Autologous Fat Grafting for Lip Augmentation

Autologous fat grafting for the purpose of lip augmentation is coming into favor. There are a number of aspects which make it a better option than traditional fillers and implants. This is not to suggest that autologous fat grafting for lip augmentation is necessarily better. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with this procedure just like there is with any other. However, its advantages are making it a great choice for more and more people.

A person may undergo a lip augmentation when they want fuller lips. Individuals born with thin lips may opt to undergo a cosmetic procedure to increase their size.  Autolgous fat grafting is one option. Implants and the use of artificial filers are others.

Lip augmentation via autologous fat grafting begins with a doctor harvesting fat from the lower half of a patient’s body. It is typically drawn from the hips, thighs or abdomen. The harvested fat is then processed. Processing involves separating the fat cells with the fluid found in the fat. After the processing component of the procedure has been completed, the fat cells are injected into the lips.

In the past, injectable fillers and implants were used to augment lips. These two methods are still used today and quite often. The use of autologous fat grafting, however, is relatively new, at least for this particular purpose.

Autologous fat grafting is an alternative to traditional lip augmentation procedures.  One of the primary reasons it is becoming increasing popular is because the filler used is completely natural. It’s person’s own fat. This eliminates the possibility of the body rejecting it. The body will sometimes reject fillers made from foreign substances. Autologous fat grafting also helps to create a more natural appearance then implants. It also feels softer.

Persons of any age can undergo autologous fat grafting for lip augmentation.  Anyone who is not happy with the fullness of their lips may be a good candidate for lip augmentation, whether it is autologous fat grafting, an implant or fillers.

Lip augmentation is a procedure that is more common amongst women then men. It is performed on people of all ages. While some people will want to have their lips augmented after they have grown older, to achieve a more youthful look, there are plenty of young people who will opt for the procedure to obtain a fuller pout.

Lip augmentation via autologous fat grafting can be a successful procedure, though it isn’t always. When it is done correctly, the results can be very natural looking and a person’s appearance can be much improved. In order to achieve the best results, however, it is important that the doctor performing the procedure is knowledgeable and experienced. When autologous lip augmentation via fat grafting is not performed correctly the result can be an appearance which lacks symmetry and is unattractive. Sometimes, the outcome will be negative at no fault of the doctor. For instance, the body’s reaction to the fat injection may simply yield unfavorable results. Re-absorption of the fat back into the body can be a problem as well.

Autolgous fat grafting is referred to by other names. Some of the most common alternatives include free fat transfer, fat transplantation, micro-lip injection, volume restoration and fat injections.


Autologous fat grafting for lip augmentation is an outpatient procedure. After a patient has undergone it, they will be allowed to go home the same day. Below, we will take a step-by-step look at the procedure.

Step 1: Numb the area- The doctor will numb the patient’s lips before the fat is injected into them. A local anesthetic will be used.

Step 2: Harvest the fat- The next step is to harvest the fat. The doctor will take the needed fat for the procedure from the lower half of the patient’s body. It will typically come from the hips, thighs or abdomen.

Step 3: Fat processing- The fat is then processed. When fat is processed, the fat cells and the fluid found in the fat will be separated and the fat cells extracted.

Step 4: Grafting- The fat cells are then injected into the lips.

Read more details about PRP for fat transfers.


After the procedure, the patient will likely to experience some pain and discomfort at the site the fat was harvested from and also the injection site. A prescription or over-the-counter pain reliever will be prescribed by the patient’s doctor to relieve it. There may also be some swelling and bruising at both sites.

A person will be instructed by their doctor to take it easy for about a week. No vigorous activity is allowed. Inflammation may last as long as two weeks.  This procedure is considered permanent, though it may be necessary for an individual to have multiple procedures, in cases where the fat reabsorbs into the body.


The cost of autologous fat grafting will vary based on a number of factors. They include the reputation of the doctor, his or her experience and where they are based. Certain parts of the country are more expensive than others. A person, however, may expect to pay around $2750 for the procedure.


There are a number of complications that may occur after a person has undergone autologous fat grafting for lip augmentation. The injected fat may become hard and lumpy. This is not only unattractive but can be quite uncomfortable. The fat injected into the lips may also reabsorb in the body. Most doctors have a re-absorption rate of about 50%. Therefore, a person’s initial results are not likely to be their final ones.

 Questions to Ask Your Doctor

1. Am I a good candidate for this procedure?

2. Is this procedure a better option than a lip implant or other fillers?

3. What are the risks?

4. How much experience do you have with this procedure?

5. What happens if I don’t like the results?