Does Fat Injections To The Lips Work?

Q: My friends had fat taken from her stomach and put into her upper lip lines.  Is this a procedure you do or recommend?

A: The search for a long-lasting injectable filler to the lips has naturally led to the use of one’s own fat. Even the thinnest person has a little bit of fat which can be harvested and recycled to the lips. In injecting fat to the lips, one accepts two caveats with its use. First, it is good for bulk filling (making the lips overall bigger) but is not useful for injecting into individual lip lines. It is not like synthetic injectable fillers which are injected using very small needles and can be selectively placed into a line as thin as the width of the needle. Fat is injected with a very large needle as the material is quite thick and does not come out in a true linear flow pattern. Secondly, its take or how well it survives is unpredictable. While the theory and expectation with its use is some or complete permanency, that outcome varies amongst different patients. One can not predict whether any one specific patient will have a long-lasting result. My experience has been to overfill (which can look really overfilled with the lip swelling that happens from the procedure), taking into account that there will be some fat resorption. By three months the size of the lip, and the amount of remaining fat, will then be permanent.  

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana