Maybe you feel your lips have lost a little of their “oomph” as you age or you’ve always been bothered that your upper lip seems much thinner than your lower one. Whatever the reason for considering lip augmentation procedures, it’s important to discuss the costs upfront with your physician to ensure you can get the look you want without putting unnecessary strain on your pocketbook.
A variety of choices exist for lip augmentation. Some common approaches include:
- Injectable fillers such as hyaluronic acid, human collagen or bovine collagen, which help to add volume and shape but act as a temporary solution.
- Lip implants, which consist of porous implants, connective tissue or fat that is surgically implanted into your lips for a permanent and lasting effect.
- Local flap grafts that involve taking tissue from your mouth to create a shorter, longer or more full-looking lip.
- Surgical lip augmentation to repair cleft lip and palate as a means to create a more natural-looking lip.
Injectable Lip Augmentation Costs
A variety of injectable filler types are available on the market, and the price of each depends on the materials used and how long they last. For example, bovine collagen, a form of collagen extracted from cows, typically lasts between three and four weeks and is less expensive than bovine collagen combined with long-lasting polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), a lip enhancer than can last up to five years. For this reason, it’s important to consider the long-term investment aspects of lip augmentation.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost for collagen injections was $520 in 2011. However, Artefill, a form of PMMA, can cost on average $1,253, but as much as $1,453, according to Plastic Surgery Portal.
The cost of a filler can include:
- Physician time
- Material cost
- Cost of accessory materials, such as numbing cream and needles
“When you consider a filler, try to figure out the costs to you right now versus costs over time,” recommends Dominic Brandy, MD, a board-certified cosmetic surgeon and founder of The Skin Center medical spa in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “Try to think of the amount of physician visits, costs and results you are hoping to see over time when selecting the best filler for you.”
Surgical Lip Augmentation Costs
If you choose the surgical route for lip augmentation, you can expect these procedures to cost more than injectables. However, they have the benefit of being long-lasting and permanent in many instances. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost associated with non-injectable lip augmentation is $1,650. Included in this cost is:
- Physician time
- Surgical materials
- Surgery suite time
- Anesthesia costs
If you are uncertain of the breakdown of each cost, your surgeon should provide these to you to help you better understand where each aspect of your payment is going.
Some patients utilize lip augmentation procedures as a means to surgically correct cleft lip and palate or trauma from accident and injury. In some instances, insurance companies may cover surgeries of this type. Insurance companies do not typically, however, cover the costs for surgery performed strictly on a cosmetic basis.
Financing Considerations for Lip Augmentation
In today’s tough financial times, it’s understandable that lip augmentation can represent a large line item on your budget. You can speak with your physician concerning ways you can more comfortably finance a procedure. For example, fillers are often used on other areas of the face, as well. You can ask your physician if a discount is available for using the filler product on both your face and lips.
Many plastic surgeons also offer financing plans, such as installment payments, to help make the costs of surgery more feasible. Surgeons may have independent deals with financing companies that allow you to put a certain amount down and then finish installment payments over an agreed-upon time period.
While your physical beauty is important, it’s also important to consider the implications for lip augmentation, both from a health and financial standpoint. When you feel you have thoroughly discussed your payment options and expectations for the procedure, you are more likely to experience feelings of success — rather than buyer’s remorse — following lip augmentation.