Vibration Anesthesia + Insulin Syringes: Does it make a difference?

Vibration Anesthesia 

Having some yahoo stick needles in your lips hurts. We try to mitigate that using everything from topical anesthetics (the most common), ice, and even nerve blocks, but should we be using vibration anesthesia and/or insulin syringes?

Vibration Anesthesia has been explored since 2004, but it hasn't reached mainstream adoption.

The study also applied topical anesthetic cream to lessen the incidence of pain as well.


  • 25 patients underwent the procedure
  • 92% of patients were comfortable with vibration anesthesia
  • The 8% of unsatisfied patients felt more pain and anxiety from the vibrations

Previous studies are also on the positive side of vibration anesthesia.

In conclusion, vibration anesthesia is deemed effective from some other studies. Smith et al. (2004) conducted one of the earlier studies of vibration anesthesia with regard to dermal fillers. The researchers recommended the use of vibration anesthesia for several procedures to help alleviate pain, but it is also suggested to use other methods in producing less pain to the patient.

Another study also explored vibration anesthesia, Mally et al. (2014) showed the efficacy of vibration anesthesia, with around 95% of their participants preferring vibration anesthesia.

What anesthesia works in your practice and for your patients?

In another article, an insulin syringe was used to inject dermal filler on the lips. More and more studies emerge in terms of injection techniques. What about what the needles used for injecting dermal fillers, do they matter as well? 

It is best to consider the consistency of the filler (Urdiales-Gálvez et al., 2017) before going through what needle or cannula to use. Many physicians made the switch from needles to cannulas, simply because of its ability to reduce pain and cause less discomfort to the patient. There is collagen stimulation when a cannula is administered (Brackenbury, 2015). On the other hand, needles are more precise, and a few injection sites would suffice. Bruising is the most common complaint when using needles.
Both modes have their pros and cons, but eventually the physician will need to discern, which is much better for dermal fillers.

In one journal article, the researchers found that an insulin syringe is also an effective way to deliver dermal filler injections. Kechichian et al. (2017) used an insulin syringe for lip augmentation. It is a novel method, but the idea is to give the patient more comfort as the injection is administered. Their findings leaned towards the preference of using insulin syringe due to its fine needle.

In the end, it all boils down to the administering of the injection and the comfort of the patient, and the experience of the provider.