Lip filler treatments, also known as soft tissue lip augmentation, is a procedure to add volume and contour to the lips. We do this using fillers made of hyaluronic acid (HA). HA is a naturally occurring substance in our bodies that helps our skin and tissues hold in water and moisture. This property is what enables HA fillers to restore volume and fullness to the area treated. HA is an FDA approved facial filler.
One of the greatest benefits of HA fillers is that they are temporary and naturally absorbed by your body, as your body already contains it's own HA.
Most people request to have numbing prior to their procedure. We apply a topical numbing agent which contains lidocaine. Also, most HA fillers contain lidocaine within them, which also helps to make the treatment more comfortable. Most patients report that the procedure is well tolerated without any significant discomfort with topical numbing. Most describe it as a feeling of pressure but not pain when numbed.
Your lips will be cleansed and a topical numbing agent will be applied for about 15 minutes. After your lips are really numb, we remove the numbing agent, cleanse your lips again and begin the injections of the lip filler. The whole process, including the time for numbing, takes about 30-40 minutes.
The most common side effects are bruising, swelling and redness. Sometimes you may feel like there is a small bump inside the lip. Most often, this is a small bruise that has formed from the injection not the filler, and will usually go away in about 10 to 14 days. More serious side effects are rare and include pain and blanching at the injection site. This is very uncommon, but needs to be evaluated by your provider/injector.
There is a saying with lip filler not to love them or hate them for 2 weeks! This is because your lips will undergo different stages of settling in during this time. Lips will swell the most the first 48-72 hours and then gradually begin to subside. The final result is usually seen at about 2 weeks.
We recommend avoiding aspirin and NSAIDs (Motrin, Aleeve, and Advil) for 48 hours prior to your appointment if okay with your medical provider. We also recommend avoiding drinking red wine and taking fish oil supplements and vitamin E for 48 hours prior to your appointment. All of these agents can cause an increased tendency to bruise. Always consult with your healthcare provider before stopping any medications.
If you are prone to outbreaks of cold sores on your lips, we will recommend taking an antiviral medication prior to your procedure, usually starting the day before.
We recommend applying a good moisturizer to your lips for 48 hours afterwards and to avoid drinking from a straw for the next 48 hours. We also recommend holding off on any heavy exercise for the next 48 hours, as this could cause an increase in swelling. Otherwise you are free to live your life and enjoy your new lips!
If you are unhappy with your lips for any reason, the lip filler can be quickly dissolved with an enzyme called hyaluronidase.
The duration of lip filler varies from person to person lasting anywhere from 3 to 9 plus months, with the average lasting 4-6 months. Typically your lips can be maintained either by mini touch-up appointments every 3 months or full length appointments about 2-3 times per year. It really varies from person to person.
If you are a minor, pregnant or nursing, you are not a candidate for lip filler. Similarly, if you have an allergy to any of the ingredients of the filler product, you are not a candidate for this procedure. However, as HA is a naturally occurring substance in the body, allergic reactions are rare.