According to the Plastic Surgery Statistics Report published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for the year 2020, lip augmentation was among the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures. A total of 34,236 procedures were performed.
People of all ages turn to lip augmentation, mainly lip fillers, to get plumper pout. Lip fillers are popular because they are minimally invasive and have a quick recovery time. Since the tool is equally important as the filler itself, the main focus of this post is on the right needle size for this procedure.
Benefits of lip fillers
- Increased confidence and self-esteem
- Low risk of side effects because the procedure is minimally invasive
- Youthful appearance and reduce signs of aging
- Improved profile and facial structure
General factors to consider when choosing a needle for an injection
- Length and gauge of needle
- Type of syringe (in cases of fillers, they are pre-filled)
- The viscosity of medication/filler
- The volume of medication/filler
- Target tissue
- Patient population
What needle size is necessary for lip fillers?
The thickness of the filler is the most important determinant of needle size for lip fillers. For that reason, the size used for lip fillers is a 4-mm 30-gauge needle. The gauge of the needle indicates the diameter size of the lumen (opening). The higher the gauge, the smaller the diameter. That way, the 30-gauge needle has a narrower opening.
The use of this needle size allows for the precise placement of hyaluronic acid filler into the safer subcutaneous plane of the lip. It also decreases the pressure necessary for filler extrusion. As a result, it’s easier to achieve patient comfort. The use of this needle size is a safer approach that yields more natural results.
Figure 1: Source
The 30-gauge needle is particularly useful for medium-depth fillers such as Juvéderm Ultra and Restylane. This needle size is most widely recommended for lip fillers, in addition to the 27-gauge cannula, which many practitioners also use.
Figure 2: Source
The 30-gauge needle is inserted at marked points at the vermillion border at a 30-degree angle no more than 2.5mm deep when the goal of the procedure is to restore the volume. To restore shape, the injections go into the vermillion border at a parallel angle.
The general rule is that lip filler should never be injected deeper than 2.5mm because the overfilling action can contribute to filler migration (movement of filler into other areas of the face, usually toward the nose). Filler migration often leaves a patient with a distorted and duck-like appearance.
Smaller needles decrease pain while increasing patient compliance. Finer and smaller needles, however, may not be suitable for all applications.
Risks of lip fillers that professionals need to warn patients about
- Pain at the site of injection
- Bleeding at the site of injection
- Asymmetry (lips may have different sizes)
- Filler migration
- Vascular compromise (tissue death) in cases when lip filler is injected into or around the artery
- Discoloration or tenderness
- Cold sores
Pros of needles for lip fillers
- Better placement
- Lower risks of lumps
- Quicker procedure
- More precision
- Better for volume augmentation
Since cannulas are also available, some practitioners may opt to insert lip fillers with that instrument only. One shouldn’t rule out needles and their benefits. Generally speaking, both instruments have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, cannulas are longer than needles, and thereby they are more flexible. While for some professionals, this flexibility is an advantage, others consider it a disadvantage. Needles are shorter and therefore allow for greater control and precision.
Needles Mesorelle come in varying sizes, including 30-gauge 4mm. Made in Italy, the needles are manufactured according to the latest and strictest standards and regulations in European Union. Strength, smoothness, and optimal sharpness for perfect penetration are ensured thanks to the latest technology that allowed this famous brand to develop needles suitable for various uses, including lip augmentation. One packaging contains 100 pieces. These high-quality needles simplify the lip augmentation process mainly because they are well-built and perfectly executed for optimal patient outcomes.
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Luthra A. Shaping Lips with Fillers. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2015;8(3):139-142. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.167269 [PubMed]
Keramidas E, Rodopoulou S, Gavala MI. A Safe and Effective Lip Augmentation Method: The Step-by-Step Φ (Phi) Technique. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2021;9(2):e3332. [PubMed]
Gill HS, Prausnitz MR. Does needle size matter?. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2007;1(5):725-729. doi:10.1177/193229680700100517 [PubMed]