Lip augmentation is the process of enhancing your lip shape or volume using injectable fillers or surgical techniques. While lip augmentation does not typically involve a long recovery period, there are steps you can take to ensure you minimize risks such as infection or asymmetry.

Lip Augmentation Procedure Preparation

Both injectable fillers and surgical procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you most likely will not need to stay at the surgery center or hospital following your procedure. Prior to your procedure, ask your physician if you should arrange to have someone drive you home. While this may not be needed for injectable fillers, you may find it necessary for more invasive lip augmentation procedures like implants.

You also should discuss with your physician any medications or supplements you are currently taking. For example, if you are taking blood thinners, your physician may recommend stopping taking these two weeks prior to the procedure if possible in order to minimize bleeding, bruising and swelling risks.

“Be very clear with your doctor about all your medical issues,” advises Franklin Richards, MD, FACS, a board-certified plastic surgeon with practices in Bethesda, Maryland, and McLean, Virginia. “There are a lot of herbal medications that can interfere with platelets, causing added bruising and swelling following your procedure.”

If you currently smoke, your physician also may ask you to stop smoking a certain time period prior to your procedure to ensure the best results.

Think about the clothing you wear. Loose and comfortable is best, particularly a button-down shirt that you can easily remove with having to lift it over your face and possibly causing trauma to your mouth.

Lip Augmentation Recovery Period

You can expect some redness and swelling around your lip area following lip augmentation. Depending on the procedure utilized, this can take anywhere from one day to two weeks to subside. Upon returning home, there are some steps you can take to minimize bruising and swelling:

  • Keep your head elevated to facilitate blood flow and minimize swelling. Prop yourself up on a few comfy pillows for a better night’s rest.
  • Apply a cloth-covered ice pack to your lips about three to four hours following the procedure for no more than 10 minutes at one time. Because you may have temporary sensation loss in your lips, you may not recognize when the ice has been on your lips too long. By limiting the time period, you can prevent burns from the ice.
  • Take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen as recommended to relieve pain. Avoid aspirin as a pain reliever at this time because it can thin your blood, increasing the risk for bleeding and bruising.
  • Apply an antibiotic or moisturizing ointment to the lips to prevent infection, drying and cracking. Gently touch your lips — do not rub them at this time.
  • Consume soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, soups, gelatin and pudding the first two days after lip augmentation. Because these foods do not require excessive chewing, they are less likely to contribute to pain and swelling.
  • Refrain from exercising in the first week following your procedure as intense activity may cause trauma to the lip area.
  • Refrain from drinking alcohol at least one week following the procedure. Alcohol is a natural blood thinner and may affect your recovery.

Your recovery from lip augmentation should go relatively smoothly if you follow these tips and communicate with your physician if you have any concerns or complications.