The lips are one of the main features that make a face more attractive. Over the last few years, non-surgical lip augmentation with injectable fillers have become all the rage for men and women who want a plump, fuller lip. However, many patients who are discouraged against lip filler injections because they see “unnatural” looking results or hear about adverse reactions caused by a bad lip augmentation procedure.
So what is the best technique for applying lip fillers like Juvederm? In order to avoid excess application of Juvederm filler and prevent bruising or swelling, it’s best to use a cannula. Using a cannula for lip enhancement can lead to a shorter downtime and better results because the soft, flexible cannula gives injectors total control and minimizes damage to the blood vessels.
Juvederm: The Top Dermal Filler for Lip Augmentation
Along with the eyes, the lips are highlighted among the most beautiful regions of the face. While trends may change, the goal is always symmetrical, plump, and healthy-looking lips. Over time, sun damage, hereditary, and smoking can cause a loss of lip volume, as well as the development of unattractive perioral lines on the lips and mentolabial folds near the chin.
In previous decades, genetically thin lips and generally asymmetry would be treated with soft tissue augmentation, like fat transfer or lip implants. Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of injectable fillers such as Juvederm and Restylane to correct naturally thin lips or to treat lips that have lost volume with age. In the hands of an expert plastic surgeon, a lip filler treatment can restore lip fullness and reshape the lips for a better pout.
There are a variety of injectable filler formulations available on the market today. Juvederm and Restylane are the two most popular choices because of their active ingredient: hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally-occurring substance found in the body. It stimulates the production of collagen, the connective tissue that keeps skin youthful, and attracts water to the treatment site for plumper lips. Some benefits of an HA filler include:
- Safe:There is a low risk of an allergic reaction, as our bodies already have hyaluronic acid.
- Effective: Filler products made of hyaluronic acid can create better definition and contouring for the lips.
- Subtle: As the hyaluronic acid integrates itself gradually into the lip tissues, it can support a natural shape and subtle volume over time.
- Dissolvable: In case there is a problem or a patient is unhappy with the results, the hyaluronic acid can easily be dissolved with a substance called hyaluronidase.
There are many differences between Restylane and Juvederm, such as their molecule size, gel thickness, and longevity. A provider would recommend which product is more suitable for a patient based on their unique lip anatomy. Juvederm, however, is often considered the gold standard hyaluronic acid lip filler. Unlike Restylane — which takes more than a week to be visible and lasts 10 months — Juvederm results can be instantly seen after the lip filler procedure, and its results last up to a year.
Learn more: What Is the Longest Lasting Facial Filler?
The Best Lip Filler Injection Techniques for You
The anatomy of the lips is complex, as it’s made up of skin and several types of mucosa forming an ‘envelope’ filled with muscle and fat tissue. As patients age, the lip structure changes because the muscle and fat tissue diminish over time. The skin’s elasticity also decays and leds to visible changes. Most patients seek out cosmetic filler plastic surgery to reshape or enlarge their lips, correct vertical lip lines, and minimize the presence of nasolabial folds at the corners of the mouth.
During the lip enhancement procedure, the provider will apply a numbing agent on the lips to reduce pain and discomfort. Then, they will use a pen to mark the treatment areas. At this point, the techniques may differ:
The common method of applying lip filler involves the use of normal needles. A doctor will inject Juvederm into a number of target areas using rigid needles with a sharp point, which may cause some bleeding. Afterwards, they will lightly massage the area to evenly distribute the product and reduce the chance of swelling. Depending on the area treated, the procedure will take 15 – 60 minutes. As Juvederm contains a small amount of pain-reducing lidocaine, any discomfort experienced by a patient quickly wears off.
The other FDA-approved method of injecting cosmetic filler to the lips is through a cannula, which is a flexible needle with a blunt tip. Many doctors prefer using cannulas as they are less likely to puncture a blood vessel when the filler is injected, leading to shorter downtimes, less bruising, and minimal swelling.
For the lips, a normal injection will create entry points on either side of the lips. As the cannulas are longer than a normal needle, it can reach more areas and deliver the cosmetic injection smoothly, even with just one or two entrances.
While many experts recommend the cannula method, it still depends on the patient’s cosmetic goals, as the cannula method won’t work on everything. It’s good to use with normal, horizontal injections into the vermillion border of the lips, working from the outer edges inwards to create a prominent, enhanced lip line.
On the other hand, a patient may want to get Russian Doll Lips, which enhances the Cupid’s bow without creating a more pronounced lip line. The Russian Lip focuses on the center of the lips, rather than spreading plumpness in both upper lip and lower lip, to create a lip shape that looks like a heart. Russian Lips require the Russian Lip Technique (or lip tenting technique), where the dermal filler injection is administered vertically into the base of the lip then drawn to the outer edge.
Can Juvederm Filler Injections Go Wrong?
As a cosmetic procedure, Juvederm lip fillers are generally safe. Unlike getting a lip lift, a surgical procedure that shortens the distance between the nose and the upper lift, getting a lip filler is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure that requires less downtime. In order to achieve the desired results, a board-certified cosmetic surgeon should perform the injection after careful patient selection and consultation.
Providers should know the patient’s medical history and explain the benefits and limitations of the treatment. Patients should also be warned of common side effects of getting a Juvederm lip injection, such as:
- Lumps or bumps
- Minor pain
And like every cosmetic treatment, there are a number of ways filler injections could go wrong or look unnatural. Incorrect product selection, inappropriate delivery of the facial filler, lack of product-specific training, and uneven distribution of the injected hyaluronic acid filler are among the causes of a ‘botched’ filler treatment. Other technique-related mistakes include:
- Aggressive product injection: When too much of the Juvederm product is injected, the lips may look over-filled, unnatural, and disproportionate. Injectors should perform the procedure slowly to ensure everything remains in balance with the rest of the face. A Good injector would know to inject the right amount of product to achieve the desired outcome at the appropriate ratio.
- Incorrect product placement: If Juvederm is injected too deeply into the lip tissues, it would disappear and you won’t see any results. On the other hand, if the injection was done too superficially, the results would be very obvious — in a bad way. Unprofessional handling can even cause severe side effects; injecting Juvederm into a blood vessel unintentionally may lead to permanent scarring, vision abnormalities, stroke, or blindness.
- Poor injection technique: Incorrect product placement is related to a problem with the injection techniques used. Cannula injections are often more comfortable and safer for many patients. Unlike needle injections, where the product may be placed in different deposits that look ‘balled’, a cannula injection can reduce the risk of tissue trauma and provide a smoother, natural-looking result.
For some patients, Juvederm lip fillers are not the best choice. Other cosmetic injections may be more suitable for them, such as the Botox lip flip. Neuromodulators like Botox and Dysport are well-known for their capability to erase and smooth each facial wrinkle, but they can also be used to change the appearance of the lips. A Botox injection can be placed into the Cupid’s bow for a lifted pout.
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From our range of quality blunt-tip cannulas, traditional needles, syringes, Plasma Pens, and other tools, your patients are sure to gain more confidence in their treatment — and in you. Call us today to learn more about our offerings.