What You Should Know About Lip Injections

1. Each doctor has his own technique and not all are alike.  Dr. Damery has been augmenting lips for years and has seen a fair number of bad jobs.  He and most physicians believe that the easiest and most natural lip filler is a hyaluronic acid (HA) based product such as one of the Juvéderm products, or Restylane.  Juvéderm Volbella, one of the newer HA fillers, was designed specifically for the lips and is great for targeting fine lines and volume loss. Its effect is subtle and may not be the right choice for everyone.  Younger patients tend to want a little more volume and so another product such as Juvederm Ultra may be a better choice. 

2. What happens if you don’t like your lips afterwards?  One of the benefits of the HA fillers is that you can completely dissolve it if you decide that they’re not for you.  An enzyme called hyaluronidase can be injected and over the course of a few minutes to 24 hours it will dissolve your filler.  In contrast, the permanent and semi-permanent fillers are not readily reversible, and little can be done to fix them. 

3. It can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 to get your lips done, depending on the doctor and region you live in.  Dr. Damery does not believe it should break your bank to get your lips injected and so his prices are very reasonable.

4. How long do injected lips last?  Typically, HA fillers last about four to six months using standard HA fillers.  You may get up to double that time if you choose your HA filler wisely. Studies suggest that thinner people metabolize the HA formula faster and their injections may not last as long.

5. How long to see results?  Happily, you will see the results of your lip injection almost immediately. Your lips will be a little swollen at first, but you'll see the effects of the fillers very quickly. Give your lips 24-48 hours to settle down and for the swelling to lessen. After that you'll be seeing your newly filled lips as they will be for the next few months.

6. If done correctly, lips that have been injected don't feel any different than untouched lips. Not even when you're kissing.

7. Does it hurt?  The injection process has much to do with the skills of your injector.  More experienced physicians can make it a completely painless procedure.  “I’ve heard horror stories from ladies that describe their previous injections as the most painful thing they’ve ever had done”, says Dr. Damery.  He believes this is inexcusable and pledges this will never happen on his watch.  At most you will feel a tiny pinch while your lips are being numbed.  Afterwards, he will massage your lips a little, ice them for 10 minutes, and then let you go about your day.

8. There's practically zero downtime. The procedure takes about 15 to 30 minutes and then you can go about your daily life.  Dr. Damery uses a blunt tipped cannula and bruising is very rare, but you shouldn't make any big plans (like a wedding or an important event) for at least three days just in case you do get a bruise.

9. Don’t exercise on the day of the procedure. Postponing any exercise, massages, and facials will keep your facial blood flow reduced to give your filler a chance to settle in.

10. Avoid blood thinning medications 10 days prior to your procedure.  Pain killers like ibuprofen, Aleve, Motrin, and Aspirin, as well as fish oil, and vitamin E, tend to thin the blood, making you more prone to bruising. 

11. Some slight bruising at the injection is possible.  Any bruises should fade after 5 to 7 days.  Dr. Damery can use his lasers to help dissolve a bruise if needed.

12. You can take oral or topical Arnica to reduce post-filler bruising and inflammation. Dr. Damery offers it to his patients that report problems with bruising in the past.  Just be cautious that patients who have had blood clots or take blood thinners should not use the oral form.

13. Don't worry about getting Angelina Jolie's lips.  You and Dr. Damery will discuss your goals and develop an injection plan.  Your desires matter and are the most important factor in determining your outcome.  Ideally, for the most natural results you should consider increasing your lip size gradually. But if you want a more robust treatment this can easily be done

14. Lumps and bumps in the lips that you sometimes see are due to the filler being too close to the surface. It usually goes away or can be corrected.

15. Anyone who has a history of cold sores should take prevention medication two days before the procedure. Injections could trigger a cold sore.

16. If you eventually decide to stop getting injections, your lips will return to their original state.  You don’t have to worry about your lips turning into saggy, wrinkly skin bags. HA that is injected into lips has been proven to jump-start more HA production at the site of the injection, so your lips could naturally remain a bit larger, thanks to the previous injections.

17. Understand that all lip injections are minimally invasive procedures and so there are some risks.  

Greg Damery MD Dr. Damery is the owner of Impressions MedSpa in Sarasota, Fl. where he is passionate about providing state-of-the-art treatments for improving one’s self-confidence by combating the effects of Father Time. You’ll find him there almost every day working his magic.

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