Lip Enhancement Treatments and Vascular Occlusion

By: katie | Posted on: 04 Dec 2015

Lip enhancement using dermal fillers has quickly become one of the most popular aesthetic procedures. Hyaluronic acid dermal filler is deemed the safest option when injecting this area because it carries less risk of complications such as hypersensitivity, arterial occlusion, nodules and infection. Hyaluronic acid is a re-absorbable filler and will usually last patients between 6 to 12 months. It is synthetically derived which means the risk of an allergic reaction or hypersensitivity to these products is significantly reduced.

When a practitioner carries out a lip enhancement treatment it is important that they have good understanding and knowledge of the facial anatomy in order to prevent a vascular occlusion. This area is a known vascular area with branches of the facial artery; the superior labial and inferior labial presenting here which creates an increased risk of this complication occurring.

Vascular occlusion can happen with any filler regardless of it properties but knowing the correct depth of injection and thickness of the product being used for an area can help prevent this from happening. The importance lies with the practitioner being able to recognise this complication and knowing how to treat it, should it arise.

What to look for with a vessel occlusion;

  • Prolonged blanching in the area where injected
  • Immediate, severe pain at the site of injection 
  • Discolouration beyond that of normal bruising- dusky hue 

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are unique in that there is antidote that will degrade the product should an undesirable outcome occur. This is a prescription only medication called hyaluronidase and should be used only in emergency situations.

A quick response to a vessel occlusion will prevent tissue necrosis (tissue death) from occurring in the treatment area and will limit any permanent damage. This is why it is so important to only seek non-surgical injectable treatments from medically qualified practitioners who have been fully trained.

Our Advanced Dermal Fillers course and Lip Masterclass provide practitioners with the knowledge and skills to ensure that they are injecting the lips safely and using the correct techniques. For more information on these courses, please visit our Medical Courses pag