Lip fillers are synthetic substances that are injected into the lips to augment them. They may be injected to alter the shape, size, or volume of the lips. They are a type of dermal fillers. Hyaluronic Acid (HA) fillers are the most common lip fillers used worldwide.

Why Lip Fillers?

⦁ People choose lip fillers for various reasons like –
⦁ Correcting defects or shapes of the lips- Some individuals have lips that are asymmetrical in shape and size.
⦁ Aging- With age, the lips get thinner and smaller. Lip fillers can be used to delay this or even reverse it.
⦁ Wrinkles- Wrinkles or smile lines that form on the corner of the mouth can be treated with lip fillers.
⦁ Boost confidence- Sometimes, it can help people increase their self-esteem and confidence.

Before procedure

⦁ It is very important to talk to the doctor and address the reason why one wants to have lip fillers injected. Further on, discuss what the expected outcome is and what the limitations are.
⦁ People undergoing this procedure need to have a realistic expectation of the outcome.
⦁ The doctor checks if the individual undergoing the procedure has an allergic reaction to any materials used like lidocaine, filler material, etc.
⦁ It is ensured that the individual undergoing this procedure is in good physical health and is a nonsmoker. No active infections like oral herpes, a blood-clotting disorder, lupus, or diabetes.
⦁ A detailed history of any prescribed medicine or herbal medicine is taken.

How is it done?

⦁ Getting lip fillers is an outpatient procedure. There is no hospital stay required.
⦁ It can be performed by a plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or cosmetic facial surgeon.
⦁ It takes around 30 minutes.
⦁ Before injecting lip fillers, a topical anaesthetic is applied to lips and surrounding areas. The topical anaesthetic contains Lignocaine. A nerve block may be injected if the topical anaesthetic does not work. 
⦁ Ice packs are also used to numb the area.
⦁ Using very fine needles, the hyaluronic acid fillers are injected in the pre-marked areas of the lips. Usually, about 1 mL of filler is injected in both lips.
⦁ Ice packs are applied to help reduce the bruising and swelling. The area is gently massaged to properly distribute the filler.
⦁ Lip fillers typically last for 9-12 months.

After procedure

⦁ Since it is an outpatient procedure, the individual can leave after 15 minutes of the procedure once the doctor confirms no immediate adverse effects.
⦁ Lips will be swollen, bruised, and sensitive for 24 to 48 hours. Apply ice packs to help reduce the swelling and ease the pain or discomfort.
⦁ Avoid eating till the effect of the anaesthesia wears off.
⦁ Avoid applying any lipstick or lip balm for 24 hours.
⦁ Avoid touching the lips or puckering of lips, use of straws, kissing, etc., for 24 hours.
⦁ Be careful while brushing.
⦁ A follow-up appointment is scheduled after 2 weeks to check the outcome and decide if another filler injection is required.

Risks & complications

There are few complications, but they can be easily avoided with the right care. Following risks are associated with lip fillers- 

⦁ Bleeding and pain at the site of injection.
⦁ Infection or discoloration.
⦁ Reactivation of previous cold sores.
⦁ If the filler is injected in or near an artery, it can cause tissue death in that area.
⦁ Migration of the filler from the lips to the other areas of the face

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