Lip Enhancement

The Ultimate Guide to Lip Enhancement

Last fact-checked: 2 January 2021

Lip enhancements are an effective way of reducing fine lines around the mouth and increasing the fullness of poorly-defined lips, which may be hereditary or a result of aging.

Various lip augmentation methods can be used to improve their appearance using FDA-approved injectables or surgically inserting implants or certain fillers into the lips.

Learn more about how you can improve the appearance of your lips for less at one of our verified global clinics in top medical travel destinations like Mexico, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Turkey or Bali. 

Am I Suitable for Lip Enhancement?

In order to be suitable for lip enhancements, you should be in good general health and free from cold sores.

There are a variety of surgical and non-invasive options available to you. Do bear in mind that some of the non-surgical procedures may also be permanent, so make sure you consult with a reputable practitioner prior to finalizing your treatment options.

What Kinds of Lip Enhancement Procedures Are Available?


Injectables are usually performed as an outpatient basis in your doctor’s surgery or at a clinic or outpatient center. Numerous options are available:

  • Fillers, including Restylane® with lidocaine anesthetic to reduce injection pain, is the first lip filler with FDA approval and can be completed in minutes with no downtime in recovery.
  • Artefill® is a new type of semi-permanent, synthetic dermal filler made of PMMA suspended in bovine collagen. This lasts longer than many cosmetic fillers and is most often used to treat static facial lines.
  • Collagen has been used since the 1980s and became the benchmark for lip augmentation. It requires an allergy test; the results aren’t permanent.
  • Autologen is made from skin and collagen extracted from your own body. Although there’s no risk of an allergic reaction, it’s only a temporary measure (a good option for a first-timer, unsure whether to commit).

Surgical Options:

While fillers are still the more popular option, lip implants and surgeries offer a long-term solution for a plump pout and can work out more affordably than having injections every few months. It’s wise to try fillers before opting for a permanent implant, to make sure you like the look.

Lip implant surgery takes about an hour to perform under local or general anesthetic and is a relatively simple procedure. Four small incisions are made at the corners of the mouth and a thin tunnel is created which will accommodate the cylindrical silicone implant which is threaded through the lip. When the surgeon is happy with the placement, the ends are trimmed to the desired size and the incisions neatly closed with a thin, dissolvable thread. Sutures outside the mouth are removed after 10 days, and any internal sutures will dissolve around the same time. Depending on the extent of swelling and bruising, recovery time is between one and two weeks and your lips could be numb for up to three months post-surgery.

One of the many benefits of implants is that you can select the exact size you desire. It’s important that the lower lip is about one and a half times the size of the top lip to give you a youthful, fuller look. If the top lip is too big, it’s what gives the dreaded ‘trout pout’ which doesn’t compliment anyone.

Implants are usually made of silicone or Gore-Tex® and give a smoother look than fillers which may look irregular. Alloderm® is also a popular material for lip implants; it's a sheet of highly-screened, processed collagen harvested from cadavers under strict conditions. The effects of Alloderm® last between six and 12 months and, like most fillers, are eventually absorbed by your body.

Because they don’t shrink and are never absorbed by the body, Gore-Tex® and SoftForm® are synthetic options with more permanent results. They are made into small tubes which are inserted by a needle and are held in place by scar tissue. In rare cases, the body can reject these synthetic implants, in which case they can be removed.

Fat grafting is a popular option for people who feel more comfortable using fat from their own body, usually the abdomen. Fat is harvested, prepared and injected into the lips with a needle at several points in the lips. The effects become permanent in around half of the patients who try it, but there's a chance it may be absorbed by the body. Consult with your specialist for further details.

How Much Can I Save with Medical Departures?

You will usually find that traveling hundreds or even thousands of miles specifically for something like fillers will not be cost-effective, as you'll be spending more on travel expenses than you'll actually save. However, it may be worthwhile if you are undergoing a more expensive surgical procedure.

Many patients also find that it makes sense to undergo treatment if they are planning to travel abroad anyway, for a holiday or on business. 

Typically, patients booking at one of our verified partner clinics can save between 50% and 70% compared to the same treatment back home. 

To see some of the latest prices on offer, check out these recommended global clinics for lip enhancements:

How Do I Get Started?

First, take a look at our recommended clinics above or find our full list of global lip enhancement clinics here

Booking an appointment with Medical Departures is made quick and simple; follow the steps on our site to secure the best prices online for your treatment or get in touch with our Customer Care Team who are on standby 24 hours a day. Or if you are ready to book your appointment, you can do so right here any time of the day or night, at no charge to you.


Lockett, Eleesha, MS. All About Lip Implants. Healthline. 15 January 2020.

Surgical and nonsurgical options to plump up your lips. American Society of Plastic Surgery. Website accessed:  2 January 2021.

Lip Augmentation. WebMD. 22 January 2018.

Herndon, Jaime, MS, MPH, MFA. Restylane: What You Should Know. Healthline. 15 May 2018.