Frequently Asked Questions

Injectable lip fillers are one of the most popular dermal filler procedures. Hyaluronic acid injections increase lip volume. As with any cosmetic procedure, patients should have realistic expectations.

Several types of dermal fillers can be injected into your lips and around your mouth. The most commonly used injectable fillers include substances similar to hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is naturally found in the human body.

Lip filler treatments are a non-surgical option, used to add or restore lip volume. They can help you attain a desired look, that raises your self-esteem.

There are several benefits to lip injection procedures, including:

  • Non-Surgical Procedure – Like other injectable treatments, lip enhancement is performed in the office without the need for anesthesia or surgery and with minimal downtime.
  • Individualized – Done properly, lip injection is individualized for each patient’s anatomy and goals to optimally enhance each individual patient’s esthetic, so the result looks natural for your face. The emphasis may be on reshaping, augmentation, or rejuvenation.
  • High satisfaction – Injectable lip fillers are one of the most popular cosmetic treatments.
  • Treats lip lines – Lip fillers are often used (alone or with other modalities like retinoids or laser resurfacing) to minimize the appearance of frown lines around the lips in patients who have developed this common sign of facial aging. This helps create a more youthful appearance.
  • Biocompatible – All the FDA-approved fillers used in the lips are made of hyaluronic acid, a compound found naturally in our bodies, especially our skin and joints, that attracts water molecules, so these fillers have a natural look and feel.

While there are several advantages to lip injections, there are some minor side effects, as with any skin care or medical procedure. While these treatments typically have minimal risks, there may be some adverse reactions, which include:

  • Temporary – Like all the commonly used hyaluronic acid fillers, they will eventually be reabsorbed by the body over time. In general, the lips reabsorb these common fillers faster than other sites in the body, although newer fillers and injection techniques have increased the duration of the results.
  • Discomfort – Typically, dermal filler injections are more painful in the lip than other areas in the face. We typically use ice packs, numbing cream, and vibration-distraction (vibrating the skin with pen-like device to distract the sensory nerves that detect pain) – all of which reduce discomfort.
  • Social down-time – Some patients have enough lip swelling that they avoid social interaction for the first few days after injection.
  • Rare risks – All filler injections, anywhere in the face, carry rare risks of blindness and skin necrosis (death of skin cells) caused by a small amount of filler getting into an arterial branch and migrating, causing a focal blockage. Patients should always discuss individual risk factors with their doctor before any procedure.

Patients should wait several hours to exercise after a lip filler procedure to minimize bruising, swelling, and discomfort. Most patients will exercise the next day.

Exercise increases blood flow, blood pressure, and body temperature. This can increase swelling from lip filler injection. (For similar reasons, alcohol should be minimized after injection.) Patients typically hold off exercise if their lips are significantly swollen or feel tight. Most patients will wait until the day after injection to work out, but this is variable. 

To answer a very frequently asked question: yes, lip fillers are safe and have been approved by the FDA.

In short, the answer is you will get as much filler is needed to accomplish your lip filler goals. A common question we get is ‘Is a full syringe of filler too much?’. One syringe is approximately ⅕ of a tsp of filler per 1cc syringe which is not a lot of volume. Some of the mystique around lip injections is related to swelling and volume. A small amount of lip filler injection material can cause short-term swelling which will be minimized with oral steroids, ice, and best practices in reducing swelling. While we can inject very small amounts of lip filler during each session, it is recommended to use the amount of filler needed to obtain your goal lip shape and aesthetics.

The augmentation process itself takes about 30 minutes in our Upper East Side office and is performed by cosmetic nurse injector, Nurse Fay. We offer a topical anesthetic to ensure patients are completely comfortable during their appointment. The procedure starts by numbing the area of concern followed by the filler itself which has built in lidocaine for an enjoyable and restful injection experience. Your comfort is our top priority! While you numb, Nurse Fay will discuss all of your concerns with you as well as your aesthetic goals. She will assess your lips natural anatomy and give an honest recommendation and a course of action that will help you achieve the lips you’ve always desired!

Looking for an alternative to lip injections (or an add on!) that will provide a subtle enhancement and lift? A lip flip might be the right option for you! Offered in our office on the Upper East Side, a lip flip is a less invasive procedure that requires precise placement of a wrinkle relaxer along the upper lip muscle near the border. This relaxes the muscle in turn making the upper lip appear more visible. This creates a fuller, plumper, natural upper lift.


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