What are the Complications of Lip Filler?
Lip enhancement is a common cosmetic procedure. We can think of lip enhancement in two ways: making the lip fuller and more attractive or restoring lost lip volume due to aging and environmental effects. So, what can go wrong?
Complications Using Permanent Lip Fillers
Lip filler complications are more prevalent with the choice to use a permanent filler to get a permanent fix. Permanent fillers work by stimulating scar tissue around a material that does not break down. Examples include silicone oil, Bellafill, and implants.
While permanent lip fillers can be safe and effective, it is not predictable who will over respond and develop a granuloma or capsule and wind up with lip unevenness or lumpiness. To make things clearer, a permanent filler or implant is permanent, meaning it will not go away without surgically removing the material (which is not easy).
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Hyaluronic Acid (HA) Lip Filler Benefits
Most lip enhancement procedures are done with hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a type of sugar that naturally occurs in your body.
These fillers have several advantages over permanent fillers:
- They can be dissolved if there are any problems, quite easily and inexpensively.
- The feel like your natural lips as they are soft and pliable.
- They look like your natural lips (unless overdone or injected incorrectly).
- They are relatively inexpensive.
- They do not cause scarring.
Possible Side Effects of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in Lip Filler
There can be bruising which is a giveaway that you had your lips injected. This can be hidden with lipstick in some cases, but not always.
- Bad luck can be having an injection by someone inexperienced or not professionally trained in lip injections. This leads to an unnatural look and the filler needs to be dissolved and done correctly. The most common incorrect lip injections I see are the filling of the top lip and not evenly filling the lower lip.This mistake leads to an over-projection of the upper lip (in other words, the upper lip sticks out further causing “duck lips”) and filling the area of the lip outside of the natural lip tubercles.
- If you are prone to cold sores, it is best to take an antiviral the day of the lip filler to avoid a break out.
- A vascular occlusion is rare but can be associated with any filler. A lip vascular occlusion means the circulation has been cut off and it needs to be immediately reversed with an enzyme. HA fillers are easily and quickly reversed with an enzyme.
- Nodules have been reported with certain brands of HA fillers, and we chose not to use those fillers even though they are quite popular.
Other rare complications have been reported, and your provider can go over any concerns with you.
Lip Fillers are Safe & Side Effects are Uncommon
In summary, lip enhancement is very safe and predictable when done with HA fillers by an experienced provider. Problems that uncommonly occur can be immediately reversed, the look and feel is natural, and there is a high satisfaction rate.
“Fake lips” are really a form of addiction or a deliberate desire to look fake. A single session of filler will not lead to the large unnatural appearing lips, you simply cannot put that much filler in one session.
Lip filler lasts a long time and can be added to in a few months. This method allows a steady build-up of lip volume that is not overly noticeable to others. They will just notice sexy, youthful lips and what’s not to love about that?
Dr. Charles Mok