Updated: Apr 6, 2020
When a patient calls or comes into your office concerned about lumps and bumps in their lips after getting filler, it’s a good idea to have a protocol in place. Sometimes, patients may come to you after receiving a botched filler job elsewhere. In other cases, they may have developed lumps or swelling as a normal and temporary reaction to the lip injections. Use this guide to help you help your patients who have concerns about lip lumps.
Lip Injection Techniques to Avoid Lumps
First, you want to take all the steps possible to avoid causing lumps and bumps in the lips by using the proper injection technique.
Inject very slowly into the lips.
Avoid injecting too close to the surface of the skin.
Using too much filler in one area can cause lumps.
Timeline for Managing Lumps after Lip Filler
If the lumps have already occurred, reference this general timeline to advise your patients.
The First 24 Hours
Swelling and bruising are common side effects immediately after getting lip filler, although there are steps both you and your patients can take to help minimize them. Encourage patients to avoid eating certain foods and taking certain medications for ten days prior to their appointment. On the other hand, some foods like pineapple, kale, sweet potatoes and carrots can help to prevent bruising if eaten after getting filler.
Patients should also avoid drinking alcohol, eating salty foods, getting too much sun, and strenuous workouts for the first 48 hours after lip filler. These activities can cause swelling and bruising, which can make the lips appear uneven and lumpy. Since the lips are very vascular, they do have a higher tendency to bruise. However, bruising in the lips can be easily covered up with a dark red lipstick before going back to work. If your practice has a pulse-dye laser, such as the Vbeam Perfecta, you may also use this to help break up the bruise, making the bruising resolve faster.
This soon after their appointment, however, patients should be advised to give it more time for swelling and bruising to diminish and for the product to settle into place. This can take up to two weeks.
The First Two Weeks
When a patient is concerned about lumps within two weeks of their appointment, encourage them to wait until the two-week mark to let the product settle. Sometimes, having your patients lightly massage the lumps with their fingers can help to make lumps go down, but you don’t want them to be too rigorous, either.
The exception would be if the patient is experiencing pain, inflammation, hardening, or signs of infection such as pus and heat. In this case, medical attention may be necessary and they should come into the office as soon as they can.
After Two Weeks
If patients still have lumps that are not improving after two weeks, hyaluronidase can be used to dissolve hyaluronic acid fillers as a last resort. This is one of the reasons why I recommend that patients choose hyaluronic acid fillers over other types that cannot be dissolved if needed.
Hyaluronic acid fillers have the advantage of being dissolvable if a patient is unhappy with their results or in the case of lumps and bumps that won’t go away. However, by using proper injection techniques and providing patients with clear written aftercare instructions, you can reduce the risk of lumps and other complications after lip filler.
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