1. Take steps to avoid bruising BEFORE your appointment
While most lip filler treatments result in minimal bruising and can be easily camouflaged with make-up, it only makes sense to take a few preventative steps before hand and afterward to minimize the bruising and swelling you may experience.

The most important thing you can do is avoid things that thin your blood or affect your ability to clot. This includes avoiding common pain medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. It also includes avoiding some supplements such as fish oil, vitamin E and Ginko Biloba if possible. Discuss the exact timing of when you should stop these medications with your provider. In general, stopping about 1 week before your treatment is best.

Make sure you tell your doctor if you have a tendency to bleed or bruise easily. Avoiding strenuous activity for the remainder of the day after injections and icing the injected area lightly can also help avoid bruising and swelling. Alcohol and salt can prolong swelling and your recovery, so keep that in mind when you plan your meals and social events for a few days before and after your treatment.

2. Don’t expect to see the final result until at least 4 days have passed
Even though you can typically have a nice result relatively soon after your treatment, the final result will not be obvious until a few days afterward. This is because it takes some time for the filler to settle, and the swelling from the treatment to settle as well. While you should have a pretty good idea of the outcome after a few days, it may take up to 2 weeks for the complete result to be achieved. 

If you have any concerns in the first few days after treatment, it is important to discuss these with your injector. They may want to see you in person or they may be able to offer advice over the telephone to help improve your recovery.

3. Use hyaluronic acid based fillers
In almost every situation today, lip augmentation is performed using a hyaluronic acid-based filler. We like to use these types of fillers because they are based off of substances that naturally occurring your body, and they are reversible should you have a reaction to the filler or not like the treatment result.  While there are some other types of filler they can be used in the lips, these often have more side effects and it is more difficult to treat or address these problems should they occur. It is also important to remember that there are many, many different types of hyaluronic acid fillers. If you have any concerns or have used a particular type before, make sure that you discuss this with your injector prior to treatment.

4. Know when fillers are not the right treatment
Lip augmentation by using fillers has become incredibly popular lately. One of the challenges with lip augmentation, is knowing when filler is NOT the right treatment to use. Some patients have a lip shape that is naturally harmonious and has good form and adding filler to them will further increase they are of a left shoe is appearance and form.  If you have a naturally good lip shape, augmentation with fillers can make them that much better.

Patients with thin lips with very little red lip visible at rest may not always benefit in the same way with filler treatment. Patients with a small proportion of visible red lip, and certainly patients who do not have a very strong “cupids bow” shape to the border of the upper lip are at the greatest risk of having an unnatural appearance with filler treatment. 

These patients may benefit more from a small, 30 minute office procedure called a lip lift or a V to Y lip advancement. These procedures are designed to improve the contour and overall shape and symmetry of the patient’s lips and mouth region. Once an appropriate lip contour and balance has been achieved, THEN the patient can really reap the benefits of adding a some volume with filler. In doing it this way, you can avoid the unpopular “duck lips” or “sausage lips” appearance that we commonly see when this type of patient is treated by an inexperienced injector.

There are many more nuances to good lip augmentation technique, however these are a few key points that may help you if you are considering this procedure in the future.

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