What happens after a lip filler treatment? - my personal story

I recently had my lips done. I have previously had small amounts (0.5ml) injected into my lips here and there but nothing significant. I decided to have a full treatment of 1ml and the below article is an honest account of my lip enhancement treatment and down time. I have written this is especially for my existing and future patients who may not be aware of what happens after a lip filler treatment. 

Recently I went to Sydney for the weekend for a cosmetic medicine conference. On arriving at 7am after a red eye flight from Perth which was delayed by nearly 2 hours I was exhausted!!!

Weary eyed and sleep deprived I stumbled through Paddington in search of the wonderful Dr Adina who I had booked in with to have a look at my temples.

Long story short I have some volume loss in my temporal area (genetic and also from nearly turning 30 – god help me) and wanted to discuss the possibility of collagen stimulator fillers in this area. She is an expert in this treatment with over 18 years of experience and not many doctors feel comfortable treating this area due to the anatomy and risks involved.

Needless to say I went under the needle again but while sitting in the chair I made the rash decision to say “hey while we’re here lets do my lips – just for fun” ***

Now remember I was in Sydney for a cosmetics conference the very next day. My face and appearance is my brand at these events.

SOOO without numbing cream and a little bit of happy gas I had my lips done – I was aiming for increased structure and support to my lips rather than volume or shape.

The treatment was comfortable and only took 5 minutes. Hardly any bleeding and I watched the treatment with a mirror. It was a breeze! 

*** I do not advise my patients to made such rash decisions regarding having a treatment done. 

See my lip filler journey below…




As I left the clinic I didn’t feel too bad aside from my exhaustion. It was a really wonderful experience and I love being in the position of a patient rather than the doctor.

I was diligent with my aftercare – what I stress to my own patients – and went straight to my hotel to apply ice. As I didn’t anticipate having the treatment I purchased some lanolin and sudacrem to keep my lips super hydrated.

I had not drank alcohol in well over a week and also do not take any blood thinning medications or vitamins so was not worried about any bruising.

No dramas so far. They were swollen but not a disaster. They were a bit sore and I couldn’t eat dinner properly either. Warning sign of things to come?

I was looking forward to the cosmetic conference the following day.



I am never doing this again!!!! WHAT HAVE I DONE????




HOLY MOLY I was swollen.

I woke up in quite a lot of pain, I could hardly open my mouth and everything felt super tender. I couldn’t even eat my breakfast.

The swelling in my top lip also extended up and around my mouth – yep the dreaded trout pout look.

I was mortified and so embarrassed to attend the conference with some of the most highly respected cosmetic physicians and surgeons both from Australia and Overseas.

I kept my head low all day and have never felt so self conscious in my life. It was not the best feeling, especially as I am normally quite confident and often don’t give my appearance a second thought during the day.

day 3.jpg


Ok swelling is going down. No huge bruises – just a few at the corners of my mouth. And cheeks (I think from pressure from me massaging)

I have still been applying after care creams religiously and took an antihistamine last night to help a bit. I think it worked.

I still look ridiculous and regret having the treatment. I spoke to a few colleagues and many reassured me it was fine and expected (and partly due to the product we used).

I still hate it though.

This is the why I tell patients that sometimes they may walk out of the clinic hating me, but I promise them I will be their best friend in a week once their lips settle down. I hope I am not the exception to this rule.

Bloody hell my lips HURT. They feel like slugs.



They feel relatively normal and are starting to look like my lips again. There is a bit of extra fullness to one side (used more product to help with my existing asymmetry) but I think this will settle. This is why I NEVER top up a lip treatment before the swelling settles (usually week 4) as one side often becomes more swollen. 

It’s funny how any existing asymmetries and minor details about your lips (and face for that matter) become more pronounced once you have a treatment done.

So far so good. I’m still not sold on them. We used significantly more in the top lip to build up the support for the lip border and I still have those annoying cracks in my bottom lip.

I hope the proportions even out soon…


And behold the final result!

Excusing the bad photo but I am not a taker of selfies and don't know how to get the lighting right on my own before and afters. 

As you can see despite significant post treatment swelling and asymmetry my lips have settled and look perfect. They look like my lips just a bit plumper and more defined. 

lips final.jpg

I love my lips now. They are my lips just a little bit bigger and more in proportion. It came down to the expertise of my injector of course but despite who you have inject your lips downtime can sometimes be an issue. 

It is important to stress that lip fillers are still a medical procedure and not without expected downtime. I urge my patients to ensure they have enough time following a treatment to manage the potential swelling and bruising and to please be patient with this. Yes it might completely suck for a few days but the result will be worth it. I will NOT inject your lips if you are getting married the next weekend (PLAN AHEAD). 

I often get asked if I have fillers and comments that my lips look so natural. I certainly didn't feel that they looked natural two days after the fact, and judging by my photos I bet you wouldn't think so either. 

Morel of the story - you may swell, your lips may look terrible 2-3 days afterwards, you may get a monster of a bruise, you may feel your lips are asymmetrical and you may hate your injector. BUT this is self limiting and if you trust your injector and their skill then you will be back begging for more in a few months. 

Lots of love

Dr Kate x