Courtney Elizabeth
by on March 31, 2022
From walking down the streets of Manhattan, NYC, I found myself walking back to my apartment with a plumper, fuller pout, only one hour after stopping by Dr. Schwarzburg's medical spa on the Upper East Side. (
Board-certified cosmetic practitioner, Dr. S, (who performed my injections) answered all our questions about lip injections. You may be wondering how long lip fillers last, you may be curious to see a lip injection before and after, or you may be interested in knowing what to expect if you want lip injections. Well, I've got the answers for you.
What Are Lip Injections?
In this category are hyaluronic acid, fat, or implants. The most common type of filler used to get a plumper pout is hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body. The type of filler used depends entirely on your goals for the treatment, namely to create symmetry or fullness in the lips. Lip fillers are typically injected using a hyaluronic acid based filler to lift the corners of the mouth, enhance the size of the lips, and smooth out lip wrinkles, which become more prominent with age.
Dr. S chooses brands and products based on his clients' goals and what he thinks will look best. As a first-time lip filler patient, he recommend I try Volbella and Restylane Refyne because of their refined and more natural looking results. Juvederm Ultra treats patients who want to add extra volume. Additionally, injection methods will vary based on the patient's natural shape and end-goal. To avoid lumps and bumps, Dr. S always inject small threads or drops of filler.
Through hydration, it creates plumpness in the tissue by attracting water and attracting it to the area.
Benefits of Lip Injections
The use of lip fillers evens out asymmetrical lip shapes, adds natural volume to the desired areas, reduces the appearance of fine lines on the lips and around the mouth, and is customizable depending on each individual's needs and desires, but only provides temporary results.
How do I prepare for them?
First things first: the consultation. When a patient comes to the office ( asking for fuller lips, Dr. S likes to start by asking how they want their lips to look, to make sure that what the client is looking for is achievable and that it fits with the overall structure and shape of the face. For example, in the case of someone with small facial features, full lips may make them look a little off. Various facial structures will dictate what lip shape and volume will be appropriate, he says. It is actually the shape of the lips that matters more than the volume.
My interest in filler wasn't because I didn't already like my lips, but instead an opportunity to enhance a feature I already enjoyed. Having a naturally fuller bottom lip than and evenly shaped upper lip has always made me think that I should add some volume to my upper lip to balance things out. So while I had the chance, I asked Schwarzburg about how he would approach this. Slowly, we began to discuss the strategy.
Because my lips are on the thinner side of the spectrum, doc explained that to inject so much filler in them in one sitting would look unnatural. (I made it clear right away that I was only interested in a subtle aesthetic.) The game plan: baby steps. It's always better to start small and then gradually add more filler before you end up with botched looking lumps on your face.
The lips are anesthetized and cleansed with alcohol after a consultation during which the patient's goals are determined. Injecting dermal filler with a tiny needle into the areas that need it, and massaging gently to prevent lump development, is the most effective way to inject filler, the whole process taking about 30 minutes.
According to Dr. S, there are options that contain lidocaine, a common local anesthetic, to make the process as painless as possible. It is also possible to request a numbing cream 15 minutes before a treatment. "It's not uncommon for us to use nerve blocks to numb up the entire lip area", he said, adding that most patients can come in for a consultation and leave the same day with a plumper pout. When you're concerned about the pain, request ice to be applied topically between injections.
Personally, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the injection process was much less painful than I expected. I definitely felt it (I agree wholeheartedly with the pinching comparison), but the wincing was minimal. As soon as the injecting process was over, Dr. S applied lip ointment and sent me home with instructions.
What about side effects?
Let's address the obvious side effects: swelling and bruising. Dr. S always warns patients of this risk and advises them not to have their lips done right before an important event. Swelling will begin to subside in two days and will be gone completely within two weeks.
Additionally, bruising inside the lip area is also typical and expected, but any significant pain or irregular bruising outside the lip area must be reported immediately to the injector.
Despite having minimal swelling the day and night prior (considering that I had a late afternoon appointment), the next morning was another story. However my upper lips looked cartoonishly swollen and one side even looked a bit lumpy due to the bruising. As a result, I immediately second-guessed my decision.
Nevertheless, at the 24-hour mark, I had dramatically reduced my swelling and my lips were readjusting to their natural appearance. The verdict: I absolutely loved them, but after a week or so, given that my upper lip was taking the filler differently than the other side at my first appointment. The vital next step is the follow-up.
Every individual has unique lips and reacts to each filler differently.
Asymmetry can persist even after lip filler has been used to correct it. When your upper lip is thinner, it is less noticeable, but somewhat more noticeable when it is inflated with filler. As everyone responds differently, it's not that uncommon to adjust! The mission was accomplished, and following the follow-up I'm satisfied with the outcome 100 percent.
So what's the cost?
Who has wondered about lip injections wondered, How much are lip fillers? Valid question. Depending on the injector and city, the cost of lip injections range from $700 to $1500 per syringe (one syringe being standard for a treatment).
Post care:
In order to reduce swelling, you should sleep with your head elevated on two pillows for at least 12 hours without wearing any makeup or lip products. Also, you should avoid alcohol, Motrin, and Aspirin for the next 24 hours if you have bruising and don't massage or apply firm pressure to the lips for at least a week.
The Final Takeaway
My overall opinion is that I am extremely pleased with my decision to have lip injections, and the change is so subtle that nobody would even notice. As long as I notice, I will feel even more confident.
I know nothing about it, but anyone wishing to maintain a plumper pout does have to reapply. Most fillers last six months, says Dr. S, but a patient's lifestyle may affect the efficacy. (For example, people who exercise frequently tend to metabolize filler more quickly.)
Since I've found someone I can trust and learned the process isn't scary, I'm confident.
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