Cannula Needles. Are they better to use for lip fillers?

I have been doing research on lip fillers and I am interested in getting Juvederm lip fillers and I have heard that the use of a cannula needle is actually better for injections because it doesn't require as many injections sites and it doesn't cause a lot of bruising and swelling as other methods. Is this a factual statement? If an office does not offer this, what would be the next best option to have minimal bruising and swelling after injections?

Doctor Answers 19

Lip Enhancement With Cannula

Cannulas are excellent for facial fillers. They have several significant advantages. Injecting with a cannula often leaves the patient with very little swelling. This technique also does not cause much bruising. A disadvantage to using a cannula is that it is less precise than a needle.

Summit Emergency Medicine Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Canunula Needles For Lip Fillers

Injecting with a cannula often leaves the patient with very little swelling. This tecqnique also does not cause much bruising. A disadvantage to using a cannula is that it is less precise than a needle.

Cannula or Needle

Both cannulas and needles are standard methods for administering filler. However, as you can see, many of us find that using cannulas lessens bruising. I would suggest that you find a surgeon whose work you like and then trust his or her methodology. Best, Dr. Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Lip Fillers Long Term, Use Cannulas and a Conservative approach

I like cannulas to limit complications such as bruising swelling and it makes the treatment more comfortable.  I see less swelling long term.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

I love injecting lips with a cannula

The reason that I love injecting lips with a cannula is because patients leave the office with minimal swelling and rarely a bruise and what you see is what you get.

Occasionally I will use a needle to restore and refine the architecture of the central lip after injecting with a cannula-  because a needle is my fine paintbrush.

It is standard of care to treat with either a needle or a cannula, so either method is appropriate as long as your provider is well-trained.  Safety being number one -it is reassuring to be treated with a cannula  because it reduces the risk of inadvertently injecting into a vessel. 

Sure the procedure may take a little longer with a cannula, but the safety factor and the minimal bruising are worth the extra minutes it takes to treat the patient.

Good luck -- enjoy your lips when you get them done.

Christina Steil, MD
Chicago Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Needles Trump Cannulas For Faster & More Precise Placement Of Injectable Fillers

The jury is really still out on the issue of whether cannulas are really better than needles for injecting fillers and each has its ardent proponents.

I have extensive experience with the use of microcannulas, since they were regulatory agency approved and available in my satellite facility in Israel years before they were approved for use in the U.S. (In fact, an Israeli company is one of the major developers and suppliers of microcannulas to the U.S. and elsewhere.) Likewise, I have been using needles for injecting fillers for over three decades going back to the days of their use for injecting the original Zyderm I collagen filler product. 

I have personally found that needles can just as easily be used in the same fashion as cannulas, i.e. introduced through one or two injection points, rather than via multiple injection sites. In contrast to cannulas, needles do not require the prior use of a larger bore needle to make an initial entry hole through which the cannula may be inserted. Needles precisely because they are sharp-tipped glide through tissue, and do not require the pushing and shoving that cannulas require in order to get through the tissue because they are blunt-tipped. This often makes the treatment time considerably shorter with needles. In general the amount of material needed for injection is typically less with needles than cannulas and placement of the injected materials in many instances can much more precise with needles--something especially important in treating the lips. Finally, since cannula use, despite all the mraketing claims to the contrary, can also result in bruising, I really cannot say that their use overall represents a truly significant advantage over needles.

When it comes to lips, using needles, I typically treat through two injection sites per lip, just as one would with cannulas. In the end, what is most important is that you seek consultation by a board certified aesthetic physician with experience and expertise in nonsurgical lip augmentation. Be sure to ask to see his/her before and after photos.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Canulas for Facial Filler Injection

Canulas are excellent for facial fillers. They have several significant advantages. First, they are safer with less risk of direct injection into blood vessels. Secondly, they produce significantly less bruising. You can, indeed, as an additional advantage, use significantly less injection sites when using longer canulas. On the lips, I useably 2 injection sites for each lip. The canulas glide easily into the proper position to fill the  lips naturally and there is rarely any significant bruising. Additionally, this reduces the risk of lumpiness. You can also take bromelain and arnica montana and stop using any anti-inflammatory drugs or vitamins containing Vitamin E before the injection to further reduce bruising and speed resorption. 

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Cannulas are an important tool for facial rejuvenation

Cannulas are a very useful tool for the placement of fillers. In general, I find that cannulas to help make a significant reduction in swelling and a dramatic reduction in bruising.  However, I do often use needles to address the philtrum and cupids bow part of the lip.  I would recommend that you seek out someone with extensive experience in lip enhancement.   They should be able to show you before and after photographs of their own patients for your review.   Any injector can have bruising, and there will always be some swelling, but seeking out an experienced injector will make sure you get a natural looking lip enhancement.

Michael Bowman, MD
Roanoke Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


As an experienced microcannula user for over 2yrs it is the standard of excellence in injecting Fillers . Being blunt they are virtually painless & bruisless , also safer than sharp needles for deeper placement . I use small sharps to shape the superficial outline of the lips after u volumize with the cannula for a truly nice experience. Good luck !

Jerrold Gendler, MD, FRCS
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Cannula Needles. Are they better to use for lip fillers

Cannulas are touted as better, but I have found them inconvenient to use if trying to avoid the sausage look. Having a few more puncture sites allows much better control of where the filler is placed. I think to minimize bruising I would say stop all blood thinning products for 10 days, use Arnica Montana pills starting 3 days before, and apply ice to the area as soon as the filler is done being injected.

Julio Garcia, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 21 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.