Why Are my Cheeks and Lips Swollen After Restylane?

I had my lips done yesterday, and the doctor did only one side of my face for faint nasolabial line. She also filled in a bit for an old scar between my nose and lip area. Now, my cheeks and lips are swollen. What happened?

Doctor Answers 25

Swelling may be normal after Restylane

Before any filler treatment you should be informed by your surgeon about possible swelling and bruising around the injection sites. To minimize the chance of swelling it is recommended to ice the area up to two hours after the injection. Restylene is made out of the hyaluronic acid, which attracts water. Therefore, the feeling of puffiness and swelling is quite normal. It should resolve within a week or so. Some patients also feel some lumps under the skin and also experience bruising. In that case it is recommended to gently massage the site.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Swelling after restylane

Thanks for your question -

Certainly swelling in the area of injection for the first few days is not unusual. It sounds like you're describing swelling in other areas. It is very unusual to have allergic reactions from hyaluronic acid fillers but not impossible.

It is also possible that you may be having a reaction from local anesthesia or other medications administered during the treatment.

The key in situations like this is close conversation with your treating physician to differentiate normal swelling from potentially serious other sequelae like allergic reactions.

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Restylane and swelling

Thank you for your question. It is very common for the injected areas including the lips to look over corrected or fake the next day. This is worse if there is bruising. This is due to all the swelling that ensues.
In the lips, for example, I often tell my patients that this is the "oh my gosh" day. It can be 'oh my gosh' my lips are so swollen! It could also be 'oh my gosh' I love my lips even more than yesterday. Either way, the swelling may last a few days with every day showing a decrease in swelling. The more you ice the first day or two, the less swelling you will have. I would wait a few days to a week and then return to your injector if you still have concerns after that. If you like the look of the lips at some point during the swelling reduction, then take a picture. This way you know what volume you like in the lips for the future.

Young R. Cho, MD, PhD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Cheeks and Lips Swollen After Restylane

It is common to have swelling after a treatment for a couple of days although it can be managed with ice to the area. Inform the injector of the swelling, and request post treatment instruction. If the swelling persists for a week, you should request to see the injector. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Swelling May be Normal After Restylane

Thank you for your question. It is common to have swelling and bruising after injection, which can take up to 2 weeks to resolve. You can ice the treated area to help minimize swelling. If you are feeling any lumps or bumps, you can gently massage them to help smooth them out. If you are unhappy with your results you can have the filler dissolved with an enzyme known as hyaluronidase. Best of Luck!

Hardik Soni, MD
Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Swelling is normal, but for excess swelling, call your doctor

Swelling after injection is normal in the area of injection.  Hyaluronic acid gels like juvederm and restylane attract hydration.  How swollen you get depends on the type of filler, the amount of filler, the location of injection, your reactivity (your propensity for swelling), and injection technique.  

Although swelling happens normally, if you are concerned that you have more swelling than you should, please call your physician.  Based on the description, she may ask you to email her a photo or want you to return to be evaluated.  And if all is normal, there are things that can be prescribed to speed the resolution.

I hope this answer is helpful. Best wishes.

Heidi A. Waldorf, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Swelling common

Swelling is a very common side effect of any injection treatment, regardless of the product injected. This is something that reputable injectors always inform patients about prior to treatment, along with bruising and instructions on aftercare. I’m surprised that you weren’t aware of the possibility of swelling. Fortunately, it does subside within a couple of weeks.

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Swelling can take time to resolve.

It’s not unusual for patients to experience swelling immediately following Restylane injections.In some cases, swelling may even be asymmetric.In most cases, this swelling has resolved in 24 hours, but may persist for up to 3 to 5 days in rare cases.
Swelling of the lips and cheeks following treatment with Restylane can be a major source of anxiety for cosmetic surgery patients.It’s important to remember that swelling resolves with the passage of time and the majority of patients are ultimately happy with their results.
In your case, swelling in the first 24 hours following Restylane wouldn’t be considered unusual.It’s therefore important to be patient.In the short term ice compresses might be helpful.
If you’re concerned about swelling following Restylane injections it’s important to discuss this issue with your physician.Your physician should be able to formulate a plan that addresses your concerns.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Swelling after Restylane

Swelling is normal and associated with the injection technique, rather than the product. You can expect swelling to last for one to two weeks, depending on the area treated and how your body reacts to the treatment. Keep your head elevated to help ease swelling, particularly when sleeping. You can use a few pillows to prop your head up.If it doesn't improve after a week or so, please see your injector for an assessment.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Swelling is normal

Swelling is completely normal after facial injections, especially in the lip area. It should resolve in a few days. Best of luck. 

David P. Rapaport, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 38 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.