What Is the Difference Between Lip Fillers and Lip Augmentation

There are so many ways to enhance a look. You could try a new hairstyle, experiment with different makeup, or try Botox injections to smooth out fine lines or wrinkles. Another great way to pump things up is to give your lips some volume with either lip fillers or lip augmentation. Both procedures will plump your lips for a fuller yet natural appearance, but how do you know which one is right for you? There are several significant differences between lip fillers and lip augmentation to consider when deciding how to enhance your look.

Lip Injections, or Lip Fillers

Lip fillers—or lip injections, as they are also called—rose to popularity in the 1960s and 1970s and have steadily become one of the most popular dermal fillers used to enhance the lips. Most commonly, lip fillers consist of hyaluronic acid which is a naturally occurring substance in the body and keeps things hydrated, makes your skin more flexible, and supports your joints. Because of this, lip fillers with hyaluronic acid produce long-lasting results and have a low risk for side effects. Everyone has their reasons for getting lip fillers, but aside from seeking a plumper appearance, a few of the more common ones are:

Restoring lip size: As we age our lips may gradually get smaller and thinner and the distance between the corners of your mouth may increase. Lip fillers can help retain your lips’ original shape and fullness a bit longer.

Correcting the shape: It is not uncommon for lips to be slightly different sizes. Lip fillers can aid in evening things out for a more symmetrical look.

Smoothing wrinkles: If you have an expressive face and mouth, wrinkles may form and deepen over time, and injections are a great option to help smooth the lips and make those wrinkles less obvious.

What Fillers Are Used for Lips

As lip fillers and injections have risen in popularity, more and more options have become available to patients. Those that you may be more familiar with are Juvederm®, Restylane®, Belotero, and Prevelle Silk. Both Juvederm and Restylane are available without lidocaine to reduce pain and last up to one year, while Belotero lasts between 6-12 months and Prevelle Silk for just 3-6 months due to a lower concentration of hyaluronic acid.

Lip Fillers at a Glance

Now that we have the what of lip fillers, let’s break it down by the numbers.

Cost: Prices can range from $500-$2500 depending on the brand you choose, amount needed and the facility you visit. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Buddiga for personalized pricing.

Treatment: The average number of units for lip fillers is six but can range from 2-8 depending on your aesthetic goals.

Recovery: You can expect a bit of swelling after the procedure and it can last from 24-48 hours after the treatment. Be sure to schedule an appointment far enough in advance of any special event.

Results: Immediate! You will notice smoother and fuller lips right away.

How long it lasts: Depending on which brand you choose for your lip fillers, you can see lasting results for anywhere from 3-12 months.

Lip Augmentation

Like lip fillers, lip augmentation will give you a fuller, plumper look. However, an augmentation includes more involved procedures such as fat grafting—or fat transfer—lip implants, and or a lip lift. Each of these procedures is used to permanently or temporarily improve the shape, size, and overall look of the lips. Treatment can also be tailored to each patient’s needs to create a fuller look and defined smile. A lip augmentation using your own fat tissue is more easily accepted by the body and can last for years without attention in the future. Some of the most common reasons to get a lip augmentation are:

  • Plumping the lips: Lips can thin as you age and when you smile, a fuller look provides a more youthful appearance.
  • Fuller appearance: Plumper lips can help fill out your overall appearance, not just your lips.
  • Smoothing lines and wrinkles: A lip augmentation can smooth out lines and wrinkles caused by an expressive face as well as aging.

Lip Implants

Lip implants are another great choice when deciding on how to enhance your lips for a more natural look. This in-office procedure is a permanent augmentation that uses plastic implants to plump the lips. Two of the most common are silicone and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene. Of those two, polytetrafluoroethylene is the more favorable option as it is typically softer, easier to compress than silicone and they feel more natural overall. Lip implants are great options for those who have relatively symmetrical lips, enough tissue to stretch over the implant, or prefer to have less frequent procedures or upkeep (lip fillers need to be redone anywhere from 6-12 months).

Lip Augmentation at a Glance

Thinking a lip augmentation might be the right thing for you? Let’s get into specifics.

Cost: The cost of a procedure depends on the office and specific treatment you choose but lip augmentation typically costs between $2,000-$6,000.

Treatment: A lip augmentation is an in-office procedure that requires sterilization of the equipment and optional general anesthesia. Fat grafting typically takes between 1-1.5 hours and implants around 30 minutes.

Recovery: While recovery is a bit longer for these procedures, the effects last much longer and are more permanent than traditional lip fillers. Fat grafting’s immediate recovery time is usually 1-2 days with additional swelling lasting between 5-10 days, and implants involve about 1-3 days of recovery with about one week of swelling.

Results: Lip augmentation is the more long-lasting procedure compared to lip fillers.

How long it lasts: You can enjoy amazing, long-lasting results with both fat grafting and lip augmentation, each lasting five years and seven years respectively.


Both lip fillers and lip augmentation are excellent options for enhancing the appearance of your lips while preserving a natural look. If you are hoping for a treatment with less downtime and a very similar result, lip fillers are the way to go, and Dr. Buddiga and his team at BUDDIGA Family | Allergy | Skin | Immunology are excellent resources for questions and consultations for dermal and lip fillers. His Med Spa is #1 in Fresno and his expertise, professionalism, and care in skin aesthetics are unparalleled. With Dr. Buddiga and his team, you can trust that your skin care and enhancement goals are in good hands.

To refresh your look, be sure to book an appointment today. Fill out the form right here to get started:

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