How Long Does It Take for Lip Fillers to Settle?

I am frequently asked how long lip fillers take to settle. They ask because they like the volume of the lip filler, but they don’t want their lip to look too unnatural. How do we change the lip, make it look bigger, but not make it look unnatural? The night that I do the lip filler, they’re usually a little unsettled because they see the swelling that’s associated with the lip filler and that makes them a little nervous. They may still be a little nervous the following morning. By the following evening, they’re usually quite happy, and within a week, they have their result. Here’s a quick guide.

What will my lips feel like after getting fillers?

For a few days, the lip can feel a little bit funny. It can feel a little hard, and I notice patients make it worse by putting their tongue to their lips a lot. I will see a patient that comes back who’s not sure of their result, and they’re touching their lips constantly. If you can help it, I recommend not to do that. One of the problems is we have a very tactile organ, our tongue, that’s near our lips. And if the lips feels a little different, we notice that. It’s very different than having a scar on your back or on your leg where we don’t really touch it much during the day. So, I tell patients to not tongue their lips.

Should I get lip fillers with a lip lift?

Realize lip fillers create volume. A lip lift changes the ratio of the white lip. It shortens that and it everts the lip. It doesn’t actually change the volume of the lip, it pulls it out. That creates a different dynamic. Some patients still need lip fillers to make them happy, even after a lip lift. They often don’t need as much filler and they don’t need it as frequently, but they still want to get a little bit of lip filler to make them happy after the lip lift. The lip lift changes the ratio of the white to the red lip and it everts the red lip. It shortens the white lip and it everts the red lip. The lip filler actually puts volume into the lip itself. And so, some patients need both.

Lastly, some patients will actually want a lip flip, by putting a little botulinum toxin along the border of the lip, getting rid of some of the squeezer muscle, and this complements everything. So the complete procedure may include surgery, filler, and botulinum toxin — or some combination individualized with your practitioner.

How long do lip fillers last?

This is a question I get asked all the time. There’s not a great answer for this, but it depends a little on you. If you’re tolerant and you don’t mind your lip deflating a little, it’ll often last seven or eight months. But if you’re intolerant and want that really “poochie” lip, a really voluptuous lip, you may get it every four to five months. So, there’s a range of how long it lasts, but really that’s the patient’s tolerance.

Have questions?
Email Dr.Sykes at hello@sykesplasticsurgery.com

About Dr. Jonathan Sykes

Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.

He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at hello@sykesplasticsurgery.com.