Lip Lift After Disappointment with Permalip Lip Implants - Antwerp, Belgium

I have always disliked my thin upper lip from a...

I have always disliked my thin upper lip from a young age. It got to the point where I hated it so much, that 2 years ago I started experimenting with fillers. Still dissatisfied, I moved onto thicker Permalip lip implants last year.

The implants gave me the natural fullness I wanted. What must have been swelling, I was convinced was actually my lip. The swelling-that-I-didn't realise-was-swelling had pushed my lip upwards, acting like a lip lift! I thought I'd hit the jackpot, getting 2 surgeries in one.

But once most of the swelling subsided from my implants (after 2 months), my lips were left looking too much like before - only thicker. I was unhappy because my lips still pointed downwards, and my lip still curled under when I smiled. Just it was more pronounced after the implants. You must remember if you are considering this surgery that lip implants ONLY thicken up what you already have! They do not work miracles on the shape too, that's just the swelling doing it's thing. Lip implants= thickness. Okay?

Don't get me wrong - the procedure had been done well! It was expertly done. But I only realised then, after I had changed the thickness, that it was the SHAPE that was the problem. It's like building a house - if you start out with bad foundations then you are not going to be happy with the final result.

It wasn't the thinness that caused my lip to roll under and hide when I smiled - it was the shape. My upper lip faced downwards and drooped at the cupid's bow. It curled under when I smiled and needed curled OUT - hence my desire for the lip lift, which aims to pull the lip into an outward facing position. I'd learned now that any thickness added would not bring my lip higher or make it upwards facing, it would just add volume what I already had. And when I disliked what I already had, I definitely did not want to exaggerate it by making it bigger.

Anyway, it's day 1 and I am in a McDonalds in Antwerp. I have just been operated on by Dr. Bart van de Ven.
A month ago I reached him on, sent him photos and explained what I wanted. I paid €50 for a quote, and here I am. I DID MY RESEARCH! This guy does 3 lip lifts a day but specialises in rewiring jaws and noses and all the rest of it. The lip lift procedure is nothing for him. He has done so many fantastic things for people trapped inside the wrong body - I encourage anyone to view his stunning before and afters. I was so amazed at his natural yet glowing results that I simply knew he was the surgeon for me.

I went in for my consultation yesterday - where he decided removing 3mm of skin was enough - and operation today. I was surrounded by the loveliest nurses i have ever met. I was feeling dizzy after the op and they let me nap in a bed for an hour until I came round.

I was in pain at first but luckily I am doping myself up on ibuprofen. I don't look like a plastic surgery victim like I did after my lip implants (feel free to look at my pictures and gasp in horror). I just have a bit of tape under my nose.

I keep getting asked if I fell on my face. I say yes, because that's much easier than "actually I flew to Belgium to pay some guy a load of money to take away 3mms of my skin".

I'll keep you posted!
Off home tonight, can't wait to see my family and boyfriend, it's quite lonely being a foreigner.

Day 2

It is day 2 and I am healing slowly. Healing from a lip lift is not as traumatic as healing from Permalip. When I got Permalip implants, my lips swelled up like balloons, and I could only eat through a straw for a few days because I was only able to open my mouth wide enough to make a tiny straw sized gap. It hurt a lot as well. Once the ibuprofen began to wear off in my sleep, I would wake up and have to take more.

Lip lift healing isn't so bad. I have very minor swelling under the nose area which aches a little sometimes, but if I'm watching a show or something I barely notice. I can't yawn, laugh or smile without it stinging, but it is getting easier each day as I heal.

I am both excited and concerned about how I will look when I am properly healed (I am hoping in a week's time). I didn't get my Permalip implants removed before the procedure - and although it looks like my surgeon has lifted the lip nicely over the top of my implant - I am worried this will have an effect on my lovely new look. I am afraid with my lip pulled tighter, this might show the implants more, and I don't want to look unnatural. It's ironic how we do these unnatural cosmetic procedures yet the number one aim is to look natural and like we've not had anything done! So yes that is my one worry.
I think I'll be okay though - as I said there is only a little swelling and everything looks good from what I can see. Fingers crossed.

I have attached an image that shows all the stages of my lip, from the very beginning! I was going to include 'lip with filler', 'lip with swelling from permalip' but I thought I'd keep it simple. I can't believe my top lip was ever that thin, it barely existed! I hope this is interesting for people trying to make up their minds anyway.

Day 9

I'm not entirely sure I'm happy with how this is healing. As the swelling around the wound reduces, my lip is dropping a little... it barely looks like I had anything done. I wanted a subtle change, but I feel like this may turn out to be too subtle.

I had to get filler removed days before my surgery (it was a lot and I looked like a duck) and I'm wondering if this is just down to me not being used to seeing my lips this natural and un-plump?.. I'm just a bit disheartened because I thought a lip lift would stop my biggest problem - my upper lip disappearing into my mouth when I smile - but the lip lift isn't enough. I think in a few weeks I will consider a little amount of filler in my now outwards facing upper lip.

