Last updated November 2021
Quick facts about getting lip fillers
- Dermal fillers can be injected into lips to enhance their shape and size.
- There may be some swelling and bruising after lip filler, and this can be minimised by utilising a fine micro-cannula rather than a needle to inject lip filler.
- The areas that surround the lips can also be injected with dermal fillers.
- The standard lip filler quantity and frequency of 1mL lip filler every 6 months often results in overfilling of the lips.
- Migration of lip filler out of the vermillion can occur with time and large amounts of filler.
- Lip filler injections are a delicate art. Our cosmetic doctors and nurses are highly trained by Dr Gavin Chan to achieve beautiful, natural-looking lips.
How does lip filler work?
Lips can be augmented through the injection of dermal fillers. The shape, size and symmetry of lips can be enhanced. Furthermore, volume loss of the lips often occurs with ageing, so replacing this lost volume with lip filler can result in more youthful-looking lips.
Typically, temporary hyaluronic acid fillers are used for lip enhancement. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance within the body, and the fillers can be reversed by the enzyme hyaluronidase. Permanent lip filler can also be used, although this is only used in a few cases of lip injections as permanent lip fillers tend to have more complications. Previously, collagen (also a naturally occurring substance) was used as a lip filler however this is no longer available.
Enhancing lips may also involve the injection of lip filler into the areas surrounding the lips. For example, injecting lip filler into fine upper lip lines, or lifting the corners of the mouth with filler.
At the Victorian Cosmetic Institute, we aim to enhance lips proportionately to the rest of the face. It is also important that the upper lip and lower lip appear balanced. Our philosophy is to enhance your lips with lip filler so that they look natural, and not over-inflated.
What is involved with having lip fillers?
A consultation to discuss lip fillers is the first step. During this consultation, your practitioner will discuss with you the amount to be injected, the expected outcomes and the risks and benefits of the lip filler procedure. Due to the likely possibility of swelling and bruising, the treatment date may need to be planned in advance.
Our doctors utilise fine micro-cannulas rather than needles to inject lip filler. This significantly minimises the amount of post-procedure swelling and bruising, so there is minimal downtime involved with this procedure. The lip filler is usually injected through small entry points, one on each side of the lip.
Local anaesthetic injections can be used to numb the lips prior to treatment. This is an option for those who are concerned about discomfort during the lip filler procedure. Numbing cream can also be used.
What lip areas can be enhanced with dermal filler?
The body of the lip is the most commonly enhanced area. Injecting lip filler into this area gives the lip volume and evens out the lips. This is usually done to both the top and bottom lip in order to achieve a natural balance between them.
The vermilion border is the junction between the white and red part of the lips and can be enhanced by injecting dermal fillers into this area. This defines the lips in a similar way to applying lip liner.
Correction of vertical upper lip lines, if present, is also important in the enhancement of lips. This area is often a key area of concern for patients and can be softened with a variety of fillers.
The oral commissures or the folds in the corners of the mouth can also be filled. Filling this area turns the corners of the lips upwards, giving the mouth a ‘happier’ appearance.
The philtrum consists of the two lines in the centre of the upper lip that connect to the nose. By enhancing this double-ridge, it is possible to give the upper lip more shape and curve, amplifying the sensuality of the lips.
The cupid’s bow or the V-shaped area in the centre of the upper lip can also be enhanced with dermal fillers. This makes the V more pronounced. Done in conjunction with the philtrum, it can achieve a pleasant overall shape of the upper lip.
How much lip filler should I have and how often?
The generally accepted standard for lip filler is to inject 1mL of filler every 6 months. However, injection of this amount and frequency commonly leads to over-filling the lips. Hyaluronic acid fillers typically come in 1mL syringes, and the expected longevity of these fillers is 6 months. In 2019, we performed MRI scans on patients who had filler many years ago, often greater than 10 years, and found their filler to be present. We surmised that lip fillers can actually last for much longer than 6 months. Therefore, getting injectables too frequently can easily lead to over-filling.
Ironically, a common complaint about lip fillers is that they often ‘disappear’ after only a few weeks or months. Once again, using MRI scans, we found that lip filler persists, but often migrates out of the lip into surrounding areas. This creates the impression that they have gone when they have not.
We recommend infrequent filling of the lips using only small amounts each session. Rather than using 1mL to inject just the lips, we suggest that this one mL of filler can be spread through the whole face. Only a fraction of a mL should be injected into the lips at one time, to achieve a more natural looking result.
What to expect during the lip enhancement procedure
Lip filler treatment is a relatively short procedure that will only last about 15-20mins. The cosmetic surgeon will apply anaesthetic first, either by injection or numbing cream. Then they will cleanse the lips, before asking the patient to hold ice on their lips for a minute or two.
