After doing extensive research on lip lifts for...
After doing extensive research on lip lifts for over a year, and consulting with several doctors around the country who specialize in lip lifts, I selected Dr. Perenack in Baton Rouge and traveled from my home in Scottsdale, AZ to have it done.
My main goal was to reduce the length of my long upper lip (which was 20mm) and balance my features. Gaining some tooth show (I had absolutely nine) would be a plus, and I also hoped to roll the lip up to remedy how flat it was from the side view (ugh, very aging). I am 51 years old so my goal was not to get full, pouty Hollywood lips. At my age I just wanted wanted a natural, non-surgical look.
Dr. Perenack excised 6 mm of skin (he didn't cut or hem the muscle; this was a skin-only lip lift; be sure to research both methods carefully); he excised 7 mm in one small area of my upper lip where I had some assymetry. I opted for local anesthetic and experienced no pain. Dr. P is so good at this, I didn't even feel the numbing shots into my lips and gums, which others have described as painful. Before he gave me the numbing shots, he applied a thick numbing paste to the inside of my gums. So he numbed me for the numbing shots!
In the OR, I lay on the surgical table and listened to John Mayer and Maroon 5. I wasn't scared and I never felt pain the entire time. Dr. P excised the strip of skin, then did two layers of stitching, then zapped the seam with a laser and then did a third and final layer of stitches. He also put some Juvederm Ultra into my lower lip and some Juvederm Ultra Plus in the lip corner crevices (not everyone will need this; at 51, my lips are thinning and I'm getting some downward cracks at the corners). Then I was done and drove myself back to my hotel room where I spent the evening icing my lips.
I will post pics of my lips "Before" with markings Dr. P made prior to the surgery; of my lips immediately after surgery and of Day One post-procedure, which is where I'm at right now. Of course I'm a swollen mess right now but that will resolve with each passing day. I still have no tooth show but Dr. P says once the swelling is gone he thinks I will have 1.2 mm of tooth show. I will post more pics as I heal!
Day One Photos
The scar is neat and tidy - I can tell it's going to look great when I'm done healing.
Photos 3 Days Post-Procedure
No pain whatsoever. Somb numbness, tightness and the bruises darkened. I look like I have a bruise-mustache! Am hanging on the homefront, laying low and just patiently waiting it out...
Feeling discouraged on Day 10...
Trying to be patient - I'm sure everyone heals at a different pace but wouldn't you know I'd be on the slow side. I was supposed to be back at work today but I'm still bruised and the incision is still on the red-and-raw side so I called in sick. I have one stitch that's trying to poke its way out and looks like a pimple, even though it's not. Ideally I need the rest of this week to hide out but I won't be able to pull that off at work. Hopefully when I go back tomorrow I will just look like my nose is raw from a nasty head cold?
Also, I am starting to worry that I should have had more mm of skin excised - I still have zero tooth show. Again, am trying to be patient and not to draw premature conclusions. But what what a drag would it be to have to do it all over again several months from now...
So one thing I can advise those of you who are considering a lip lift is to ask your doctor during your consultation, "What happens if the result is too conservative and I need a revision?" I never thought to ask Dr. Perenack this question so I don't know how it would work in terms of cost...does he charge a reduced amount, etc. Right now I feel depressed because it seems like I paid a ton of money to go from having a really long upper lip to a on-the-longish side upper lip! Dr. Perenack did tell me he leans toward the conservative and of course that sure beats the alternative of having too much taken out...but right now I have to say the jury is still out for me. Keep you posted!
Photos Day 10
I am also going to research veneers and corner of the mouth lift as I believe both would help enhance my result. Argh, more time and money!
Check out how much prettier in profile post-lip lift!
I hadn't really mentioned before how much Dr. Perenack improved my profile with his lip lift technique, but I really love it. So natural-looking - subtle yet what a difference! Thank you, Dr. Perenack.
One month post-op
Hi everyone, I'm posting more pics - today is my one-month marker and the results from my lip lift keep getting better. Still zero tooth show - unless I tilt my head back a bit - but I'm still glad I did it; it's definitely been an improvement! I'm posting pics below. I have had some post-op inflamed cyst-like nodules along my incision line. Dr. Perenack called in a prescription for doxycycline and it went away, but yesterday I got another new one. So he is refilling the doxy. Dr. Perenack has called me a couple of times to check in. The downside to traveling a long distance to have a surgical procedure is that you can't just pop in to see your doc if you have any post-op issues. But at least Dr. P. responds right away which I appreciate. I still have some numbness and a little swelling along the incision line but that's to be expected at only one month out. The incision is a bit inflamed from the persisting nodules. Hopefully it will be gone soon - Monday is my birthday followed by Christmas with social activities. But makeup helps cover it up, thank goodness. Pics posted below. Merry Christmas RealSelf Sisters! Thank you all for your ongoing support!
Photos - one month post-op
Very natural-looking results, nothing fake that screams surgery, thank God (and thanks Dr. Perenack)! Still hoping for a smidge of tooth show...Dr. P says it's still possible as the swelling subsists and things continue to "settle." The centering under the columella is improving as the swelling goes down, too.
Two Months Post
21 Jan 2014
2 months post
Still have some numbness and stiffness around the incision area, but the results definitely look natural. Posting new pics!
10 Weeks Post-Op
29 Jan 2014
2 months post
Swelling and numbness continue to dissipate each week. Very natural-looking results. Still no tooth show in repose.