transfer Add Lip Volume?

Another popular option for people considering lip augmentation is a facial fat transfer procedure. During a fat transfer procedure, fat is harvested from a donor site (usually the abdomen, flanks, or inner thighs) and then transferred to a recipient site, such as the lips. This procedure is a great way to change the shape of someone’s lips, achieve greater overall harmony of facial features, and add desired volume.

Facial fat transfer is a more invasive lip augmentation option than fillers, but the results are essentially permanent. Rarely, a patient may need a second fat grafting procedure to the lips if the desired volume is not achieved the first time around. Fat transfer is typically the option for people who want to achieve their lip augmentation results without injecting a foreign substance, or for people who want a more permanent result.

Fat Transfer vs. Fillers: Which is Your Best Lip Augmentation Option?

If you’re trying to decide which is the best option for giving you fuller lips – fillers or fat transfer – it’s best to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. The best option for you depends on many different factors. Before you schedule a consultation, you might ask yourself questions such as:

  • What is your lip augmentation budget?
  • How much volume would you like to add to your lips?
  • Do you have wrinkles around your mouth or other areas of your face you wish to also address?
  • Although minimal, are you comfortable with the possible side effects and risks of either cosmetic treatment?
  • How quickly would you like to see the results of your cosmetic procedure?
  • How much recovery time is available in your schedule?
  • Does the number of treatment sessions matter to you?

If you’re ready to take the next step, contact us to schedule your personal consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David Cangello. He’d be happy to discuss your cosmetic goals and design a custom treatment plan for you.

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