A Patient’s Guide to Lip Fillers
In today’s dynamic world of aesthetic treatments, the allure of lip fillers stands out, capturing the imagination of many. As the boundaries of beauty and self-expression continue to expand, lip fillers have emerged as a favourite choice for those seeking subtle enhancements without the commitment of surgery. The spotlight on these treatments has never been brighter, with icons from the silver screen to social media platforms flaunting fuller, sculpted lips. Yet, beyond the glamour and allure, there’s a world of science, art, and technique that goes into every syringe.
In this blog, Chester Consultant Plastic Surgeon Anca Breahna aims to demystify the realm of lip fillers, offering an in-depth look at their composition, the promising advantages they bring to the table, and the considerations one must bear in mind.
What You Should Know about Lip Fillers
Lip fillers are injectable treatments designed to add volume, reshape, and redefine the lips. They cater to various needs, whether you’re looking for a fuller appearance, a more balanced symmetry between the upper and lower lip, or just a subtle enhancement to the natural contour of your lips.
- They’re non-surgical: No need for incisions or general anaesthesia
- Immediate results: Unlike some treatments which require waiting periods, lip fillers offer almost instant gratification
- Temporary: Depending on the type, lip fillers can be absorbed by the body over time, allowing for changes or simply a return to the original lip state if so desired
Composition of Fillers
The substance within that syringe is key to how your lips will feel, look, and how long the results will last. Here are the primary components:
- Hyaluronic Acid: A natural substance found in the skin, joints, and connective tissues that can retains moisture and can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, making it excellent for plumping and hydrating the lips
- Collagen: Once the reigning champion of lip fillers, collagen is a protein that provides structure to various parts of the body, including the skin. The results from collagen fillers don’t last as long as their modern counterparts, which is why its popularity has somewhat diminished. Though not as commonly used now, it’s still available for those who prefer it
- Fat Injections: These involve harvesting fat from one part of your body, processing it, and then injecting it into the lips. Being a natural component of your body, fat injections reduce the risk of allergic reactions. The process is more involved since it requires two procedures: fat extraction and then lip injection
Why You Should Consider Lip Fillers
While there are various reasons why patients resort to lip fillers, there are some reasons that stand out. You should consider this procedure if you are interested in:
- Volume Boost: Particularly beneficial for those who have naturally thin lips or those who have noticed a reduction in lip volume with age
- Symmetry: Fillers can address asymmetry, ensuring that both the upper and lower lips are proportionate
- Structure Definition: Lip fillers can enhance and define the Cupid’s bow and lip borders
- Softness: Properly administered fillers should feel soft, almost identical to how natural lips feel
- Smoothness: Modern fillers are designed to minimise lumpiness, ensuring a smooth texture
- Natural Movement: Your lips should move naturally, without any stiffness
- Reversibility: The non-permanent nature of most modern lip fillers means that if you feel the result is too subtle or too pronounced, further tweaks can be made. Also, if you’re not satisfied with the outcome, certain fillers can be dissolved, returning your lips to their original state
The Process of Getting Lip Fillers
As with any cosmetic procedure, understanding the process beforehand can ease any nerves and set clear expectations. Here, we break down the stages of getting lip fillers to provide you with a clear picture of what lies ahead.
Before getting started with the actual procedure, it’s essential to sit down with Anca Breahna for an initial consultation. This session is all about:
- Understanding Your Goals: Every individual has a unique vision for their lips. Whether it’s subtle enhancement, a volume boost, or addressing asymmetry, this is the time to communicate your wishes clearly
- Assessment of Your Lips: Anca will examine your lips, considering their natural shape, volume, and any specific characteristics or challenges
- Discussion of Options: Based on your goals and the assessment, Anca will suggest the most suitable type of filler and discuss the expected outcomes
- Addressing Concerns: It’s a perfect opportunity to ask questions, understand potential risks, and discuss any allergies or medical conditions that might affect the procedure
During the Procedure
Once you’re ready to proceed, here’s a step-by-step of what typically happens:
- Preparation: The area around the lips is cleaned, and a topical numbing cream might be applied to ensure minimal discomfort during the injections
- Marking: Anca may make tiny marks on the areas to be treated. These act as guidelines during the injection process
- Injection: Using a fine needle, the chosen filler is injected into the lips. You might feel a slight prick or pressure, but the discomfort is usually minimal, especially with the numbing agent
- Massage: After the injections, Anca may gently massage your lips. This helps evenly distribute the filler and shape the lips to achieve the desired outcome
- Review: Once the filler is evenly distributed, you’ll be handed a mirror to view the immediate results. Minor adjustments can be made if necessary
Aftercare and Recovery
Here are some recommendations you should keep in mind after getting lip fillers:
- Avoid Touching: It’s recommended to keep hands away from the treated area for the first few hours to prevent any unintentional shifting of the filler
- Swelling: Some swelling is normal and can even be expected. Applying a cold pack can help reduce it. Remember, this swelling is temporary and usually subsides within a day or two
- Bruising: A little bruising is also possible, especially if you have sensitive skin. Avoiding blood-thinning substances like aspirin before the procedure can minimise this
- Limit Activities: While you can resume most activities immediately, it’s advised to avoid strenuous exercise, saunas, or sunbathing for at least 24 hours post-procedure
- Stay Hydrated: Hydration can aid in the settling process, especially if hyaluronic acid fillers are used
Cost and Longevity of Results
When it comes to cosmetic treatments, one must often weigh the financial implications against the anticipated duration of results. Lip fillers are no exception. Let’s shed some light on these two intertwined factors to provide a clearer picture of what you can expect.
