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Lip Enhancement

Lip enlargement or augmentation is designed to provide more fullness and an improved shape to the lips. Today, full and voluminous lips are often considered a sign of youth and beauty. If your lips are naturally thin or beginning to lose shape, Dr. David Bottger — our board-certified plastic surgeon — offers surgical and non-surgical options at our Philadelphia practice to refine the lip proportions to your desires. Lip augmentation can generally benefit patients who have innately thin lips or who have lost lip volume from the natural aging process. To restore a more voluptuous and youthful lip shape, four techniques are commonly utilized: AlloDerm™, fat grafting or injection, dermal or fat injection, and cosmetic injectables including Restylane® and JUVÉDERM™.

What Concerns Can Lip Augmentation Improve?

Lip augmentation can soften and enhance the lip shape in many ways depending on the exact concerns you want to improve. From correcting asymmetries to balancing the proportions of the lips with your surrounding facial features, the benefits achieved with lip augmentation vary and our team can advise you on the best technique to achieve your goals. In general, lip enhancement can:

The most ideal lip treatment for your needs will depend, in part, on your expectations for the results. If you would prefer a non-surgical approach, injectables and fillers may be your best solution. However, if your priority is achieving the most long-term results, our fat transfer or dermal grafting options can be the best method of lip enhancement. We will be able to help create your treatment plan after your initial consultation with our team.

Is Lip Augmentation Right for Me?

One of the key benefits of lip augmentation is that there are both surgical and non-surgical options available for each patient; therefore, it’s likely that any individual who wants to enhance their lip shape can find an appropriate treatment for their concerns. When considering lip augmentation, it’s important to:

  • Have a positive outlook on treatment
  • Maintain realistic expectations for the results
  • Communicate your wishes and desires with your plastic surgeon or lip injector
  • Understand the need for touch-up treatments to preserve the outcome if you opt for non-surgical injections

When you meet with Dr. Bottger and his cosmetic surgery staff, you will have the opportunity to view before-and-after photos and learn more about our practice. If necessary, we can also help you choose financing for your treatment.

What are My Lip Augmentation Options?


AlloDerm™ lip augmentation uses a product derived from human skin or dermis, which has been treated to remove all cellular components. This “collagen matrix” serves as a scaffolding into which the body replaces its own collagen. Eventually, the AlloDerm™ resorbs itself, leaving the body’s own new collagen to produce the result. Placement of the AlloDerm™ is done in the office under local anesthesia. Small incisions are made at the corners of the mouth, and an instrument is used to create a tunnel for the graft and pull it into position. There is inevitably some loss of volume in the lip augmentation over time; however, most patients maintain approximately 50% of the result long term.

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting to the lips, or fat injection lip augmentation, involves using liposuction to remove fat from an area of the body — like the abdomen, hips, or thighs — using a small cannula attached to a syringe. The harvested fat is subsequently injected into the lips in small strands. A certain percentage of the graft may resorb or dissolve, requiring a subsequent procedure for optimal improvement. For fat that has successfully “taken,” results can be permanent.

Lip Dermal Fat Grafting

Dermal grafting to the lips involves excising a piece of skin with its underlying fat, usually in an area of a previous scar — such as a C-section scar. The superficial layer of the skin surface (epidermis) is then removed and the graft is placed in the same fashion as an AlloDerm™ graft. Some resorption is expected, but a reasonable percentage of volume enhancement is permanent.

Dermal or Facial Fillers

Restylane® and JUVÉDERM™ are each an injectable dermal filler that utilizes a biocompatible gel made of hyaluronic acid. This will provide any degree of enlargement desired for a period of up to six months. Restylane® and JUVÉDERM™ injections are performed in the office and require a local anesthetic.

How Long Do Lip Augmentation Results Last?

Some treatments, including AlloDerm™, fat injections, and dermal grafting, provide a lifetime enhancement in the lips while others may only provide a temporary result. Cosmetic injectables such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, Restylane®, and JUVÉDERM™ each last a few months before touch-up sessions may be necessary. Dr. Bottger can inform you of the exact timeframe for each injectable depending on which products can most effectively treat your concerns. With neurotoxins like BOTOX® Cosmetic, which can be injected into the upper lip to increase “lip show” and create a more noticeable pout, the outcome can last four to six months. Hyaluronic-acid based fillers, such as Restylane® and JUVÉDERM™, can last relatively longer and provide enhancement for up to 6 to 12 months.

Please contact David Bottger, MD for an initial consultation at our office in Newtown Square. He’ll listen to all of your needs, goals, and concerns. Our team will also answer your questions, inform you of your options, and recommend an individually tailored treatment plan.