lips being implanted with a filler
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Last Updated On: March 29, 2024

Lip Implants vs. Lip Fillers: What’s The Difference?

Published on: May 11, 2023

There are several available options for people considering lip augmentation. Lip fillers and implants are two popular procedures to achieve a fuller, more defined pout. However, while they may seem similar, these two techniques have some fundamental differences. 

This article will explore the differences between lip fillers and lip augmentation with implants, including their methods, results, and recovery. We will not compare these cosmetic procedures with others, such as lip lifts vs. lip fillers, as that is a topic for a separate article.

About Lip Fillers

Lip fillers are injectable gel substances that add volume or create a specific shape to the lips. The injected gel fills the soft tissues under the skin and remains in place to create the desired contour. The effect duration varies depending on the composition of the lip filler, ranging from a few months to several years.

In the cosmetic market, there are various products available for injectable cosmetic procedures. Selecting the appropriate gel based on the area that requires correction is essential. It is crucial because different regions of the face have unique characteristics, such as thickness, structure, and blood supply. 

The most popular fillers for lip correction are those based on hyaluronic acid. This substance binds water molecules, giving tissues volume and elasticity. Hyaluronic acid rarely causes allergic reactions and side effects, as the body naturally produces it. In addition, the product is eliminated from the body after 6–12 months, allowing correct treatment results easily.

Several hyaluronic acid-based fillers are commonly used for lip augmentation. The most popular ones are the following:

About Lip Implants

Lip implants are a viable option for those seeking a more long-term lip augmentation solution than injectables. Lip implants, usually made of silicone, can be easily inserted through small incisions hidden in the mouth’s corners, and come in various shapes and sizes.

While larger implants can provide more significant results, smaller implants can achieve a more subtle, natural-looking enhancement while correcting lip asymmetries. The advantage of lip implants vs. injections is that they offer a more long-lasting solution for lip augmentation compared to injectable fillers, which usually require repeat treatments every few months, a great benefit to have when considering this procedure as well as others like under-eye wrinkle reduction. However, since lip implants are a surgical procedure, they carry some risks, like infection, implant migration, and scarring.

Overall, lip implants can be a safe and effective option for those seeking to enhance their lips and achieve a more defined, balanced facial appearance. It is vital, however, that patients consult with a qualified and experienced surgeon to determine if lip implants are the right choice for them and to discuss the potential benefits and risks of the procedure.

Lip Implants vs. Lip Fillers: Key Differences

Both lip injections and lip implants are outpatient procedures. However, they differ in terms of invasiveness, downtime, time delay for the final effect, results duration, side effects, risks, additional benefits, cost, and final appearance.


  • Lip fillers are minimally invasive and require only a few injections using a microneedle. Pain is minimal and can be numbed with lidocaine, a local anesthetic.
  • The insertion of lip implants is a comparatively more invasive process that involves creating small incisions concealed in the corners of the mouth. Although anesthesia is administered during the procedure, patients might experience some level of discomfort immediately after the surgery.


  • Lip fillers require no downtime, and minor swelling or bruising can resolve independently within a few days.
  • Lip implants require moderate recovery time (typically 2–3 weeks) with absorbable stitches and mild bruising or swelling post-procedure.

How Fast Results Appear:

  • Lip injections produce immediate results, with minor swelling altering the appearance for the first 1–2 days.
  • Lip implants take 1–2 weeks to show results once the swelling subsides, and incisions typically heal within three weeks.

Results Duration:

  • Lip fillers are temporary, with results lasting between 6 and 12 months. However, results can be extended with subsequent treatment sessions.
  • Lip implants produce permanent results with proper maintenance.

Side Effects and Risks:

  • Lip injections may cause temporary bruising or swelling at the injection site.
  • Lip implants carry rare risks, such as infection, allergic reaction, implant shifting, and lip asymmetry, mitigated by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Additional Benefits:

  • Lip fillers can address wrinkles and fine lines around the lips.
  • Lip implants correct thin or imbalanced lips.


  • Lip injections may cost less upfront but require periodic maintenance.
  • Lip implants have a higher initial cost but do not require maintenance costs.

What Is The Recovery Like for Both Procedures?

The recovery process for lip fillers vs. lip implant procedures differs in several ways, with both options having their own features.

Lip fillers:

  1. No downtime;
  2. Minor bruising or swelling may occur but resolves within a couple of days;
  3. Results are nearly immediate, but minor swelling may alter the look of the lips for the first 1–2 days;
  4. Temporary results lasting between 6 and 12 months;
  5. Subsequent treatment sessions can extend the results.

Lip implants:

  1. Recovery time of 2–3 weeks;
  2. One or two absorbable stitches may be necessary;
  3. Moderate bruising and swelling may occur post-procedure;
  4. Results become apparent after 1–2 weeks once the swelling subsides;
  5. Permanent results, with no maintenance costs but a higher initial cost;
  6. Incisions should heal within three weeks, revealing the final result of the surgery.


In conclusion, both lip fillers and lip implants are popular options for enhancing the appearance of the lips. Lip fillers, which are minimally invasive and temporary, can provide immediate results with little to no downtime. In contrast, lip implants, which are more invasive and permanent, offer longer-lasting results without regular maintenance. 

While both procedures have benefits and risks, patients should carefully consider their goals and consult a qualified and experienced professional to determine which option is best for them, as well as which product, like Fillmed and others.


Are lip injections the same as lip fillers?

People often want to compare lip injections vs. fillers, but the terms “lip injections” and “lip fillers” can be used interchangeably, referring to the same cosmetic procedure of injecting a dermal filler into the lips to add volume and enhance their shape. So there is no difference between lip injections and fillers.

Is Botox a filler or injectable?

Botox is an injectable, not a filler. Instead, it is a brand name for a type of botulinum toxin used to temporarily paralyze muscles and reduce wrinkles and fine lines forming.