Lip Augmentation Procedure and Recovery

October 07, 2020

Lip Augmentation Procedure and Recovery

Whether you have uneven lips or simply want a fuller-looking pout, lip augmentation is a quick and easy procedure that can address your woes.

In the US alone in 2018, close to 40,000 individuals have gotten plumper and fuller lips through lip implants or fillers. It’s one of the quickest cosmetic procedures there is, and recovery is just as fast when done correctly. 

Lip augmentation can be done with temporary lip fillers or permanent lip implants. If you want to learn more about your options and the steps to take post-surgery in order to recover quickly, read on.


Temporary Lip Fillers

A temporary lip filler is a good option if you’re not fully committed to a permanent implant or if you have asymmetrical lips. 

Lip fillers come in a syringe and are injected directly to give the lips volume. This makes it easy to control the amount of filler that goes into your lips. This is what gives fillers the advantage if you want to fix uneven lips since implants come in a consistent size and therefore cannot correct any asymmetry.

What are temporary lip fillers made of?

Lip fillers are made up of either collagen or hyaluronic acid, both of which naturally occur in the human body. However, collagen  fillers are usually sourced from bovine collagen which is derived from cows. While it’s an effective choice for fillers, make sure to have an allergy test prior to your procedure since around 3% of patients experience an allergic reaction to bovine collagen. If you’re safe to use it, collagen is an effective option to reduce signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines on the lips, aside from giving it volume.

Collagen fillers usually last 4 -  6 months depending on each patient.

Another option for your dermal filler is hyaluronic acid, which is naturally-occuring in the body. It can be found in your eyes and connective tissues mostly. It works by binding to water in order to retain moisture - which is why it’s a popular ingredient in skincare products. Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers fill the space of volume loss, giving the lips a plump and juicy appearance.

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers last for 6-12 months on average. Its lasting power depends on each patient and some people can retain its plumpness for a shorter or longer period of time.

Should you get temporary lip fillers?

There are pros and cons to getting lip fillers. It’s said they have a more “natural” way of plumping the lips, but they’re also temporary so you might need to touch it up once in a while if you want. 

On the bright side, fillers give you the freedom to experiment with the size and volume that you want your lips to have. In case you’re not happy with the way your fillers look, you don’t have to worry. They will eventually melt away and you can decide if you want to add more volume, or stick to your natural lip shape. 

How does the procedure work?

Getting lip fillers is a poke and run procedure. It’s quick and easy. You won’t even need to go completely under anesthesia - only a topical numbing cream and the procedure can start.

But before anything else, the first thing you have to take care of is finding a clinic that you completely trust. Your clinic should be able to inform you about the process, talk you through any of your concerns, and help with the shape you’d like to achieve. 

As with any medical procedure, make sure that your clinic uses top-notch products. We cannot stress enough that this is not the time to go cheap - that is unless you want to be botched. 

Infection is only HALF of your worries. A few patients have reported getting a compromised product that’s half hyaluronic acid and half silicone for the sake of saving a few bucks and we don’t want that. You’d be sorry later on when you find yourself needing to have little lumps inside your lips surgically removed. Yikes.

Once you’ve found the perfect clinic for you, the actual procedure will be a breeze. You will be asked to remove all your makeup before your appointment to eliminate any risks of infection. A topical numbing agent like lidocaine will be applied to your lips so you won’t feel the needles go in as much. 

Aside from the clinic fee, you will usually be charged for 1 full syringe of filler for your procedure. If you don’t end up using the full syringe, the clinic will likely store the remaining filler for when you’d like a touch-up in a couple weeks, or a retouch after 6 months.

Recovery after getting your fillers is pretty fast since you don’t have to worry about stitches. However, there are certain precautions that you need to follow in order to avoid any complications.


What do you do after the procedure?

  • After you get your lip fillers done, expect swelling and bruising over the next few hours. Swelling gets worse over 48 hours, and this is where your bruises will really show. It is advised not to use any lip products during this time and simply attend to the swelling.
  • Apply cold compress to the swollen area. Cold therapy soothes inflammation by constricting the blood vessels around the injection site. By exposing it to the cold, your lips can swell less.

