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Migrated Lip Filler: Causes, Prevention, and Solutions

Amongst cosmetic enhancements, dermal lip fillers have become an increasingly popular treatment, even here at Clinic Dr Dray London. This minor procedure can dramatically improve the shape and volume of your lips, providing you with the fuller, more defined look you desire. But like any treatment, it has its potential complications. One such complication that some patients may encounter is too much dermal lip filler and migrated lip filler.

What is Migrated Lip Filler?

So, what exactly is lip filler migration? It’s a phenomenon that occurs after a lip filler treatment where the filler moves away from the area it was originally placed. 

This movement can lead to an assortment of unwanted effects. When lip filler migration occurs, instead of seamlessly adding volume and shape to the lips, it can instead distort your natural lip structure and result in an unnatural or excessively filled look. For example, you might notice a puffy upper lip or an extended lower lip border that wasn’t there before. Lip filler migration can be understandably distressing, especially if you initially desired a subtle and natural-looking enhancement.


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Why does Lip Filler Migration Occur?

Understanding why lip filler migration occurs can be critical in prevention. There are three primary causes for lip filler migration: 

  • an excessive amount of filler was used during the original procedure
  • the technician had an incorrect or poor injection technique
  • your body reacts unexpectedly to the filler


Hyaluronic acid-based fillers are a favourite for lip enhancements because they naturally occur in the body, are reversible, and give natural-looking results. They work by attracting and holding onto water molecules to hydrate and plump the tissues.

However, despite its many advantages, it is not without risk if not used properly. For example, a practitioner could use too much filler or mistakenly inject it into an incorrect area. Incorrect areas can be either into the top portion of your upper lip or past your bottom lip edge. Both of these scenarios are a risk for migrating lip filler.

Poor injection techniques heavily contribute to lip filler migration. For instance, a common poor injection technique is injecting the filler too close to the skin’s surface, which could lead to noticeable lumps or filler migration. Multiple puncture points can also cause damage to the lip, the result of which is often filler migration. 

Another common mistake we see some practitioners making is not injecting parallel along the natural contour of the lip and instead injecting perpendicular to the lip. When this happens, the lip’s natural border is disrupted, which can lead to the filler shifting from the injection site.

Lastly, there’s the issue of your biology. Each person’s body is unique, and no one can predict how your body will react to a foreign object, such as filler. One person’s body may generate a lot of inflammation when they have the fillers. Another person’s body may have no inflammation but quickly breaks down the hyaluronic acid filler. Both of these scenarios can trigger fillers to migrate. 

This unpredictability is why we at Clinic Dr Dray London have a doctor-led team who understand the potential impact of a patient’s anatomy and biology. We take a personalised approach to fillers and routinely offer aftercare checks for our patients, so any unexpected lip filler migration is quickly identified and corrected. 


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How to Prevent Lip Filler Migration

In the words of our very own Dr Maurice Dray, “The principles to avoid lip filler migration are grounded in good technique and moderation. The doctor must hold a wealth of experience in dermal filler injections. They must understand the lips’ intricate anatomy and be skilled at accurately injecting the filler at the appropriate depth and quantity.”

Dr Dray adds, “It is vital to remember that creating beauty is akin to sculpting art; it requires patience and a slow and steady approach. Instead of seeking dramatic, immediate results in a single session, I would advise you to schedule multiple sessions to achieve your desired result. This approach allows your lips ample time to adapt gradually to their enhanced volume. It also minimises the risk of filler migration.”

We also take a holistic approach to preventing lip filler migration at Clinic Dr Dray London. We understand that a patient’s overall health and well-being can be crucial in avoiding lip filler migration. During your consultation with one of our doctor aesthetics practitioners, you’ll be given post-procedure care guidelines to best look after your health and minimise the change of migrating lip filler.

What to Do if Lip Filler Migration Occurs

Despite doing everything right, you may, unfortunately, wake up to find some migrated lip filler. If this happens, please do not panic. Hyaluronic acid fillers are unique because they can be effectively dissolved and removed by injecting a small amount of absorbable enzyme. This means that the migrated lip filler can be removed quickly and easily, not only getting rid of the filler but also restoring your lips to their natural, beautiful shape. At Clinic Dr Dray London, we only use premium hyaluronic acid fillers, so in the rare event of migrated lip filler, rest assured we can easily correct it. 

Reiterating the importance of moderation in aesthetic treatments, Dr Dray sagely advises, “When it comes to dermal fillers, and indeed all aspects of aesthetic treatments, less is often more. The ultimate goal should always be to accentuate and amplify your natural beauty rather than attempting to construct an entirely new face. Remember, the vision is enhancement, not transformation.”


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In Conclusion

Lip fillers are a popular and safe way to enhance your lips. Still, as with any procedure, it’s essential to understand any potential risks, including lip filler migration. By working with a skilled and experienced injector, taking a conservative approach to the amount of filler used, and following proper aftercare instructions, you can help ensure your lip filler procedure provides desired results while avoiding complications. Always remember the best results come from enhancing your natural beauty. That’s the vision of our doctor aesthetic team at Clinic Dr Dray London. We invite you to book a consultation today to discuss how we can help you on your lip enhancement journey. 

Our team of skilled doctors at Clinic Dr Dray London are dedicated to helping you achieve your aesthetic goals and addressing your unique concerns. We invite you to book a consultation.

If you would like to book a consultation please use the form below or email – info@drdray.co.uk