Needles vs. Cannulas for Lip Fillers

When you get lip fillers, you're presented with the choice of either using a needle or cannula. But is one actually better than the other? Especially for lip fillers? We'll talk you through both instruments and deconstruct it so you can see for yourself what the fuss is all about.

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Say hello to the needle!

We're all well-acquainted with needles. They have numerous uses in the medical field and look different for every purpose. They vary in length and width, but when used for lip fillers, they're typically very short and thin—and sharp. If you're looking for the most tangible difference between a needle and a cannula, a needle is very sharp, whereas a cannula is not.

Using a needle for lip filler entails...

The need for multiple entry points. When a practitioner uses a needle to inject lip filler, they inject right on the lip area in numerous places to ensure that the filler is evenly distributed. This technique is also the best way to ensure that your lips will look well-defined and crisp. It won't hurt though, before every procedure, we apply a topical numbing cream on and around your lips. Plus, the filler itself contains a numbing agent (lidocaine), so despite the multiple entry points, there'll be virtually zero pain.

What are the pros of using a needle for lip fillers?

Mainly, the precision (though practitioners could say the same for cannulas) for specific areas! More specifically, using a needle for a lip filler is perfect for those who want a subtle amount of filler. For example, if you're getting 0.5 ml or even 1 ml if you had medium-sized lips, using a needle is preferable. It's also great for defining your lip shape (a.k.a. crisping up a blurry lip line and adding extra definition to your cupid's bow) and lip top-ups after your initial treatment.

Any drawbacks?

Of course, there's the post-treatment swelling and bruising. When it comes to using a needle, the downtime is quick; however, some people might find the mild swelling and bruising bothersome, especially if they lead active lifestyles. Some practitioners might even recommend booking your appointment on a Friday evening so that you'll have the weekend to recuperate because of post-treatment puffiness, but that's the extent of what you'll be dealing with when it comes to needles.

Some people have a fear of the needle hitting a vein or hitting anything it's not supposed to, but that's only the case in the hands of a non-expertly trained practitioner. Remember step one of your filler journey: research! Choosing a reputable clinic is your number one priority, and once you've chosen your clinic, any fear of mishaps should disappear.

So, overall...

From a results-based aspect, we recommend choosing a needle for when you need just a minor boost in lip volume or to reshape your lips. If you want a naturally enhanced look for your lips, or if you want to sharpen your cupid's bow, or if you just need a top-up—a needle is the best way to go. As for your post-treatment concerns, as long as you follow our aftercare tips, there's nothing to worry about.

Say hello to the cannula!

Like we mentioned above, a cannula is somewhat the opposite of a needle. While cannulas are thin like needles, they tend to be longer, blunt-tipped, and flexible.

Using a cannula for lip filler entails...

If needles are better for precision work when it comes to reshaping your lips, the precision that a cannula offers is for the overall distribution of the filler. This is because the cannula is injected linearly, and since it's blunt and flexible, it can be maneuvred to adapt to your skin tissue without hitting veins or arteries.

Because the cannula's precision lies in how it distributes the filler to the entirety of the lip area, this one's best for those who want full lips overall. If you have super thin lips, using a cannula might benefit you more because the filler is administered evenly to your entire lip area.

What are the pros of using a cannula for lip fillers?

The most significant advantages of using a cannula are the fewer entry points needed (compared to a needle), decreased chance of bruising, more natural-looking results for those who have very thin lips before, and a faster healing process overall.

Any drawbacks?

There aren't any drawbacks in using a cannula, save for dealing with the usual post-treatment downtime, which is typical for everyone.

So, overall...

For those with thin lips who want to bring life back to their kissers in a natural way, cannulas are the way to go. In fact, anyone who wants a general boost in lip volume should go for cannulas, provided you don't need much work in redefining or reshaping your lip line.

What's the verdict?

In all honesty, no instrument is better than the other. Not all lips need a needle, and not all lips need a cannula. As many practitioners will tell you, the choice between a needle and a cannula is based on what suits your lips best, and personal preference. You need to talk it out with your practitioner and see what they recommend for you, as well as taking into account how you want your lips to look and what you can handle pain-wise.

If you have a low tolerance for pain and you're in a rush to see your brand new lips in action, choose the cannula—but remember it won't define your lips as good as a needle can. If you need a better cupid's bow and you have enough time to let the swelling and bruising go away, choose a needle. These are the things that should factor into your decision, so make sure to deliberate and collaborate! As long as your practitioner offers you a well-thought-out and personalized solution for your lip dilemma, you're in good hands.

Once you've chosen which instrument suits you best, why not book in for an appointment with us? New clients get 10% off, or when you book in with a friend, you'll get 15% off on your total bill!


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