To soothe swelling, apply an ice pack on your lips as frequently as possible. Make sure to provide a soft cloth for your lips when you apply any ice pack to avoid frostbite burns. Your lips might still be a little numb after the procedure so you might not feel the pain that much. Be mindful when you use cold therapy, or you can purchase agel pack with cloth backing to keep you safe.


  • Apply arnica to the swollen area or take arnica supplements. Arnica is a medicinal herb used for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been proven to help with bruising and swelling, so this is a good option for those who want to support their recovery in a more natural way.
  • Avoid eating salty food as it can dehydrate you and cause you to swell even more.
  • Avoid kissing for the next 7 days as it can strain your newly-injected lips.
  • Drinking pineapple juice has been said to help with the swelling, thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties of bromelain, an enzyme found in these fruits. 
  • It will take 2 weeks for the swelling to completely go away. However, if you notice any pimples around the injection site, contact your clinic right away as this can be a sign of infection. 

Permanent Lip Implants

Lip fillers do the job quite well and can give you plumper, natural-looking lips in a short amount of time, but if you’re looking for something permanent, lip implants might be the option for you.

Permanent lip implants are recommended to those who have symmetrical lips and want lip volume that they don’t need to retouch every so often. Even though lip fillers can plump the lip perfectly, it can get pricey to maintain in the long run. 

If you think about it, the cost for filler retouches add up. Getting lip implants is the cheaper option if you’re committed to your lips looking a certain way. It will save you a ton of time, too. 

Permanent lip implants come in two kinds: silicone and expanded polytetrafluoroethylene implants. If you’re not comfortable with “manufactured” implants, you can also opt for tissue or fat grafting to give your lips more volume.Tissue grafting makes use of skin from your lower stomach area to fill the lip, whilefat grafting makes use of fat from the abdomen to fill the lip. 


How does the procedure work?

The procedure for permanent lip implants is invasive. An incision will have to be made for the implant to be placed inside. However, the procedure lasts for only 30 minutes so it’s still nothing major.

To make this possible, your surgeon will have to make an incision on the corners of your mouth. Afterwards, a clamp will be inserted inside the incisions to make way for the implants. The clamp will then be removed, and the implant will be placed inside the lip. 

Sounds easy, right? The incision will then be closed with small sutures and you can say hello to your new lip! Recovering after your surgery is a lot like recovering after lip fillers, except you have to be mindful about your stitches.

What do you do after the procedure?

To avoid infection:

  • After surgery, your sutures will be covered in tape to prevent it from getting infected or from the stitches from getting ruptured. To avoid any complications with your stitches and to keep your lips lubricated, use healing ointments like Vaseline or Aquaphor.
  • Blisters or pimples are signs of infection. If you notice any of these forming around the site of the surgery, get in touch with your doctor immediately.

To help with the swelling and bruising:

  • Cold therapy should be applied continuously to decrease swelling. Do this as often as possible for the next 48 hours. However, be wary of burning your lips. Your lips are covered by a thin layer of skin and they may be a little numb from the anesthesia post-surgery, so be careful of frostbite burns. Always use a soft cloth in between your cold pack and your skin, or you can choose a gel pack that hasa built-in cloth backing.
  • Sleep with your head elevated to decrease the swelling. This is to keep the blood flow away from the bruised area.
  • For the first few days, it will be difficult to eat, speak, chew or drink through a straw. During this time, it is advised to eat soft food like soup or pasta.
  • To avoid bleeding, bruising, and swelling, avoid straining or any aerobic activity for at least 3 weeks after surgery.

Final Thoughts

Lip augmentation is a common cosmetic procedure, and is generally safe to do. Just make sure to choose the right clinics and doctors, and support your body properly while in recovery.

Soothe swelling and bruises by cold therapy. Icewraps carries a wide variety of gel pack sizes meant to address any injury for your lips and your face area. Throw a couple of these in the freezer for rotation, and your recovery week is covered. 


3x3 Gel Packs
ICEWRAPS 4” Round Reusable Gel Ice Packs with Cloth Backing
ICEWRAPS 3"x3"Mini Reusable Gel Ice Packs
ICEWRAPS 3"x5" Reusable Gel Ice Packs


If you’re a doctor with a private practice or an aesthetic clinic, weproduce custom gel packs for your business. We have a wide range of sizes as well as colors to choose from. Head on to thesite to check out your options. 

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