This is probably the most important thing, and it’s definitely something you should look into more for your first time than any other. Ensure it’s a board-certified surgeon or board-certified dermatologist specializing in aesthetics. A good doctor will be able to ensure your smile remains in balance and that you look authentic. We know it’s tempting to go for that Groupon deal, but you really want to make sure your surgeon or doctor knows what they’re doing.
2. Take it slow, you can always get fillers topped up
When it comes to fillers, take it slow so you avoid having overly filled lips that you might regret. Some surgeons allow you to use half a syringe and come back a couple of weeks later for the rest if you decide that’s what you want. Also, remember that there is a little swelling from the procedure, so it may take a few days to a week to see the final results.
3. You really need to think, how big?
Before you even make the appointment, you need to think long and hard about how you want your lips to look. Quite often people feel as if they’ve wasted their money as their lips haven’t changed much or have changed too dramatically. Make sure you communicate this with your cosmetic surgeon whether you’d like a natural or a more voluptuous look. Depending on how you might like to correct or alter the shape of your lips, or if you simply want them to look a little plumper, this will alter the technique that your doctor uses.
4. Prep before your appointment
The week before your appointment, you shouldn’t take any aspirin, anti-inflammatories (like Ibuprofen or Aleve), fish oil, multivitamins or vitamin E. Each of these vitamins or medications will thin your blood and can cause bruising post-appointment. This is why it’s also best to avoid alcohol or caffeine 24 hours before and after your appointment, as this will help reduce swelling. You could take Arnica tablets – a homeopathic herb that helps reduce bruising – pre and post-appointment.
5. Carefully choose the type of filler and how much
If you go back ten years, the only real type of filler on offer was collagen. But now there are loads of variations (see the article on types of dermal filler); the most common type is hyaluronic acid fillers like Juvederm and Restylane, which are definitely recommended. For a plump, pillowy pout, try Juvederm. Or, if you want a more natural look, Restylane is a great option, however, your doctor will know which is best depending on the type of look you would like to achieve. The usual amount of filler per session is one syringe, which is often 1 ml of the dermal filler.
If you want that a really full pout, you might need to use more than double the usual amount, but again, this depends from person to person. I definitely recommend that if you do want to go a lot fuller, that you do this in more than one session. You never know, you might prefer a more subtle look.
6. The procedure is super quick and the results are almost instant
The appointment usually only takes an hour, and honestly, a lot of that hour is just speaking with your cosmetic surgeon so they can get an idea of what you really want. Your doctor might then pinpoint using a white marker where they’ll insert the filler. Regardless of where they insert it, you’ll be able to see the results pretty much straight away, but do expect some bruising – they won’t be snap-ready immediately, although any swelling should go down within three days. You can hold a little ice (wrapped in tissue) on your lips to help with the swelling, post-appointment.
If you experience any bumps in your lips, that’s a sign that the filler is too close to the surface, and although it usually goes away, it can be corrected. If you’ve had Juvederm fillers, after 48 hours you can very gently massage your lips with a lip balm to smooth out bumps, but it’s best to consult with your surgeon first.
7. Avoid numbing cream… If you can bear the pain
Most often, a numbing cream such as lidocaine is applied before the filler is inserted to help cope with the pain – which is painful for sure, especially on the Cupid’s bow! But if you can take it, perhaps avoid using the numbing cream, as sometimes this can cause your lips to naturally swell, which means it’s a lot harder to gauge the true effect of the filler when it’s being done. To help see the real impact the filler is having, you may find it really helpful to snap the process, to see what it looks like in photos.