What is the reason behind getting the "duck-lip" look when getting lip augmentations? Can this be avoided? (photos)

I have noticed that women who get lip augmentations often have a very un-natural look where the upper lip sticks out in a odd pouty manner. The definition in the upper lip is lost, and the outer corners of the lip have an up-turned effect. What is the cause of this? Is it a doctor error, or is it due to the clients lip shape before-hand? And lastly, is this a result that my doctor can fore-see happening? (I've attached some photos as to what I mean by the "duck-lip" look) Thanks so much

Doctor Answers 7

How to avoid 'duck lips' with lip augmentation

In Los Angeles, there are many women who have that over-augmented 'duck' look that you're describing. In my experience, this happens in one of two scenarios. One is when just too much product has been used to make the lips appear over-inflated in general. A second is that many patients and/or injectors elect to treat just the upper lip and not the lower lip. The lower lip should normally be about 20% larger than the upper lip. When only the upper lip is filled to make it equal in size to or larger than the lower lip, the lips look off and the upper lip often looks pulled forward in relation to the lower lip. There is sometimes a shift in aesthetic for some who may think that if some filler is good, more must be better. If you prefer a more natural aesthetic, seek out a doctor who feels the same way and you can expect to achieve a pretty and natural result. 

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Duck lips can be avoided with a skilled injector

A skilled injector will be able to avoid the “duck lips” look during lip augmentation. Duck lips are generally a result of patients being overfilled in both the upper lip and white area above the lip, causing the lip to project out too much. This can be totally avoided with good technique and choice of the right filler for the patient’s tissue type. At my practice, we make sure to discuss with the patient how they want their lips to look in order to precisely add enough volume to achieve their goals. Make sure you visit a board-certified dermatologist with experience performing natural-looking lip augmentations to avoid duck lips.

Kimberly Butterwick, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Duck Lip and Lip Augmentation

The "duck-lip" augmentation is the result of too much product or not choosing the right product or just technique.  

Michele S. Green, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

What is the reason behind getting the "duck-lip" look when getting lip augmentations?

I totally agree with you. I prefer the before photo to the after in most of the pictures you posted. This results either from an uninformed injector or an experienced injector who willingly creates an unusual result for a patient that desires this look. Placement of too much filler in the upper lip or too much filler placed along the lip line creates this look. The upper lip should be less full than the lower lip and this ratio needs to be respected during injections. Before and after photos are very helpful. If you want a natural look don't go to any physician injectors that highlight these ridiculous results on their websites. Good luck!

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Stephen Weber, MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Lip Augmentation

Thanks for your question. This is a question that we get asked often by our patients. The main reason this occurs is usually from the injector using to much product in the lips and in some cases, the patient desires this look. Its always better to start with less and then add more a couple weeks later to achieve your desired look. These are advanced techniques so be sure to get an experienced cosmetic dermatologist consultation for recommendations and treatment options. Since your in Calgary, give us a call at 403-271-3627 and I would glad to see you for a consultation to review your options.

Alim R. Devani, MD, FRCPC
Calgary Dermatologist
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


You are correct on your assessment. In general, placing filer in the lips in an appropriate way, will just define the border of the lips and create a slight increase in the volume. Either the physician injected enough filler to create that look, or the patient asked for the look. It does not occur by accident. I would talk to your injector about your expectations and they should be able to comply with your wishes. It is harder to create that look with only one syringe of filler. If you keep it to one, you should be safe.

Best of luck

David Reinstadler, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Avoiding the "Duck Lip"

The most effective way to avoid the "duck lip" look is to choose a surgeon that has a wealth of experience, exceptional training and education, and plenty of experience. As Dr. Weber noted, you should peruse through a surgeon's testimonials and before and after photos to ensure you know the surgeon's entire body of work. I suggest you consult a board certified facial plastic surgeon to receive the highest quality knowledge, treatment, care and skill available. A consultation provides you the opportunity to relay your concerns and desired outcome to the surgeon while the surgeon can assess your health profile and discuss his/her pertinent advice.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

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.