In recent years, interest in lip filler injections has noticeably increased at our plastic surgery center and medical spa near San Diego. More and more women (and men!) are looking for ways to safely give their lips a little extra va-va-voom. While Kylie Jenner and her notorious pout surely played a part in the uptick of patients wanting to enhance their lips, fans recently noticed that Jenner’s lips weren’t looking quite as voluptuous. In response, Kylie said she had all of her fillers removed, leading many patients to ask, “Can you remove lip filler?”
With a 96% patient satisfaction rate, it’s safe to say that most patients love their fuller, more defined lips after having lip injections—but what do you do if you’re not satisfied with your results? Can you undo lip fillers?
Yes, but there’s a catch: You can only have hyaluronic acid fillers “undone”
Today, there are numerous types of dermal fillers used to help smooth lines, add volume to aging skin, and give the lips a more feminine, full look.
- Hyaluronic acid based fillers, like the Juvéderm® and Restylane® family of fillers.
- Poly-L-lactic acid based fillers, like Sculptra®.
Here at our medical spa, we offer many fillers so we can best meet every patient’s individual needs, but when it comes to lip enhancement, we only use hyaluronic acid fillers. The hyaluronic acid used in fillers is a synthesized version of the hyaluronic acid that naturally occurs in our own bodies, helping provide moisture to the skin and other tissues.
Because of this, hyaluronic acid-based fillers like Juvéderm VOLBELLA and Restylane Silk provide very natural-looking results. They also have the benefit of being able to be dissolved if you decide your newly enhanced lips simply aren’t right for you. The other fillers mentioned above (like Sculptra) are not reversible, though they will naturally be reabsorbed by the body over the course of six months to two years, depending on the product.
The run-down on hyaluronidase and how it works to remove lip fillers
Whether you have hyaluronic acid filler injected into your lips, your cheeks, or any other area that needs a little extra volume and smoothing, the product itself can be dissolved with hyaluronidase.
Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that also naturally occurs in your body. It works by degrading and metabolizing hyaluronic acid. When injected into lips that have dermal filler, the hyaluronidase quickly works to dissolve the product, with patients noticing results after the first day or so.
The process of having hyaluronidase injected will be similar to your initial lip injections. While most patients report that treatment is tolerable, it’s normal to feel a pinch and some residual tenderness and swelling after treatment.
Should I have my lip filler removed?
Ultimately, this is a question only you can answer, but we’ll share some thoughts that may help you decide if you’re on the fence. (We’d also be happy to help you weigh the pros and cons in person at a free consult!)
If there were complications with your original Juvéderm or Restylane lip injections, or you have uneven or sub-par results, it may be worth it to pay for a reversal. This can be especially true if you have an important occasion or you’ll be in a lot of photos in the near future.
Some patients don’t have problem results but simply change their mind about having lip or facial fillers—knowing reversal isn’t overly costly, they choose to go ahead and make a change. This is less common and most patients in this boat ultimately opt to wait it out.
If you’d rather not pay for a reversal or risk the downsides (we’ll go into detail ahead), you can simply live with the results until the filler is naturally reabsorbed into your body.
How expensive is hyaluronidase?
Cost varies from patient to patient, but the good news is hyaluronidase costs less than fillers. Given the amount of product needed plus the provider’s time for administering treatment, you can expect the cost of removing lip filler to start at $150. Total removal will take up to five office visits. Removing larger amounts of filler from other areas such as nasolabial folds may require more product or provider time and thus cost somewhat more.
What happens when you remove lip fillers? Are there drawbacks?
Removing fillers with hyaluronidase is not without potential downsides. Because hyaluronidase can impact both the injected hyaluronic acid and your naturally occurring hyaluronic acid, there is the risk that your lips may appear thinner than they did before. This is typically temporary, as your body will replenish naturally occurring hyaluronic acid over time.
Remember, all hyaluronic acid fillers are temporary. Some products can take up to a year to be fully metabolized, but you will likely notice your lips beginning to return to normal size after a few months. If you can wait it out, you can avoid the potential risks of having your filler removed.
How to get great lip filler results in the first place
Whether you’re wanting to plump up your lips or are looking for someone to help you reverse the results of lip enhancement, it’s crucial to work with an experienced provider. We recommended a plastic surgeon or a nurse injector working under MD supervision. Choosing a qualified provider to begin with will dramatically reduce your risk of having suboptimal results. (See examples of real lip filler results in our before-and-after photo gallery!)
Here at LJC, we have over 31 years of experience helping our La Jolla medical spa patients look and feel fabulous, whether they’re coming in to amp up their curves, reduce signs of aging, or plump up thinning lips. Our top priority is your comfort and satisfaction, so we’ve built a team of highly qualified staff and providers to ensure your experience rocks from the start.
We encourage you to book a free virtual consultation or in-office treatment or contact us at (858) 452-1981 with additional questions about lip fillers! Our plastic surgery center and medical spa welcomes people from Oceanside, Escondido, and throughout Southern California.