Lip Augmentation Risks and Side Effects?

Before I go for it, I want to know what can go wrong with lip augmentation.  What are all of the possible side effects of lip augmentation, and what's the method for lip augmentation with fewest risks?

Doctor Answers 7

Lip Service

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Please have a clear idea of what you want to achieve before going in for any lip augmentation, either with injections or a permanent implant. The lips have to appear to fit the rest of your face so if you have very Caucasian features, it would be wrong to ask for African lips. Also the number of atrocious lip augmentations which appear daily on the net or tube are really on the rise. Patients ask me why celebrities agreed to have oversized lips and I can only guess that they didn't really have a road map and entrusted the enhancement to their surgeon or injector.

Aging causes a thinning of almost everyone's lips and the "solutions" range from cosmeticeuticals to injections to surgery. Cosmeceuticals are generally lip glosses, which burn like H***!, believe me I tried some, so I could get an idea of what women use. Their primary effect is to cause a chemical irritation to the skin, so it will swell. The results are short lived and in my opinion, not very predictable.

Injectors have used everything from fat injections, dermal fat grafts, fascial grafts, which are "spare parts" from the patient's own body to off the shelf fillers. I have used quite a few of them:

a) Bovine collagen;

b) Human collagen;

c) Cymmetra (acellular cadaveric graft);

d) Fascian (acellular cadaveric fascia);

e) Radiesse; f) Restylane;

g) Juvederm.

There are also other fillers, which are not recommended for lip augmentation, but some injectors use them any way. I am philosophically opposed to injecting Silicone in any form because I have had the experience of trying to surgically remove it from individuals who had silicone injections and all had the same experience: latent development of hard lumps and alterations in sensations.

The surgical placement of lip implants is challenging because everyone's face is slightly uneven and that includes the lips. Some implants which have been used were made of Goretex & Silicone. They are prone to migrate, extrude and look quite unnatural when people are talking. Not a great fan.

Risks include: Bleeding, infection, numbness to the lips, scars, unnevenness, need to repeat the procedure, delayed allergic reactions, lumps and bumps, unsatisfactory appearance. Look back at your baby pictures to get an idea of the maximum size your lips were but also look how full your face was. My advice: augment slowly and artistically with a material which will enhance your beauty, not detract from it.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Go to Skilled Provider for Natural Looking Results

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Lip augmentation in 2014 is a fairly common practice. What I always tell people is to make sure that you go to a skilled provider and that the injector be or is associated with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon. The buzz word for lip augmentation in 2014 is natural and we want our patients to have enhancement, not an exaggerated fake look. This was all too common, and still is by people not knowing what they are doing withthese injections.

We use hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers for lip injections in 2014. Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero are the fillers we use today. Now we alsohave Restylane Silk, just FDA approved for lip and the area around the mouth augmentation. This may become more popular as it becomes readily available. Other lip fillers are also being studied, so even more options may be available in 2015.

Find the right injector, have natural enhancement, and enjoy your new lips.

Michael Gold, MD
Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Lip Augmentation

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Thank you for your question. There are few risks and side effects of lip augmentation. It all depends on the injecting technique, the product and its dosage. In my office I like to use dermal fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane Silk for lip augmentation. These are hyaluronic acid fillers that can easily be dissolved with an enzyme known as hyaluronidase if you are unhappy with the results. I recommend having a consultation with an experienced and talented injector to determine the best treatment plan for you. Best of Luck! 

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Lip Augmentation side effects

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Thank you for your question. It all depends on what you are going for. Consider that there is the implant route or fillers. Lip implant side effects may include bruising, bleeding, swelling, infection, allergic reactions, or hardening of implant materials. However if you want a safer option i would recommend starting off with hyaluronic acid fillers. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 
Double board certified
Plastic surgeon
Hoffman Estates

Lip augmentation options

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We usually start out with a hyaluronic acid based filler, (i.e.; juvederm, restylane). It usually gives soft, kissable, natural results. Best to see a few experienced injectors and see what they offer. See a few injectors. Ask to see their photos.

Hyaluronic Acid Fillers Offer Least Risk

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If you are seeking lip augmentation with the least amount of risk, you should opt for one of the hyaluronic fillers. Possible side effects include swelling, bruising, bumps which may last quite awhile and asymmetric.

Choose your physician carefully. There is a whole sub-genre in TV and movies making fun of the results (see First Wive's Club, Lisa Renna, etc.). Everything from the platypus look, trout pout, sausage lips, stripper lips. None of these results are in anyway flattering. They can be avoided by making sure your physician is experienced and conservative.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

Lip augmentation

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Fillers in the lips can cause prolonged swelling, asymetries and possible lumps. I would start with a small volume of a hyaluronic acid based filler, see how you like it and then add more in 2 to 4 weeks when the main swelling resolves. In general it is very safe and patient satisfaction is high!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.