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When Lip Dissolving Treatment Goes Wrong

Lip Filler Procedure

In a recent survey of 47,000 people, 68% said that they or a friend had undergone a lip filler procedure. 59% stated that they viewed lip enhancement as comparable to receiving a haircut or a manicure. These statistics show just how common someone undergoing this type of cosmetic surgery is within society today. 

If you’re not familiar with the process, lip filler surgery is when a practitioner injects collagen or hyaluronic acid (HA) into the patient’s lip to increase size and volume by trapping water under the lip surface to make the lips seem plumper. 

Lip Dissolving

Over time, the HA and collagen will start to be broken down by your body taking around 6-24 months to fully restore your lips back to their natural look. This process is down to the family of enzymes in the body called Hyaluronidases that catalyze the degradation of HA. However, a process called ‘Lip dissolving’ can be performed by using these enzymes and injecting more into the lips to speed up the process. The full effects can be seen around 2 weeks after the procedure which is significantly quicker than a natural breakdown.


Selecting the Right Clinic to Carry out the Treatment

It is essential that the treatment is carried out by an experienced and suitably qualified practitioner. Make sure that the practitioner had the right training, skills, and insurance to safely carry out the procedure.

Check the person doing your treatment is on a register to show they meet set standards in training, skills and insurance.

The NHS provides some advice to help you choose who should do your cosmetic surgery here.

Making a lip dissolving claim

Whilst most post-treatment side effects are usually the fault of no one, there are some circumstances that our team at Jefferies can help you make a claim for:

  • The clinic where the treatment was performed shows signs of poor hygiene, possibly causing infections due to unsterilised equipment.
  • Unidentified complications post-treatment (E.g. Necrosis caused by soft tissue damage from the enzyme injection).
  • The clinic not performing a patch test of the enzyme and consequently having an allergic reaction.
  • Post-procedure lumps appearing around the lips that do not clear.
  • Victim of a botched dermal fillers treatment and you hadn’t been fully informed of possible problems.
  • Incorrect placement of the Hyaluronidases causing hyaluronic acid in the wrong place.

Side Effects

Unfortunately, this procedure is not without its risks, and if you have recently had the procedure you could expect to experience some of the side effects below: 

Redness, Swelling, and Bruising

This is quite common with any type of injection. If there is a needle being stuck into your lips to inject them with an enzyme, there may be slight discomfort and appearance of swelling in and around the lips for up to 48 hours after the removal of the filler. However, you will have most likely experienced these side effects when you went through the original lip filler injections, so you should be expecting this. 


Even with the application of numbing cream to the lips prior to the injection, the pain has been described as “eye-watering”. This is due to the lips holding a large number of nerve endings making them an extremely sensitive part of the body. However, again, since you will have already had the lip filler procedure, you will be no stranger to the pain caused by an injection to the lips. 

These are seen to be more common and expected side effects of the treatment. However, the next two points can be classed as more serious issues:

Allergic reaction 

This is usually referring to an allergy to the enzyme used to remove the HA, Hyaluronidases. The procedure may very well be your first exposure to an increased amount of the enzyme in your body and could cause an allergic reaction which can cause your lips to go even thinner than they were originally. This is because of the breakdown of hyaluronic acid within the lips and may leave you in an unhappier position than pre-dissolving. However, if you have shown no sign of an allergic reaction from a wasp or bee sting then most likely you will be fine. A patch test should be done on the skin prior to the procedure just to check your lips will not adversely react.  

Vascular Complications  

This is possibly the most serious complication. The enzyme used in lip dissolving may not only dissolve the lip filler but could also dissolve the surrounding tissue of the lips. The injection of the enzyme can cause blood vessels around the lips to become squashed, which leads to the tissue being deprived of blood. If this goes unidentified, it can cause the tissue to die (causing Necrosis) and can ultimately leave you with a nasty scar around the lips. 

These are just some of the effects of lip dissolving, some are very common like pain and swelling. Some effects are more serious like an allergic reaction or vascular problems. However, if you believe you have suffered medical negligence and may have a claim surrounding an issue with lip dissolving treatment, contact us today.

If you want more information on cosmetic procedures, check out our pages on Botox or Derma filler.