What Type of Lip Augmentation is Good for a Thin Lip?

What is the average cost of a lip augmentation surgery on an upper lip? Is surgery going to give better results for a thin lip than a filler? Can an augmentation even out a smile?

Doctor Answers 10

Lip Augmentation

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Juvederm Ultra / Ultra plus and Restylane are considered to be the best fillers for lip augmentation. Results usually last about 10—12 months. These fillers belong to the hyaluronic acid family. In the tissue, hyaluronic acid fills the space between cells hydrating skin by trapping water. Fillers can improve the appearance of your lips, shape, structure, and add more volume. The actual injection process requires about 30-45 minutes of time. These injections are relatively pain-free, because of the lidocaine mixed with the product.

New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Lip augmentation -- fillers, implants or advancement surgery

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There are several options for lip augmentation. Fillers like Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero can all give good natural-looking results that last approximately 6 months. The fillers can be reversed or additional fillers placed if there is asymmetry. Surgery with the use of implants can also give very similar results. However, surgery may result in temporary numbness and prolonged swelling for several weeks. In most cases, the implant can be removed if you are unhappy with the results. Lip tissue can also be advanced to improve the fullness and increase the height of the lips. The cost of fillers cumulatively over several years can become costly while an implant or advancement surgery may be more economical in the long run if you are comfortable with the possible risks and downtime.

One thing I would recommend is to have have the bottom lip filled as well. It is natural to have the upper lip thinner than the bottom lip. If you fill only the upper lip, it may look unnatural. Also, be aware that you may continue to have some asymmetry after augmentation since you started off with some asymmetry.

Kristina Tansavatdi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Lip augmentation options

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My preference is Juvederm Ultra Plus XC because of its consistency and long lasting results.  Any Hyaluronic acid product should be safe and effective.  The ideal filler is your own body's fat but there is a longer period of swelling than HA fillers.  Fat has the advantage of being permanent.  I would avoid any kind of implant or permanent filler because of bad long term complications.  I would also avoid solid natural implants such as dermal fat grafts, dermis and fascia as lips witll not animate (move) naturally.  I hope this helps! 

All the best,

RianA. Maercks M.D.

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Lip augmentation for a thin lip.

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In the face it is a good idea to start with something non permanent. The soft and hard tissue of the face will change with time. We usually start out with a hyaluronic acid based filler, (i.e.; juvederm, restylane).  Best to see a few experienced injectors and see what they offer.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Lip Fillers vs. Surgery

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Though many people find that surgical correction for a thin upper lip is effective, in my experience I prefer fillers. Though they are temporary, they are also able to be guided in real time by the patient, and can be customized. They also feel and look more natural in my opinion, and carry less risk for unsatisfaction or complications. I recommend seeing a physician about what option would be best for your specific goals. Best of luck! 

Cameron Rokhsar, MD, FAAD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Lip augmentations and lifts

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When considering lip augmentation or surgery (lip lift) you should not only look at the volume, but also at the distance between your columella (the little column of tissue between the two nostrils) and the red border of your upper lip. Beautiful lips are defined by 3 characteristics:

  • the cupids bow
  • an average 1.1 cm distance between the bottom of the nose and the top of the red part of the lip
  • a degree of fullness

The upper lip lift is a procedure that elevates the position of the upper lip with respect to the teeth, increasing the amount of pink lip that is seen. It results in a wider, fuller smile. The lips can also be made fuller with lip augmentation by injecting fillers or fat into the lips during the same surgical session.

The lip can be augmented with the patient's own tissues (fat injections), biologic tissue fillers (Restylane, collagen, alloderm), or soft synthetic implants (Advanta, SoftForm, Gor-tex). However, the lip is an area where I don't see fat grafting as the first choice because the lip moves a lot and it interferes with the take of the graft. I actually prefer synthetic fillers in the lip, or a lip lift.

The cost varies depending on the specifics of the lip augmentation or lip lift surgery.

Ricardo L. Rodriguez, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Lip augmentation

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Lip augmentation can be perfomed in several different ways depending upon what your needs are. If you need volume only a filler like Juvederm or Perlane can be helpful. More permanent fillers like fat can also be used.  Lift lips may help with a variety of deficiencies as well.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Thin upper lips are easily improved with temporary fillers or permanent implants.

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The upper lip is the most common lip to be augmented and is easy with temp. fillers such as juvederm/restylane ($550/syringe) or permanent implants ($1500-2000/implant) all under local anesthesia and is easy to have done.  Sincerely,

David Hansen,MDh

David Hansen, MD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Lip Augmentation

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Lip augmentation can be successfully performed using either temporary fillers or lip implants which are permanent but reversible.  Either can achieve the results you are looking for.  For fillers, the cost varies with the amount and type of filler used and will cost less than surgery, which will give you a permanent but reversible result.

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

What's best for thin lips?

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IMHO of performing lip Augmentation for over 20 years, Alloderm Lip Implants offer the gold standard in Lip Augmentation. 

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 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.