The procedure involves injecting one of several types of fillers into the lips. As we age, we naturally lose collagen and fat. This leads to thinness and sagging of the face, including the lips. Lip fillers work by replacing lost collagen and fat.
Once injected, the filler gel supports and shapes the tissues of the lips. Most lip fillers are made with hyaluronic acid (HA) and, once injected directly into the lips, increase size and volume. HA is beneficial because it not only fills the lips, but it also traps water from the inside for a healthy, natural-looking pout. The doctor will inject a dermal filler into the lips and around the mouth.
Many types of dermal fillers are used, but today more plastic surgeons are switching to fillers composed of hyaluronic acid, a natural material that comes from the body, which helps increase lip volume. The amount of substance injected can be controlled, so that the physician has better control over the amount of lip volume that is created. My lower lip is naturally fuller than my upper lip (which has a fairly defined shape), and I always thought it would be nice to add some volume to the top to even things out. Patients should only use FDA-approved lip injection materials and, together with a physician, decide which filler and method are best suited for their medical and cosmetic needs.
It's important to find the right plastic surgeon or dermatologist who has experience performing lip injections. We then take a close look at your lips to determine the best points for injections based on the desired results. It is best to wait to eat until the injection of the topical anesthetic or nerve block has disappeared so as not to accidentally bite your lips or alter the filling. Fast forward about an hour and a half later, and I was walking back to my car (practically on cloud nine) with an ice pack attached to my lips and an increasingly puffy pot, thanks to a dose of subtle lip fillers.
We asked board-certified dermatologists Michael Lin, MD, and Nina Naidu, MD, as well as nurse practitioner Breana Wheeler (who performed my injections) to give us information on everything related to lip injections. If you have a BLT allergy, your healthcare provider may give you a nerve block injection to numb your lips. Wheeler explained that since my lips are on the thinner side of the spectrum, it wouldn't be natural to inject a large amount of filler into them, especially in a single visit. After carefully marking the areas to be injected, very fine needles are used to inject the substance into the lips.