What Caused my Bad Reaction to Lidocaine?

What caused my bad reaction to lidocaine? Is this kind of reaction to lidocaine common?

I went to a med spa at the mall who was having a sale on Restylane, (2) 1cc syringes for $999.00 and they would throw in 30cc of Botox for free so... of course I purchased the package deal.
I have had Restylane one time in the past and liked the results but felt that I could have had a little more put in because even though I had 0.5cc put in I wanted bigger lips than 0.5cc gave me. So I told the PA that I wanted 1cc put in... well, after having the dental block to both sides of my upper mouth (sides of nose) area and lower mouth area the PA started injecting the Restylane, I could feel it alot!! (Burning, stretching...) so I stuck it out on the right side of my upper lip but she must have injected me with the needle that was becoming duller and duller with each injection like 5 times to just that one side of my upper lip.
So for the other side she put more block in (2% lidocaine mixed with normal saline) to the area on the side of my nose, well the entire procedure was bordering on painful almost like the lidocaine wasn't working. I figured well... the price of vanity and dealt with it.
After the procedure I looked in the mirror and my face looked kind of strange, puffy, deformed (like the joker on batman) of course my lips were so swollen and already starting to bruise, so I assumed it was because I had 1cc put in my lips which I guess is a lot.
Well, afterwards I kept ice one my lips for most of the day and noticed that I could feel fluid and swelling on the sides of my face and the sides of my chin. My skin felt kind of numb to the touch in those areas also.
The next morning when I got up my face was even more swollen up into my eyes, it appeared that the lidocaine because of gravity had moved into the under eye area on the left hand side and made my eye look swollen and wrinkled. I called the med spa and the PA had never heard of anything like that happening. She did not ask me to come in to be assessed or anything (I am an RN) I thought that was not good practice.
Anyways, over the next 5 days my face remained puffy, distorted and slightly numb, not only were my lips swollen and bruised but the sides of my face, chin and left eye area were swollen. My jaw even took on a square looking outline and I don't have a square jaw. I could feel the lidocaine in my face for about 10 days before it finally seemed to absorb.
Has anyone ever heard of this?? I called my dentist and he said that it could have been a reaction to the preservatives in the lidocaine. It sucked soooo bad and now I am afraid to ever get a block again. My lips look good, I wish there was a little more fullness to the underneath area on the right side, very slightly uneven...however at this time and because of the ordeal I experienced I am not in a hurry to go use that other 1cc syringe that I purchased.
If anyone else has had this experience with the dental block I would love to hear if you found anything out about it. It doesn't sound like it is very common.

Doctor Answers 1

???PA hit a blood vessel

There are a few things that are confusing here.

I am not sure why the PA was diluting the Xylocaine, why not just use 1% Xylociane.It sounds to me like the PA hit a blood vessel which caused the swelling. The Xylocaine would have been absorbed, but it would take a bit more time before swelling from unintened vascular puncture would resolve. Without photographs it is hard to tell exactly what happened although your description did allow be to visualize it pretty well.

You did do the correct thing by using ice. I too am a bit surprised (and disappointed) that the PA did not want to see you to help remedy the problem.

My suggestion would be to take the syringe and make an appointment with a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist. I suspect that if this place was a "medi-sap" in a mall that the "medical director" is not one of the above, since usually those are run by "non-core" physicians for their monetary gain. If your lower lip needs a touch up, a dental block could be administered , but you might try someone whose skill level is highter. I would not necessarily be afraid of a dental block because what you are describing to me does not potray an allergic reaction.

Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.