Face

So, Can We Talk About Bad Lip Injections?

by Carissa Zadwarny

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Face

So, Can We Talk About Bad Lip Injections?

How much filler is too much filler?

We’ve all seen, heard about, or maybe personally experienced a bad lip job or two. No surgery shaming here. To each their own. Still, lip injections continue to remain one of the most prominent filler procedures on the market and the demand is high. But that’s not to say the procedure is unflawed.

How much is too much? More importantly, how do you know when you’ve gone too far? We tapped cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery specialist, Dr. Ben Talei on the most popular lip filler questions. From common mistakes and complications, to the possible solutions for how to correct filler gone wrong.

CS

What sort of aesthetic changes can lip filler accomplish?

BT

If done well, lip fillers can add accent to the lips or enhance the definition of the lip borders. It can increase the Eversion or curvature of the lip from the sides. Fillers can create a sexier pout and more volume. And in some patients, fillers can even lengthen the lip.

Adverse effects can also happen. From doctors who inject too much or the wrong type of filler. The most commonly used incorrect filler is Juvéderm ultra and Juvéderm Ultra XC. These fillers tend to migrate and cause heaviness and distortion especially in the upper lip also causing a white discoloration. When done poorly lip fillers can weigh down the lip causing it to become heavier and blunted. The borders of the vermillion may also start to look blotchy. Hyaluronic acid fillers are the only fillers that should be used.

CS

When it comes to lips, how much filler is too much filler?

BT

It’s all about placement, volume, balance and the type of filler.  Even placing a tiny amount of a bad filler like Juvéderm in the lip can cause migration and edema. I always advise patients to use Restylane L, Restylane Refyne, Volbella or Vollure and avoid performing injections from above the lip border as well as avoiding injecting the most lateral portion of the lips.

Never try to change someone’s lip to look like someone elses. Your patient is not a blank canvas. The painting has already been made and you have to realize that you can only add retouches in areas that will tolerate it and will flow well with everything else

CS

What are the possible complications of getting lip filler?

BT

Complications range from killing the skin, to herpes outbreak, to temporary or permanent nodules. A long term complication is a tissue expanded effect lengthening the muscle and growing more skin; making the lip heavier. 

CS

What mistakes can be made on the part of the provider as well as the patient, both during and after a treatment?

BT

There is not much a patient can do to avoid problems. The responsibility lies mainly with the practitioner. It is their job to perform safe injection and then to massage the sides and ensure there are no lumps or bumps and to do tasteful injections with the correct fillers. 

“Your patient is not a blank canvas.”

CS

What can be done to correct lip filler gone wrong?

BT

The most commonly used fillers are hyaluronic acids. For the most part, these can be dissolved using an enzyme. Other semi-permanent or permanent fillers should never be used.

CS

How can I be sure that I’m getting the best possible treatment?

BT

Nobody knows the answer to this. Even practitioners or nurses with the best reputation can be mediocre injectors. You have to do a lot of homework and look at a lot of photos to find the most natural results; the fake results are the ones that always cause problems.

CS

Who should and should not consider lip fillers as a treatment option?

BT

This becomes a question of test. A lot of patients with longer lips or thinner lips can’t get good results with lip filler and they may be a better candidate for a procedure like a lip lift to remain more natural.

CS

Are there alternatives to lip filler for achieving fuller and more defined lips?

BT

There are several procedures available. There is the upper lip lift which shortens the height of the upper lip and shows more volume as well. This has become very, very popular. There are other procedures that also increase the fullness such as V-Y Plasty and Dermis-Fat Grafting.

Interview courtesy of Dr. Ben Talei, MD (@drbentalei)

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