Lip fillers have become the number one injection treatment in the past 5 years. The younger generation especially has been influenced by social media and celebrities on this lip filler movement and hey, I’m here for it. Within reason. Although fillers have become more talked about and seen everywhere, that doesn’t mean that it is any less invasive of a treatment. Although you can be in and out of your lip filler appointment fairly quickly, it isn’t your average lunchtime procedure. For someone who has never had fillers before there are a few tips I would highly recommend before scheduling.
This might be the most important one, and I can’t stress enough, do your research! Licensing and credentials are public records and you should be able to find your doctor or nurse’s licensing to make sure they are valid, don’t have any restrictions, and/or suspensions on their record. Certifications and how long they have been practicing is another piece of information I would recommend looking for. Michele Hunter RN CANS, for instance is our lead injector who is a Certified Aesthetic Nurse Specialist. This extra CANS certification is supported by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), and it provides professional recognition for aesthetic nurses who hold the value of education, clinical practice, and professional growth in the highest regard. Ultimately, CANS certification can assure you that your aesthetic nurse has gone above and beyond to ensure you receive an optimal level of care for your cosmetic needs.
You can always add more! Keep in mind that there will be swelling when you get injections and it may take a couple of days to weeks before you see the final results. Going slow helps prevent you from being overfilled. The best injections are done slowly, one syringe at a time. If you have small lips and are wanting to add significant volume, talk to your injector and work out a plan to achieve the lips of your dreams in a couple of sessions. We personally at ZONA do not do more than 2 syringes of lip filler at one time, and even that is rare. Starting with one syringe ensures you can get the lip shape and volume in all the right places.
Although this question is something I would discuss with your injector, knowing how much volume you are wanting is important. Do you have a great bottom lip but are wanting to even out your upper lip? Or do you like your lip shape but want fuller juicier lips overall? These are things you will want to tell your injector. Maybe even look through the injectors before and afters to see what kind of lip examples you are wanting yours to resemble. Knowing what your goals are will help your certified practitioner help you achieve your goals safely and with the best product.
ZONA sends out pre-care instructions with your reminder text before your appointment. Following these instructions can help you minimize bruising during and after your appointment. Try to avoid taking Aspirin, anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen or Aleve, fish oil, multivitamins or vitamin E (as long as it’s not against doctors orders). Those listed medications will thin your blood and can cause more bruising. In addition to those, avoiding caffeine and alcohol for 24 hours before and after your treatment can help reduce the bruising and swelling too. Both bruising and swelling are a common side effect of any filler and should be expected to some degree. We love to recommend (and also offer them at our office) Arnica tablets – a supplement that helps reduce chances of bruising – to take before and after your appointment.
Another question you should discuss with your doctor or nurse, as they will know the right product for you and your goals, but knowing the options that are available is still important. As stated earlier, with lip filler we always recommend an HA (Hyaluronic Acid) filler. HA fillers are fully reversible, should you ever have an issue. Juvederm XC, Juvederm Vobella, Restylane, Restylane Silk, Restylane Kysse, and Versa are a few of the many options that are available as a filler for the lips. Some of the above last longer than others, some bring on more swelling, and some have different size molecules than others. Having a general knowledge of what product you are leaning towards through reviews or before and after pics can help your injector guide you to the best product for you.
Lip filler appointments typically take about 45min and the majority of that time is dedicated to discussing your concerns/goals, finding the best products/procedures that would be best for you, and numbing to make sure you are comfortable during the treatment. Filler does give instant results however, expect some bruising and swelling immediately after. This will resolve within the following 3-7 days and full results at 2 weeks post. If you are wanting to do more than one syringe we ask that you wait 2-4 weeks in between appointments so your body has a chance to heal.
The lip area has a lot of nerve endings meaning it can be a sensitive area. If you are not sensitive to lidocaine, getting numbed before an injection treatment is ideal. This allows you to feel little to no discomfort making the whole experience feel less traumatic. There are a few people who do have an allergy or sensitivity to lidocaine and/or get more swelling with using lidocaine and would prefer to do an alternative. ZONA offers a $50 upgrade to the Pro-Nox which is a 50/50 mix of Oxygen and Nitrous Oxide that has been used around the world in labor and delivery for decades. We started incorporating Pro-Nox to help ease client’s pain and anxiety. The Pro-Nox is an effective analgesic that provides quick pain relief and recovery, all while giving you a sense of control. Then there’s the clients (like our Esthi Jackie) who are most comfortable with BOTH the topical numbing cream and the Pro-Nox! There is nothing wrong with that.
Even though lip fillers only take 45min and are more common these days, that doesn’t mean it’s completely risk-free. There is a risk of bruising, swelling, allergic reactions, infection, cold sores (if you’re prone to them), and the one to pay attention to most is vascular occlusion. Vascular occlusion could happen to any injector in any part of the face but is most common around the mouth. This means that the filler or product being used has been placed in a vessel blocking its blood supply. It is important to discuss with your injector what their protocol is for a vascular occlusion to make sure they know what to do, should you ever need it.
Fillers are temporary, for the lips they only last 6-12 months depending on the product. Also depending on your lifestyle and metabolism, fillers may disappear quicker. Lip fillers at ZONA start at $550 and go up to $800 per syringe depending on the product. The cost of these fillers are higher because of the quality of the product being used and the expert knowledge of the Injector doing the treatment. Our Injectors attend continuing education to stay up to date on new techniques and safety guidelines. A skilled injector has procedures and protocols in place in case of an adverse reaction. This means you are paying for the quality of care and to know you are in good hands. Groupon filler deals are cheaper because it could be a fake or illegal product, a product that is not HA or safe to be injected, or done by an injector that doesn’t know what they are doing.
As talked about briefly above, we recommend HA fillers for the lips as it can be dissolved. Why does that matter? If for some reason you were to get a vascular occlusion (blocked blood supply) the Injector would immediately need to flush the area with Hyaluronidase. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that helps break down hyaluronic acid, quickly and safely. By breaking down that HA filler the injector would be able to open up that vessel and restore blood flow to the area. Another reason would be if you had filler placed in the wrong area or if it was too superficial and lumpy, Hyaluronidase would help to dissolve those lumps and misplaced filler. Basically, it’s nice to know going into lip filler that it can be dissolved. Make sure your injector has vascular occlusion protocol and Hyaluronidase on hand before starting treatment. Here at ZONA we have extensive protocols in place for vascular occlusions that are both posted and memorized. As well as a plethora of hyaluronidase, just in case.