Lip fillers are an extremely popular way to increase the volume of your lips. The application process is know as lip augmentation and has seen an uptick in popularity recently thanks to its convenience and effectiveness. When done properly, it not only adds volume but improves the shape and structure of lips as well.

Dr. Stallworth provides the following explanation of lip fillers and how patients can prepare for pre- and post-op recovery.

What are lip fillers?

Lip fillers are a type of dermal filler made of synthetic hyaluronic acid (HA), which is a natural substance found in the body. There are multiple brands of lip fillers, including Juvederm®, Perlane®, and Restylane®. Always consult with your doctor to assess which brand would work best for your needs.

There are multiple benefits to getting lip filler injections, including:

    • Restoration of Lip Size: Older patients typically seek lip fillers when they notice their lips becoming smaller, thinner, or sometimes even flatter. This is a natural process that occurs when we age and can be easily treated with the right application of fillers.
    • Safety & Effectiveness: This simple procedure includes very few risks of complications or side effects, prompting many to give it a try.
    • Reversible Process: Not only is it safe, but fillers can be removed. If patients are unhappy with the final result, injecting an enzyme to dissolve lip filler can be administered, bringing lips back to their previous state.
    • Correction of Uneven Lip Shape: Some patients experience displeasure with their uneven (asymmetrical) lips. Fillers may be a solution to help add symmetry.
    • Smoothing of Wrinkles:  Sometimes wrinkles develop on the sides of the mouth due to the recurring facial movement of smiling or laughing, particularly as we age. Fillers may help correct these lines.
    • Confidence Boosting: Many patients experience a confidence boost when their lips are the size and shape they prefer.

Preparing for Lip Fillers

Based on requirements from The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), you must be at least 21 years old to receive FDA-approved fillers. Additionally, to be considered for fillers you should be in good health, free of any oral infections or allergies, and cleared by your doctor to receive the injections. 

During your consultation, your doctor may ask you questions about your expectations of the procedure. They will then explain what your recovery period will look like, which will help put your mind at ease and reassure you that your lips won’t be harmed.

Additionally, it is also common for surgeons to measure your face and get photos of the “before” to better assess results after completion.

The Procedure

The lip filler procedure is simple and shouldn’t take too long. It begins with your surgeon numbing your lips so that you don’t feel any pain during the process. Numbing occurs through the application of a cream and takes 10-20 minutes to go into effect.

Once numb, fillers will be injected throughout your lips. This includes the edges, center, upper lip, lower lip, and corners of the mouth. Because of the numbing cream, you’ll only feel a slight pinching sensation and mild discomfort, but you shouldn’t experience any severe pain.

After all liquid has been injected, your lips will be massaged to make sure the dermal filler is properly absorbed. Your doctor will then ice your lips for a few minutes. We recommend having a friend or relative with you on procedure day just in case you feel you need someone to take care of you after the procedure is done.

The Healing Process

Swelling will go away after 1-2 days but may take up to a week in some cases. Any sensitivity and bruising you experience during these first few days is probably normal, but it never hurts to check by sharing pictures with your doctor for their opinion. Fillers usually last 6-12 months, on average. This will of course depend on your age and activity levels. More active and younger patients might see filler dissipate faster.


Here are some tips to help your lips heal in the first week after the procedure:

  • Be extra careful when brushing your teeth. Don’t brush too close to the lips since it may cause some discomfort.
  • Apply an ice pack for up to 10 minutes, multiple times a day.
  • Make sure you rest and refrain from participating in any intense physical activity. 
  • Don’t wear any lip balm or lipstick for the first two days. Your lips need rest!
  • Drink lots of water.

Schedule a Consultation

At Stallworth Facial Plastics, you’ll receive professional guidance and thoughtful answers to all your lip filler questions. If you’re ready to have lip filler applied in San Antonio, schedule a consultation with Dr. Stallworth today!