If anybody is considering this surgery, I would say get 5mm skin removed minimum. I feel my surgeon was conservative, I wish I had insisted on more skin being removed. My lip-nose gap has been reduced by 3mm and thankfully my lip at faces upwards now, instead of my cupid's bow drooping down. I'll give it time to heal before I make my final verdict!

Day 11 - Filler

Before the lip lift I had to get all filler removed so Dr. Bart would operate on me. I found myself feeling quite disappointed with the results of the lip lift - but now I feel that was because I wasn't used to seeing my lip so un-plump.

My lips naturally curl inwards, and the lip lift definitely reduced that. But, it was still there. So today I took the plunge and decided to get filler placed in the lowest part of my top lip (where it is shallowest and curls under the most). I am so happy, the filler seems to have 'pushed' my lip out in the right place. I have a top lip when I smile again! Now I can fully appreciate the lip lift. I love it.

Day 40?

I think it's been around 40 days since surgery. The columella is slowly becoming less numb, but the nerves still aren't 100% recovered yet. Not that I really care about that, but it's something to be aware of if you're thinking of doing the surgery.

There's barely any scarring, which I can thank my age for! It was a little crusty and dry-skinny for a while, but the scar is pretty much gone now, as you can see.

I'm still really pleased with the results (enhanced with a bit of filler) and I'm very happy. The gap between my nose and lip went from 18mm to 15mm but it's made a huge difference to my life.
Dr Bart van de Ven

