Written by: Brielle Kirk, PA-C
Hey everyone! I wanted to document my experience with getting lip fillers for the first time! I know the anticipation of getting fillers can be nerve-wracking, especially for the first time. So, I figured it would be nice to know an actual injector’s point of view during and after getting her lips done! The wonderful Joshua Iffla, one of our owners of L-aesthetics, did the procedure and 1 syringe of Juvederm Ultra XC was used.
Day 0: Injection Day
To be honest, even though I inject people’s lips all of the time and know what to expect, I was a little nervous! I numbed for around 20 minutes before injection time with our specially compounded numbing cream we have in the office, which is really strong and works very well. My lips were then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and it was time for injection! Josh made me feel super comfortable, and I could barely feel the needle pokes because of the numbing. The little I did feel could be described as sharp and scratchy, but overall not painful. The product also contains lidocaine, so as he continued to inject, I became more numb. Although not in much pain, my eyes did automatically water because of the needle pokes. This is a completely normal reflex! When I was done, they looked so juicy! My top lip was super swollen because more product was placed in the top lip than the bottom, and more pokes occured. Severe bruising can occur, yet I was luckily only slightly bruised! This is because I made sure not to consume alcohol or take aspirin/ibuprofen 24 hours prior.
When I got home, around an hour later, the numbing started to wear off and my lips began feeling pretty tender and taut, kind of like my lips were throbbing. When I went to sleep that night, I took a Tylenol to help with the tenderness so I could sleep more comfortably. I also avoided ibuprofen, aspirin, and alcohol for the next 24 hours to prevent bruising from worsening.
Days 1-7: Recovery
The first couple of days after injection, I was super super swollen, especially my top lip because of the reasons stated above. The immediate next day, I was even more swollen than I was after the procedure! I looked like a duck! I knew that this would eventually calm down as the days went on, and I was right. Bruising got a little darker day 1-3, but then started resolving after. I felt a little bump on my right upper lip, but knew this was a bruise because it was the most tender spot on my lip. Some lumps and bumps after injection are normal due to bruising, so I knew to leave it alone and not press on it. My bottom lip did not swell that much and recovered much faster than my top lip. Swelling can absolutely be uneven in nature, so I knew this was okay. My lips were also super dry and started to peel! This is because the filler is hydrophilic, so it absorbs lots of water. I made sure I drank water to stay hydrated and applied clean lip balm to my lips to help with this.
At Day 7, one week after injection, the swelling decreased but is still present. I know this because my upper lip still feels a little hard, and when I try to hide my lips/tuck them inward, my top lip feels very rigid and does not move much. I also still feel that little bump and it is still tender, but it has gotten smaller. My bottom lip feels slightly hard, but overall doing much better than my top. I know that it takes 2 full weeks for the filler to integrate into the tissue of my lips, so I looked forward to the swelling decreasing even more.
Although the swelling was a lot better than Week 1, it was still present during Week 2, especially my top lip! Throughout this week I noticed that I was able to move my lips better, such as tucking them inward and puckering them outward. When touching my upper lip, the border still felt a little hard, but so much less than Week 1. On Day 10, I put on lipstick for the first time and was moving my lips to spread it around, and I noticed that I still felt some tenderness of my upper lip when applying a little bit of pressure to them. My bottom lip feels fine. I would say swelling of my top lip fully resolved at day 14. At day 14, the bump despite it being smaller is still there and is still tender! This just goes to show that it can take longer than 2 weeks for bruises to heal, and I am confident that it will. Overall, my lips look great. I’m loving them so much, and am looking forward to my second syringe!