Lip Injections

Lip injections are a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure done to create volume, shape and structure to the lips. Injectable dermal fillers made of hyaluronic acid are commonly used for this procedure and the results yield plumber, more sensual lips. Lip injections are used to treat drooping mouth corners, a flattened Cupid’s Bow, vertical wrinkles, smoker’s lines, a naturally thin upper or lower lip, age-related issues, and lips that have lost all volume.

Who is a good candidate for lip injections?

To be considered an ideal candidate for lip injections you must be an adult in overall good health. Lip augmentation cannot be performed on those under 18 because the lips must have completed their natural growth process. Only in rare cases can teenagers under 18 undergo this procedure. Usually, people with thin lips or those who have an age-related decrease in lip volume are the best candidates for lip injections.

If you suffer from lupus, diabetes, blood-clotting issues or oral herpes you are not a good candidate for lip augmentation. You will be required to disclose your medical history with your surgeon during the initial meeting. This will help your surgeon determine your candidacy to ensure that your lips can handle the procedure.

Finally, smokers will need to quit at least two weeks prior to the procedure. Smoking hinders the body’s ability to process oxygen and it’s important you remain smoke free for a period determined by your surgeon after your lip augmentation procedure to ensure proper healing.

What is the recovery process like after receiving lip injections?

There is a very short recovery period following lip injections. Within a day, you will be able to return to your regular routine. You can ice the area to bring the swelling and bruising down but be careful and avoid pressing too hard. Also, avoid drinking from a straw as you recover. The suction motion needed to bring liquid up through the straw may be too intense for lips that have recently been injected.

The side-effects such as bruising, swelling or tenderness generally subside quickly and you will notice that your lips appear more shapely yet natural after 24 hours. Avoid lipstick until the swelling and bruising have subsided.

What to look for in a surgeon

The Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (CSAPS) is the only recognized body of cosmetic surgery in Canada. Any plastic surgeon who practices in Canada must also be board-certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. However, in the case of lip injections, a certified aesthetic technician, nurse or dermatologist can also perform this procedure. They are required to undergo special training or schooling to be able to perform lip augmentations.

Here are three questions you can ask potential surgeons, technicians, nurses or dermatologists to see if they are capable of performing your lip augmentation procedure:

1. How many lip injections have you done?

2. Where did you receive your training?

3. How long have you been a practicing surgeon/dermatologist/nurse/aesthetic technician?

What happens during a lip augmentation procedure?

You will be given a topical or local numbing agent for your comfort. You can also request a nerve-blocking injection like the kind you’d receive at the dentist if your lips are particularly sensitive. Your surgeon will then carefully mark the injection areas before using a very fine needle to inject the fillers into your lips.

Generally, injectables made of hyaluronic acid are used during a lip augmentation procedure. The most commonly used brands of injectables are Restylane and Juvederm. Some of the hyaluronic acid fillers used contain lidocaine which is a local anesthetic. Hyaluronic acid is used to create the fillers are because it is modelled after a substance that naturally occurs in the body. Moreover, these type of fillers are able to support and shape the lip tissues easily, allow for the post-injection bumps to dissolve quickly and there is less bruising and swelling compared to other injectables.

Hyaluronic acid fillers are made from substances that resemble those found naturally in the body. It’s rare that people have a reaction to the fillers themselves but it is possible to be allergic to lidocaine. During your initial consultation, your will need to disclose all medical information to your surgeon so he/she can come up with an alternative to lidocaine or suggest other methods of lip augmentation such as implants.

Lip augmentation done through injection lasts anywhere from 4-6 months. However, you can repeat the procedure as needed.

Unlike fillers, lip implants are a permanent lip augmentation procedure that uses soft silicone implants to create a fuller pout. The implant is embedded in the lips through small incisions made at the corners of the mouth. Your surgeon will then trim the implant to suit your lips’ natural contours before closing the incisions. The recovery process is longer when you get implants instead of injections because it will take your lips longer to adapt to the implants.