Maybe you’ve been looking forward to your first lip procedure for a long time, or you’ve had a
treatment done in the past and have finally gotten some time off work to update your look.
Maybe you’ve been getting Product J Ultra Plus injections for years now, and you’re feeling
more confident than ever. For many women (and men), we’re finally learning to love what we
see in the mirror. We’re doing our best to look in the mirror—looking over our shoulder at the
gym, staring into our own eyes in the hair salon, gazing up at the mirrored ceiling in the elevator
or back behind the bar where the mirror reflects the delicate bottles.
We’re looking forward to attending our best friend’s birthday party. We’re looking forward to
social gatherings we’d usually dread because we don’t feel like dressing up, to events like
charity balls or Green Drinks or dinners with old friends in town. And this is all because of a little lip filler procedure.
Sometimes, however, the treatments aren’t as comfortable as expected, or more painful than
we remembered. This can give us pause. What’s going on? Am I doing something different?
Maybe we’ve switched filler brands because the doctor recommended it, or we’ve even had to
change surgeons when we’ve moved to another state. Although we’ve gotten fillers before, it is
good to accept the procedure with an open mind and reeducate ourselves on expectations
during and after a visit to the doctor’s office, how to prepare, and how to prepare to speed up
Ways to Recover after the Procedure
Did you know that if it’s your first time getting a lip filler injection, you’re more likely to
experience some discomfort and swelling? Michael Kim, a plastic surgeon in Portland, Oregon,
says that surprisingly, younger patients (in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s) often have more swelling
than patients over the age of fifty.
Many patients require 72 hours to recover after the surgery, as they tend to feel a bit swollen
and sore. This is why it’s good to schedule your injections for the weekend, so you don’t have to
show up bruised and in pain to work the next day.
To combat swelling, many doctors use anesthesia, which helps tighten the blood vessels in the
area so that the bruising resulting from the needle puncturing the dermis is minimal. Ask your
doctor what their plan is for your treatment beforehand to know what to expect. You can also
always ask what they recommend to help with bruising or pain after the injections.
Uneven Facial Swelling
What if one side of your lips appears more swollen than the other side? This can happen. So,
sometimes the doctor must add a little more here and there to ensure a uniform look to make
your lips even in terms of structure, fullness, and overall contouring. For example, a tattoo artist
will need to add a little color here and there to a completed tattoo once the redness dissipates
and they can see where the color and lines settled. There’s no need to worry; if it isn’t possible
to touch up your look, your doctor can always inject something to dissolve the filler.
Often, however, some uneven distention is not unusual. Don’t be alarmed. Many of us have
slightly uneven lips, to begin with, and the temporary swelling after the procedure just
temporarily exacerbates the uneven appearance. Just wait for a day or two, and wait for the
swelling to even out. Take a relaxing bath, go for a walk, or spend some time binging on your
favorite Netflix series. Try not to stare too hard into the screen or look in the mirror until those
first two days are over so that you don’t obsess over any unevenness or asymmetry. We
recommend treating yourself to your favorite foods and using these days to reflect on why you
wanted the procedure done in the first place and how great you’ll feel when the swelling goes
down. You shouldn’t touch the area much; massaging your lips isn’t advisable. You can,
however, get an ice pack and gently ice the area for several minutes every hour or two. You can
also apply arnica. Arnica, or arnica Montana, is an excellent herb for speeding up the healing of
bruises. It also can help reduce inflammation and swelling. Arnica works by helping shoot white
blood cells to the affected area so that they can repair the affected cells. It’s great after your
procedure and works well for any sprains, sore muscles, headaches, insect bites, or scarring.
By using ice and arnica in combination, you can significantly reduce the swelling and soreness
in the area.
If you experience pain that doesn’t feel normal, you should contact your doctor immediately, as
you may be allergic to the filler. Bruising can last longer than swelling (remember how long, as a
kid, you had to wait for those bruises on your knees from soccer or volleyball to go away). If this
discoloration is an issue at work or in your social life, you can always use makeup to cover it up.
In the week or two leading up to treatment, many surgeons recommend that you refrain from
taking any over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like aspirin or Motrin and stop taking
multivitamins and Vitamin E, as these can contribute to more bruising.
When to be Concerned
So, when exactly should you start to worry? We want to avoid causing ourselves unnecessary
stress. Still, we also want to be vigilant so that if our bodies aren’t healing correctly from these
injections, we can get in touch with a medical professional and figure out what is going on.
What’s normal, and what isn’t?
Certain patients suffer from swollen lips a month or more after their procedure. This could
potentially indicate an infection. Not the outcome you want.
If your lips feel swollen more than a few days after your treatment, especially if the swelling and
pain continue for more than two weeks, you should contact your doctor. You should always be
able to contact your doctor, for dermal fillers or for anything else, without feeling as though you’re bothering him or her.
In one case, a patient injected with Perlane in her nasolabial folds and cheeks suffered from an
allergic reaction and experienced significant swelling and pain that increased over the next 30
days. She also saw a small nodule appear on her face and noticed increasing firmness in the
treated areas. This woman was over 50 and had used facial fillers before without any issues.
However, in this case, others suffered from infection, adverse swelling, and other unwanted
symptoms after using Elevess and Product J, respectively.
So, when should you start to worry? You know your body best. If something doesn’t feel right,
don’t hesitate to contact your doctor. Call your surgeon and let them know if you notice any
unusual redness, excessive pain, excess water in the area, or the formation of hard lumps
under the skin, especially if this is occurring more than a week or two after your injections. Make
sure you keep a record handy of when your injection was for reference and know if it has been
more than seven days after your treatment. You can also take photos of your injection sight for
your records (make sure that you keep the lighting and the proximity similar so that you have a
point of comparison) to see whether the swelling has gone down or not.