Plastic Surgery 101

Lip injections now look ‘gargantuan.’ What does patient do?

Q: Many years ago, I had injections of some substance in my lips. In the past two years, my lips have gotten to look gargantuan. I have been to many doctors and they say there’s nothing more to do. Do you think there’s any way to fix distorted lips from a foreign body injection?

Carlos Wolf 2018
Dr. Carlos Wolf

A: The answer is simply yes. The treatment however depends on what your problem is.

I’ve been practicing in Miami for over 30 years and, unfortunately, I see this problem more often than I’d like. Many times patients don’t even remember that they had something injected into their lips. The substances that are injected migrate to the face and jowl area and make the face look very swollen.

If you have an acute or sudden swelling, sometimes you may be treated with a steroid and or an antibiotic should there be an infection. Long-term, the deformity may be treated by surgery or with steroid injections. Sometimes, if the steroid is not working or a patient does not wish to have surgery, I use 5fu, an anti-cancer drug.

More times than not, the long-term best treatment is surgery.

Surgery is performed with local anesthesia and sedation if a patient wants it. The operation is meant to remove the excess tissue that has grown around the bio-polymer or silicone product. The recovery generally takes approximately one week at which time the sutures fall off. If after one week the sutures have not come out on their own, they are removed. The lips will continue to be swollen for approximately two to four months, but will definitely look better than their original size.

When choosing a physician who is doing the surgery, you should pick someone very knowledgeable who has done many of these operations. By doing this, you ensure that you will get good results and not be worse off than before. And as always, ask for before-and-after pictures to determine if the doctor that you are seeing has the same aesthetic views as you.

Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board-certified. Email your questions to him at Follow him at @CarlosWolfMD.