Lip Lift vs. Lip Filler: Which Should You Choose?

Woman with plump lips (model) against a sparkly white background.

Thanks to Instagram and TikTok, the demand for plumper, poutier lips has never been greater. Not surprisingly, as this aesthetic trend has grown, so have the various options for lip enhancement. A surgical lip lift offers patients a long-term solution, while those who prefer a less permanent pout can choose from a lip flip or lip injections. In the quest for perfectly plump lips, which is right for you? We’re breaking down the pros and cons of each lip enhancement treatment below:

Before & After Lip Lift Surgery
Before & After Lip Lift Surgery

What Is a Lip Lift?

Lip lift surgery adds fullness to the upper lip by surgically shortening the space below your top lip (the philtrum) and your nose. In doing so, we expose more of the lip’s vermillion border, making the lips appear fuller and allowing you to show more teeth when you smile.

A lip lift does more than just make your upper lip appear fuller, though. Shortening the space between your nose and upper lip can rebalance an area that has become too long or saggy due to aging or genetics. For those whose lips turn down at the corners, a corner lip lift removes a small amount of skin to raise the corners of the mouth and create a more approachable look.

We may suggest combining your lip lift with dermal fillers if you want to enhance fullness in the upper and lower lips.

Lip Lift Pros:

  • It’s a permanent solution for fuller lips.
  • It’s performed under local anesthesia.
  • Results are subtly natural and proportional.

Lip Lift Cons:

  • It leaves a small but unobtrusive scar.
  • Patients experience initial bruising and swelling.
  • Requires 3 to 4 days of downtime.

What Is a Lip Flip?

A lip flip is a popular nonsurgical procedure that adds plumpness and volume to the upper lip using BOTOX® Cosmetic.  Small doses of BOTOX are used to flip the lip slightly upward while preserving your natural lip movement.

Lip Flip Pros:

  • It’s less invasive than a surgical lip lift.
  • It’s a quick and relatively painless treatment.
  • It requires minimal downtime.

Lip Flip Cons:

  • Results aren’t permanent (maintenance is necessary).
  • Mild bruising occurs at the injection sites.
  • It achieves less volume than lip filler.

What About Lip Filler Injections?

Hyaluronic acid-based lip fillers like Restylane® and JUVÉDERM® are artfully injected into thin lips to add volume and improve lip shape, definition, and symmetry. These dermal fillers also soften lines and wrinkles around the mouth.

Lip Filler Pros:

  • Results are highly customizable.
  • It offers instant results with minimal downtime.
  • It is safe when administered by a skilled injector.

Lip Filler Cons:

  • Results aren’t permanent (touch-ups are required).
  • Lumps are rare but possible—you must select a highly qualified injector.

Other Surgical Lip Enhancement Options

Fat transfer to the lips is alternative for patients who want to achieve subtle, natural lip fullness. It uses liposuction to harvest unwanted fat from one area of your body, such as the hips, abdomen, or thighs. The fat is then processed and injected into the lips.

Many of my patients opt for the natural-looking, long-term fullness provided by silicone lip implants. It can be performed using a local anesthetic and requires only small incisions on the inside corners of the mouth. You can see some of my patients’ lip implant results in our photo gallery.

Creating Your Perfect Pout

If you want fuller, natural-looking lips, you have many highly effective options that can be customized to your specific goals. Explore your lip enhancement options by reaching out to us. You can request a personal consultation using our online form or call us at (201) 967-1212 to schedule an appointment.

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