Lip Enhancement

The Details on Getting the Lips You Desire

Kylie Jenner. Getty Images

Kylie Jenner’s lips have been making tons of headlines lately. People are obsessed with her fuller lips, trying just about anything to achieve her famous pouty pose. Social media has lit up with photos of women and men after they’ve sucked on shot glasses or bottles, some even until their blood vessels burst, with the hashtag: #kyliejennerchallenge.

Why the obsession with Kylie’s full lips? In general, people tend to associate fuller lips with beauty, good health and youth.

Dating as far back as 1900, doctors began injecting patients‘ lips with collagen and silicone to give them the fuller lips they desired. Many women back then and now look to enhance thin lips that they were either born with, or became thinner and less full over time, in hopes that they will feel better about the way that they look overall.

According to E! Online, after all of the buzz has circulated about Kylie’s full lips, and after all of the blood vessels that have been broken, it turns out that she actually simply (and tediously) pulls and tugs on her upper and lower lip for an extended period of time and then lines them prior to taking one of her famous selfies.

While this method of temporary lip enhancement works for some social media mavens, like Kylie, most men and women don’t have the time – or energy - to pull on their lips all day to achieve that pouty look.  People are looking for a way to increase the fullness of their lips for an extended period of time, either with the help of cosmetic surgery or injections.

Lip enhancement is a procedure that can be performed on the upper or lower lip, or both at the same time. Depending on the type of material used, the results can be either temporary or permanent. There are several different cosmetic techniques that can help a person achieve fuller lips. Many options involve an injection of a facial filler to increase the size of the lips, although implants may also be used.


Some of the options commonly used for lip enhancement include:

  • Collagen injections
  • Patient’s own fat from another area of the body
  • Artecoll injections (synthetic material)
  • Autologen injections (patient’s own collagen from another area)
  • Dermalogen injections (donor material)
  • Fascia injections (donor material)
  • HylaForm injections (similar to natural hyaluronic acid)
  • Restylane injections (similar to natural hyaluronic acid)

Lip enhancement procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and can usually be performed in a doctor’s office in less than an hour. If synthetic materials are being used, it’s typical to undergo an allergy test prior to the procedure, to ensure that the patient isn’t allergic to the proposed material.

Lip injections using synthetic or natural fillers give patients plumper, fuller lips for months at a time. If injections are the procedure of choice, usually just a topical anesthetic is used. The filler is then injected directly into the lips through a minimally invasive procedure that takes just a few minutes to perform.

Proper placement is important to achieve flawless results.  Depending on the material used to enhance the lips, multiple treatments may be required over time. It’s important to note that many injectable materials, especially the natural ones, are not immune to the effects of aging and will deplete over time.

If a patient is looking for a more permanent solution, and chooses implants, local or general anesthesia is usually required. Synthetic implants are inserted into the lips through tiny incisions at the corners of the lips. After they are inserted, the incisions are closed with stitches, and the implants remain in place with longer-lasting results.

Just like with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with lip enhancement. Risks may include infection, bleeding, asymmetry, nerve-damage, numbing, scarring and swelling. Lip enhancement is considered to be a safe procedure, and the majority of patients achieve positive results without complications. Patients may experience mild discomfort and swelling for a few days post-procedure, and it may take some time to see the exact results of your procedure, depending on the route you choose. Either way, expect 1-5 days of recovery time.

If you’re interested in learning more about the methods to enhance your lips, make an appointment with a skilled plastic surgeon that is experienced in performing these procedures. The right procedure for you is dependent on your desired results, your overall general health, and several other factors.

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