What happens before a lip filler procedure?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hasn’t approved the use of lip fillers in anyone under the age of 21. As a result, you must be at least 21 years old to get FDA-approved lip fillers.
Before your lip filler procedure, you’ll meet with your healthcare provider. They’ll assess many factors, including your mental health and any social conditions. Your healthcare provider may ask the following questions:
- Why do you want lip fillers?
- What’re your expectations?
- Do you think a lot about imagined or very small defects with your body?
- Is a spouse, partner or friend encouraging you to get lip fillers?
Your physical health and the shape of your face are also important. Your healthcare provider will evaluate your general health, including any preexisting health conditions or risk factors. Talk to your healthcare provider about any allergies you have, too. And tell them about any prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications that you’re taking, including herbal supplements.
Your healthcare provider will examine and measure your face. They’ll also take photographs of your face and lips for your medical record.
When considering the size of your lips, it’s important to imagine how you’ll look. Think about getting a new haircut. You may show your hairstylist a photograph to give them an idea of how you’d like your hair to look. However, your hairstylist might tell you that your hair won’t look like the photograph because of your hair texture, hairline, volume or length. You may want your lips to look like a celebrity’s lips, but it might not be achievable because your face shape and features are unique. Ask your healthcare provider if bringing in a picture is helpful. But be prepared to thoroughly describe what you want your lips to look like if your healthcare provider doesn’t want to reference a photograph.
What happens during a lip filler procedure?
During a lip filler procedure, your healthcare provider will apply a topical anesthetic to your lips. The topical anesthetic will numb your lips so you won’t feel any pain and the process is as comfortable as possible. The numbing creams often consist of benzocaine, lidocaine and tetracaine (BLT). About 15 to 30 minutes later, your lips should be numb.
If you have a BLT allergy, your healthcare provider may give you a nerve block injection to numb your lips. About 15 to 30 minutes after the injection, your lips should be numb.
Your healthcare provider will then use a thin needle to inject lip filler into any or all parts of your lips, including the edges of your lips (vermillion border), the curve in the center of your upper lip (Cupid’s bow) and your oral commissures (corners of your mouth). You won’t feel any pain, but you may feel a pinching sensation, and your eyes may water. On average, your healthcare provider will insert 1 milliliter (mL) of lip filler into your lips, which is about one-fifth of a teaspoon. The needle won’t go deeper than 2.5 millimeters (mm) into your skin.
Your healthcare provider may apply an ice pack to your lips throughout the procedure to minimize swelling and bruising.
The entire procedure may take as little as 30 minutes or as long as two hours.
What happens after a lip filler procedure?
After the procedure is complete, your healthcare provider may gently massage your lips so that they absorb the filler. They may continue to ice your lips as well.
Your healthcare provider will monitor you for up to 15 minutes to ensure you don’t experience any side effects, including dizziness, nausea or substantial bleeding. Once they determine that you no longer require monitoring, they’ll let you go home (discharge you). A local anesthetic won’t make you tired or groggy, so you can drive yourself home. However, you may want to have a family member or friend drive you home just in case.
Your lips may be swollen, sensitive and bruised. Swelling usually goes away after 24 to 48 hours, but it may take up to a week.
Your healthcare provider will also schedule a follow-up appointment about two weeks after the procedure to monitor your lips. They may take another picture for your medical record so you can see what your lips looked like before the procedure and after they’ve healed.
The following tips will help your lips as they heal:
- Apply an ice pack for up to 10 minutes to reduce inflammation, pain and swelling.
- Avoid wearing lipstick, lip balm or any other product on your lips for at least 24 hours.
- Refrain from touching or puckering your lips, including kissing and sipping from a straw.
- Be careful brushing your teeth.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid exercising for at least 24 hours.