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What Does It Feel Like to Get Fillers?

It feels different for every patient who gets filler, but for most, they feel nothing or a little bit of pressure, but no pain. Everyone is different. Some are more pain-sensitive or skin-sensitive than others, but most of my patients tell me that they don’t feel anything. 

Do filler injections hurt?

As a general rule, facial injections, even lip injections, if done carefully, do not hurt. The discomfort for this procedure is actually very low. There are certain ways to inject filler that diminishes the discomfort. I typically apply a topical anesthetic over the area that I’m going to inject, which numbs the skin before penetration with a needle or cannula. 

To lessen the pain even more, all fillers today are mixed with lidocaine or Xylocaine which is an anesthetic. It’s so potent, it’s what I use to anesthetize for nose jobs and face lifts, and other very invasive procedures. If your injector is patient, you won’t feel anything. When injecting cheeks, I inject a tiny bit on one side and then move over to the other side to allow the lidocaine to take effect on the first side. When I return to inject the rest of the filler, the cheek is numb.

If I’m going to do the mid-face and lips, I do the lips last because they’re the most sensitive area and by doing the mid-face first, some of the anesthetic drifts down to the lip. Most people will tell me they hardly feel the lip injections by the time I get to them.

How long will my face or lips hurt after getting fillers?

Your face or lips shouldn’t hurt very much or very long after getting fillers if the injector is careful and patient. Most of my patients are surprised, especially the ones who have come to me for the first time, at how little pain they experience. 

A day or a few days later, your lips might feel a little swollen, but they don’t hurt. The numbing that I use typically creates enough numbness to last long enough to prevent recovery pain. When it comes to the cheeks, they can be a little sore for about a day and a half after injections. The one area that does hurt longer afterward is an injection rhinoplasty or a nonsurgical rhinoplasty. The procedure itself is relatively painless but when I talk to my patients a week later, they report being sore for about three or four days. It’s almost the same kind of soreness that you feel after a vaccine in your arm. Usually a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory ibuprofen or Tylenol is enough. It’s not bad pain, but just mildly sore. 

If you have questions about this, or if you’re needle-phobic, I’m the surgeon for you, because I’m really gentle. Most of my patients tell me that I didn’t hurt them at all. I’d love to talk to you, consult with you and perform your filler injections. Call me, email me and come see me.

Have questions about Lip Fillers?
EMAIL DR. SYKES AT [email protected]

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: [email protected]