Is fat transfer to lips a good option or not?

I have heard that fat transfer can be used for lip augmentation but will the results last as long as filler? Is it a good option for lips?


F, 41, New Hampshire

Tags:woman age 35-44 lips injection fat transfer

Fat transfer for lip augmentation can be a divisive topic among plastic surgeons because early results weren’t particularly effective and required too much effort.

Today, fat grafting for lip enhancement has come a long way in terms of fat harvesting and preparation techniques. Prior to the fat transfer procedure we add platelet rich plasma to the extracted fat which results in significantly improved volume retention.

While it’s often preferable to use a traditional hyaluronic acid based dermal filler like Juvederm (which requires no surgical procedure to extract fat) your own fat injections make an excellent filler for producing fuller lips and long-lasting natural results.

It’s important to have realistic expectations about how much of the fat will be retained in the lips after the procedure. The chance that 100% of the transferred fat will survive is very low, but the results generally last much longer than with traditional dermal fillers.

Both hyaluronic acid-based injectable fillers and fat grafting for lip augmentation are safe procedures, each with their own pluses and minuses. I suggest you schedule an initial consultation with a local board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss which lip augmentation procedure makes the most sense for your lips and specific goals.

Each option for lip augmentation has its own advantages and disadvantages.

FDA-approved hyaluronic acid dermal fillers offer excellent, natural looking results with minimal pain and swelling. If you’ve never had lip augmentation or dermal filler injections, I would suggest starting with a product like Juvederm just to make sure you like the results of having fuller lips. If you’re not happy with what you see, hyaluronic acid dermal fillers can instantly be removed with a follow-up injection of hyaluronidase.

If you’re already experienced with non-surgical procedures for lip augmentation, then I encourage you to explore a fat grafting solution.

In the past many patients experienced negative or short-lasting results when transferring fat cells to the lips. Today the techniques have been combined with stem cell technology to produce a far more reliable, minimally-invasive cosmetic surgery option. The results can be beautiful and long lasting.

If you’re looking for an even longer-lasting solution than fat grafting, I encourage you to discuss permanent lip augmentation with your plastic surgeon. Lip implants are safe, simple procedures that produce permanent results with minimal postoperative recovery times.

Fat transfer CAN be used for lip enhancement, but the cost and effort involved are too great for most patients to make it a realistic option in my practice.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are a better option. They last anywhere from 6 months- 1 year and stimulate collagen production where injected. 

-Lauren, Patient Coordinator

Hi amfn99

Fat transfers have been tried for the lips but have not been that effective in the long run.


Scott Kasden has 3 Lip Augmentation before & afters:

Lip Augmentation before image performed by Dr. Scott KasdenLip Augmentation after image performed by Dr. Scott KasdenLip Augmentation before image performed by Dr. Scott KasdenLip Augmentation after image performed by Dr. Scott KasdenLip Augmentation before image performed by Dr. Scott KasdenLip Augmentation after image performed by Dr. Scott Kasden

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I  no longer perform fat transfer to the lips, although I do use it for other  parts of the face and body. This is because there is a lot of postop swelling and there is a high rate of absorption. In addition there can be lumps palpable. It is so much easier to use Juvederm which does not require any surgery, and you can return to work almost immediately.