Excellent! Friendly, professional, knew what he was doing. He does this in his sleep (probably) I felt like I was in very safe hands and can already tell the results will be good!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Hi Steph :) I am finally find a doctor and probably he will do it to me 25th April :) it is same doctor who did this: :) i cant wait :) he told me that my opinion about minimum 5milimeters to cut off is very resonalble :) another doctor said that it shouldnt be a problem to show my teeth becsuse :) I would like to say that your scras is ivisible !!! Looks great I hope my healing will be similar as good as your :) and when i follow yours posts i am happy about your happiness :) xxx
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God! Sorry for my language but sometimes when i am writting anything by my phone it is going very bad lol ;) xxx
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That surgery looks INCREDIBLE!! Wow, you are going to be in some great hands :) I can't get over how amazing that result is! I'm so happy you're going to get that too. Stay safe and look after yourself! And don't freak out when your nose goes numb! 5mm sounds great, you'll have awesome tooth show ^^ please post before and after pics, I'm really curious. Glad you finally got this sorted, as I understand how you feel completely! Thank you so much for all your kind words :) i wish you the best xxxx
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Definitelly i will add my review here :) but after surgery :P because i dont like to start to do anything too early :P i have a lot of my pictures to show "before" and i will take a lot after lol that just me ! :P thank you for your supporting xxx :) i still writting with doctor, he already asked me by email about date of appointment for 25th april so i start getting ready :) i decided for do it with him because review of this girl is good and i read a lot of positive opinions about him as a doctor :) and he accept my opinion and idea about my lip lift ... i hopr you will be still here with us and you will see my post operation healling process. Haha and i know i can look like a little pig for a while hehehe :) xx
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Steph91, you look amazingly beautiful! I love your lips, I could only dream of a set of lips as pretty as yours. Personally, I'm really unhappy with the distance between my nose and upper lip and the droopiness of the corners of my mouth. I'm only 25 years, but my mouth is looking very old. I guess it's a result of being very uderweight for many years. Can I as you how long the distance between your nose and upper lip was before your lip lift? :)
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Thank you so much! I'm sure a lip lift and corner lift will make a world of difference to your face and make you look younger. However, have you considered filler? My nose-lip gap was 18mm, it is now 15mm ^^ hope this helps!
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Wow! Thank you so much for that piece of information :) Your nose-lip gap looks just perfect for your face. I have a 15 mm gap myself. I would definitely consider filler! It would be wonderful to avoid having surgery done if possible. However, my upper lip almost completely covers my teeth and I believe that is a part of what is causing the area around my mouth to look older. I will definitely look into what options I have with fillers before doing anything that can't be reversed. Thank you for your advice! :)
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Wow, there's been so much activity on this thread and I'd like to compliment you on several things, first, you gave a very good description of your lips anatomy and details about the surgery and aftermath itself. Thank you. Secondly, you are lovely and your lips are lovely and very natural looking. You can't tell you've had a thing done to them - they just look naturally soft and full. I don't think I would have removed anymore skin between lip and nose because once you go too far you can't undo it. He probably thought about that and decided to what he thought was best because millimeters matter when it comes to small spaces on your face. I need several things done - first I'm twice your age so there's the corners that need a bit of lifting. Next, I have a lot of surface between my nose and vermillion and my lips are thin although when I smile they become fuller. My nose is narrow nostil to nostil and the center area (the collumna?) droops a bit and the cartilage can be felt beneath so it's not soft and fleshy thus I don't know if that would not make me a good enough candidate for lip lift because the incision would go right up against bone in that area. Any ideas?? I'm in the US btw and know there's a good doctor in Texas but I really like your results too!
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Hi Fluffy! Thank you for your kind words, it means a lot. I wanted to post a lot of information because when I was first deciding to do something about my lips, I felt like my lips anatomy was different to most peoples, and I didn't know where to start. I think I went the right way though, so hopefully others suffering from a thin, inward-curling lip can find a solution! I agree about what you said about my surgeon. He did a lovely job with the scar and he's done this before so he knows best. Corner lifts always look amazing on people who's skin has lost a bit of elasticity so I think that's a great start! I do think a lip lift is possible, in fact when I went for a consultation with a local surgeon for one he refused as he believed I was too young. It seems they are designed for the slightly more mature lady, so I'm sure surgeons are used to dealing with what you've described. And I don't think it matters about your cartilage because they don't cut that far down into the skin. I don't think it'd matter about your low columella (had to google that one) either. They cut a small strip of skin that goes under your nose which tapers wider at the columella, which will mean your lip gently curves upwards in the middle. I doubt your nose width will make much difference either! We're all different and our facial features are all supposed to complement each other. So with your narrow nose, I'm sure your lips are a width that looks good, and will look enhanced with a lip lift and corner lift. You might want to try filler afterwards like me to perfect the look! But that's just my opinion, you might have to see a PS to get a real opinion. Thanks so much and I hope I helped!
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Thanks Steph - it really helps to have people who are courageous enough to post photos and to spend time with others who are thinking things over. Again, I think you have a good handle on your own anatomy and it is beneficial for people to have good detail. Thanks for your encouragement!
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Can I ask, see after lift, when u look in mirror without smiling does your corners look down? Im scared I may need a corner lift too x X
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hi steph im waiting for the ocean clinic Marbella getting back to me with a price for lip lift. I think I will get permalip in my bottom lip first though!! xx
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Permalip in bottom lip always looks good!! I'm excited for you! I've not heard of that clinic, is it in UK? If it's cheaper do you think you will go there? The only thing that puts me off about UK clinics is that they usually require expensive consultations first! xx
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Its in marbella spain x I will get a free online consultation first before a quote xx Ive sent pics to him
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Steph got quote from the clinic in Marbella 1000 for lift and 1000 for fat transfers for top and bottom lip and 250 for costs(not sure what that is). what do you think??
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It is good price :) prices same as in poland i see ..
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Have you seen before and afters and are sure they're legit? Have you checked out the surgeon who will be doing your procedure? If so that sounds like an AMAZING deal! 50% of the fat that will be injected into your lips will stay permanently, which is so much better than fillers. And a lip lift too? Sounds too good to be true, but if it is I say go for it! :) xx
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yes im very tempted!! I can get a flight from Glasgow Prestwick straight to Marbella too!! so its handy!! get a hotel for a week and that's my summer holiday too!! :) need a buddy to go with as im no keen on going alone!!! :( my girl (19) would go if I don't get a surgery buddy!! lol x
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I haven't done any research on him yet as I haven't totally decided to go there to do it! Dr Kaye is his name so if you hear any crazy reviews let me know!! lol I will email his secretary the now and see about seeing before and afters... can I ask.. do u have tooth show when u relax your mouth without smiling? are your corners ok? im scared mine will look sad and I may need a corner lift too!! x
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Hi steph! It looks great! How much did everything cost you all together? Flights ect.. Thanks! Xx
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hi me again steph!! I was going to ask the same question as Georgina! total prices of everything x think I would fly though!! I see you can fly to Antwerp from London for 250 return (for 2) I would need to fly to London first from Glasgow though!! :( would b good to get a partner to go with as im a big scaredy cat !!! xx
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Hi Kat and Georgina :) €50 for online consultation (£42), £2495 for lip lift, €120 for 2 nights in the middelheim guest house up the road (£100). I got a 13hr megabus for £50 return, so £2,687 total. Ah if you're from Glasgow I'd recommend flying for sure! Aww I wish Id posted about this earlier as I wasn't scared at all, just lonely! It would've been nice to have someone there, it got a bit much at times but thankfully I was only there for 2 days! xxx
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Oh great idea I never thought of the megabus! Ok so maybe this is probably abit of a blonde question from me hehe but did you need your passport? As I can't find mine anywhere! :( also I think I'll go for the 5mm removing too after reading your review as I don't have the money for implants and the lift right now xxx
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Hey! Yeah unfortunately you'll need your passport because they do border control at Dover/Calais. It was £150 cheaper than a flight, but about 11 hours longer so it depends if you think it's worth it! Would definitely recommend lip lift over lip implants if your lip is a bit short, because you can always quick-fix thickness with filler but you can't quick-fix a short lip :) good luck! Xxx
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Looking great Steph! I've finally booked in for permalip now and hoping that will be enough to shorten the distance between my nose and lip. Kind of wishing id booked myself in for a lip lift now instead lol. Xxx
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