The actual injection will feel like a slight pinch, and then the surgeon may apply some lip ointment to the patient’s lips.
What to expect after the treatment
You may experience some bruising and swelling for the next few days, but there will be very little downtime. You can return to work immediately. You should be able to see results almost immediately after the treatment.
You should avoid using a straw or drinking any hot liquids for a few days after being injected with lip filler.
Lip Filler Case Studies
This patient presented to the Victorian Cosmetic Institute in Melbourne, wanting to add volume to her lips. Her lips were enhanced using the cannula method. The patient reported she had no bruising, no pain and no downtime. She is very happy with her results and feels more confident when going out.
This patient presented to the Victorian Cosmetic Institute with concerns that her lips lacked definition and volume. She also noticed that the upper lip tapered away from the middle to the outside. Her lips were enhanced by using injectables in the lip line and body to enhance shape and volume.
This patient presented to the Victorian Cosmetic Institute in Melbourne, to enhance her lips with lip filler treatments. 1ml of dermal filler was used to create fuller and more shapely lips.
This patient wanted to add volume to her wonderfully shaped lips. These are the immediate results post treatment using the cannula method. The patient was ready to continue on with her day immediately after treatment.
This patient has been seeing Dr Gavin Chan since 2012 for lip augmentation. She has had treatment approximately every 6-9 months.
The after picture below was taken just prior to her next treatment and about 6 months after her previous treatment. From this you can see that a natural result can be maintained over years of lip filler treatments.
What do aesthetically pleasing lips look like?
This is a personal preference. Our staff will take the time to discuss your needs with you and make sure they know exactly what you would like to achieve.
However, it is important to have lips that fit your face appropriately. As a rule, for people with a smaller face, eyes, and nose, smaller lips may be appropriate. Over-enhancing lips in such a person could create a false or unnatural appearance.
The bottom lip should also be larger than the top lip as a general rule, and the upper lip should protrude slightly when seen from the side.
It is also important to avoid the ‘trout pout’ or ‘ducky lips’. Inexperienced injectors often create this look by over-injecting certain parts of the lip.
What will I look like with lip filler?
Again, this will vary from person to person. The results of lip augmentation will vary depending on your natural lip shape, the amount of filler you receive and the part of the lip that it is injected into. Most people will see a decrease in wrinkles and an increase in plumpness and size.
What are the side effects of lip enhancement?
After lip filler treatment, the main side effect is swelling of the lips. This may persist for 3 to 14 days, although the swelling after only a few days should have substantially subsided. Usually injection of the lip body produces more swelling than the border. The type of dermal filler used also determines, to an extent, the degree of swelling.
A bruise may also result from the injections.
Occasionally, lip augmentation may cause cold sores to reappear. If this occurs, you need to notify your doctor and be prescribed an antiviral tablet.
All of these side effects are reduced significantly through the use of a cannula instead of a needle.
What do I need to do after lip filler treatment?
The swelling will occur immediately and ice packs can help reduce this. Not drinking too much water for the first 24 hours may also help reduce swelling.
You may need to use a lip balm to help prevent dry lips initially, and no make up is to be used for 12 hours.
It is best to avoid strenuous exercise and excessive UV exposure for at least 48 hours post treatment.
If you feel any lumps, you should massage these twice a day until they have resolved. If these lumps persist, you may need to have them corrected by your treatment doctor or nurse. Lumps from the temporary fillers we use can be dissolved by injecting a dissolving product.
How much do lip fillers cost in Melbourne?
The practitioner will discuss this with you in your initial consultation as the cost of your lip filler treatment plan will vary depending on the amount and type of filler used.
Click here for the full price list.
How long do lip fillers last?
The appearance of lip fillers will last around 6 months, but the injectables will stay in your face for much longer than that. It is best to wait at least 6-9 months between treatments. Read more about how long lip fillers last with our guide.
Do lip fillers hurt?
During the treatment itself you should only feel mild discomfort, depending on your pain threshold. You may experience some pain for a day or two afterwards. You can read more about whether lip fillers hurt in our dedicated guide.
Are lip fillers safe to get?
The lips are generally the safest area of the face to get filler, but there are risks associated with every cosmetic procedure. Our doctors will discuss all of the potential risks and consequences with you prior to your treatment to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible.
Why choose the Victorian Cosmetic Institute as your provider of injectable lip enhancement?
The doctors and nurses at the Victorian Cosmetic Institute in Melbourne take time to discuss your personal requirements and preferences as to the kind of lip filler treatment you would like. We utilise specialised techniques such as micro-cannula injections to provide better experiences and outcomes. Our doctors and registered nurses are highly experienced in lip enhancement and skin treatments.
Simply click the “book online” button above and fill out the form.
Alternatively, call us on 1300 863 824 to discuss your filler needs.