Fat Transfer To The Lips

Appropriately full lips can enhance facial balance and give a youthful appearance. Lip augmentation can be achieved by a variety of means. Injectable fillers have come a long way in their ability to quickly and reliably augment the lips but some patients just do not want to use synthetic materials and prefer to use their own fat to augment the size of their lips and improve the aesthetic balance of their lips. The advantage of using your own fact is that it is often abundant, feels natural in the lips and after two to four procedures is very long-lasting if not permanent.

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The Surgery

Fat grafting to the lips as a stand-alone procedure can be performed in the office under local anaesthetic. It is also often performed in hospital in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation procedures such as facelift surgery.


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The Procedure

Local anaesthetic is placed in the donor harvest site and in the lips. Fat is generally harvested from the abdomen or thighs by gentle syringe suction through a tiny cut. A Steri-Strip is placed over the cut and this is left until it falls off by itself. The fat is cleansed and refined and then injected into the lips via tiny pinholes.

There are no bandages or dressings to the lips. Washing and showering is encouraged as soon as desired.

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The Recovery

The lips are certainly swollen from fat grafting to the lips – the period of time taken for the swelling to go down varies depending on the amount of augmentation desired.

Pain is minimal to non-existent. Most people are back at work within 10 days. There are no stitches to remove and bruising is minimal.


Fat grafting to the lips can be performed at any age.

Anyone with thin lips and disproportionate lips with appropriate normal length of the upper lip is appropriate. This is the same group of people as who are suitable for injectable fillers to the lips.

Another group of people who are highly suitable for fat transfer to the lips are those allergic to fillers. Of course, fat must be available to transfer and the occasional person has very little to no abdominal or thigh fat and so fat cannot be found to do the transfer.

Fat grafting to the lips may be performed in the office under local anaesthetic. If desired, it can be done in the hospital under general anaesthetic, often as part of an overall facial rejuvenation procedure or together with such procedures as a lip lift or chin implant.

Fillers are quick, have a quick recovery and are long lasting and less expensive. In the vast majority of cases this long-lasting effect is achieved from one procedure. Fat is natural and there is potential for permanent augmentation, but this often requires two or more procedures – each procedure lays down a base of fat.

Tiny unnoticeable nicks are placed on the abdomen or thighs for harvesting the fat via a syringe. There are no incisions or telltale signs on the lips following lip augmentation with fat.

There are no Medicare rebates as a lip augmentation is a cosmetic procedure.

Dr Nettle and our practice nurse will see you on day 10 after the surgery and then as needed to make sure that everything is going well.

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Fat Transfer To The Lips