The cost of lip fillers can be influenced by many factors, making it somewhat variable. However, understanding the determinants can assist you in budgeting accordingly:
- Geographical Location: Depending on whether you’re in a metropolitan area or a smaller town, prices can differ. Typically, urban centers might command higher prices due to increased overheads and demand
- Type of Filler: The specific brand and composition of the filler can sway the price. Premium brands or those with longer-lasting results might come with a heftier price tag
- Practitioner’s Expertise: As with many services, experience and reputation often come at a premium. A highly-regarded specialist may charge more than a less-experienced colleague
- Amount of Filler Used: Depending on your desired outcome and the current state of your lips, you might need more or less filler, which will directly influence the cost
- Clinic Amenities: Upscale clinics with state-of-the-art facilities might price their services higher
Duration of Results
The longevity of lip fillers isn’t set in stone, as it can vary based on several factors:
- Filler Composition: Some fillers, especially those based on hyaluronic acid, tend to be absorbed by the body over time. Their results might last anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Others, like fat injections, might offer varied results, often depending on how the body metabolises the injected fat
- Lifestyle Factors: Believe it or not, things like your metabolic rate, exposure to sun, and even the frequency with which you use your lips (think of activities like smoking or playing wind instruments) can impact how long your fillers last
- Individual Body Response: Everyone’s body is unique. Some people might naturally break down fillers faster than others
- Maintenance Sessions: To prolong the effects and maintain a consistent appearance, some individuals opt for top-up sessions once they notice the initial results fading
FAQs about Lip Fillers
How painful is the lip filler procedure?
- While discomfort levels can vary from person to person, most individuals describe the sensation as a slight pinch or pressure. Anca Breahna typically applies a numbing cream or local anaesthetic beforehand to minimise any pain.
How soon will I see the results of my lip fillers?
- You’ll notice an immediate difference post-procedure. However, due to initial swelling, the final results will become more evident after a few days once any swelling has subsided.
Can I reverse the effects if I’m not satisfied with the results?
- If hyaluronic acid-based fillers are used, they can be dissolved with an enzyme called hyaluronidase, effectively reversing the effects. It’s essential to discuss potential adjustments or reversals with your practitioner.
Are there any activities I should avoid post-procedure?
- Yes, for the first 24 hours after getting lip fillers, it’s recommended to avoid vigorous activities, excessive heat like saunas or sunbathing, and alcohol consumption. It’s also best to avoid putting pressure on the treated area.
Will my lips feel different to touch after getting fillers?
- Initially, there might be a slight difference in feel, especially during the settling period. However, once the filler has integrated with your lip tissue, they should feel natural to touch.
Further Reading about Injectable Procedures
- Read more about Dermal Fillers
- Read more about Skin Relaxing Injections
- Read more about Desirial Injections
- Read more about Lip Flip
- Read more about Aqualyx (Fat Dissolving Injections)
- Read Anca’s Blog about Lip Fillers Aftercare
- Read Anca’s Blog about Smokers Lines – Causes and Solutions
Medical References about Lip Fillers
- Lip Lifts: Types, Results, What to Expect – Medical News Today
- Lip Augmentation: Types, Side Effects, Risks – WebMD
- Lip Shortening Surgery – American Society of Plastic Surgeons