“I really want my lips done, but I don’t want them to look weird or fake or like a duck!”
Guess what? I don’t want you to look like that either!
Lip injections can be a scary thing- I know- I have done it! Picking the right injector is 99% of the equation. The other 1% is luck!
What product to use? How many sessions? Do I need to dissolve old filler? How long will it last? Can you get rid of these lines around my mouth?
All of these things can be addressed, just maybe not all with 1 syringe and 1 session. There are a lot of different factors that play into getting lips that you want. Realistic expectations about what your lips look like naturally and what you want them to look like is step one. There are only so many changes or imperfections that can be corrected. A stepwise approach to revitalizing the entire mouth region is the most beneficial. Lips that need better symmetry, more definition, increased volume, or even total mouth rejuvenation can take several different sessions with different types of product.
Lip filler can solve a variety of issues.
Some people only need increased definition of their lip border to keep lipstick in place better, others want hydration of dry and deflated lips. Then there are those who really want increased volume and more show to their smile.
In my practice, I use only hyaluronic acid fillers. I use Restylane, Juvederm, and Versa products. These fillers can be dissolved using another injection of a product called Hylenex. Being able to dissolve is good for safety concerns and also if the filler isn’t placed where it should be, you don’t like how it looks, or we need to start over with a clean slate. Sometimes after years of lip injections the filler can migrate outside of the red part of the lip and out into what we call the white border (above the lip). This is the what causes the duck lip look. Fullness in the upper lip outside of the red lip part itself is never a good look. Dissolving lip filler can be a great option for clearing the canvas to start again. Filler can also cause nodules or even what appear to be blisters of filler inside the mouth. Hylenex is injected and massaged and typically dissolves filler in 1-2 days. After 2 weeks, the lips can be reinjected if desired.
Downtime After Lip Filler
The downtime after lip filler is real- please don’t think you can come get your lips injected on Friday and be in a wedding on Saturday. No matter who you are, how good I am, or what product we are using you will swell and bruise. You will look crazy and you will freak out when I show you the mirror at the end. I have poked you many times in one of the most vascular areas of your body and guess what- you will swell and bruise!! You think it looks crazy now- just wait until tomorrow! I do my best to really be honest with people about how crazy lips will react to the trauma I just put them through. If you think your husband, friends, kids, dog isn’t going to notice- you are wrong! The swelling can be uneven and the bruising can be dark. 3-5 days is how long I tell people they will look a bit crazy. At 1 week, you will begin to think they look normal. At 2 weeks, you will miss the swelling and want more!
Ok- but how badly does it hurt?
Well, I would tell you 95% of my patients tell me it is so much better than they thought or have experienced in the past. I use the strongest topical numbing cream that can be made. I use a distraction tool during injection, and really if you want them you will be tough!!
How often do I have to do this?
Like I explained earlier, a lot of that really depends on your goals. The filler typically last about 6-9 months. If we are simply hydrating or defining borders you can probably get by with once a year. If we are really trying to reshape the lip, increase volume or rehab the entire area then 2-3 sessions the first year is maybe what it will take to get to our goal and then 1 session a year after that for maintenance is pretty typical.
I typically only inject one syringe of filler into the lips at a time. There are other areas around the mouth that can benefit from support and sculpting. When I assess your lips, I am also looking at your chin, your profile and how well it is balanced and the entire mouth region to see if there are other structural things that need rejuvenation. The lines surrounding the lips, the downturned corners of the mouth, the jowls- all of these areas contribute to making the lips appear more aged. Other areas of treatment with filler may be suggested at the same time.