I've researched lip lifts for the past 3 years and consulted with doctors in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Boston, and Houston. Each surgeon I talked to felt confident they could do it, but several of the surgeons would modify the underlying muscle in some way, or suggest fillers (Juvederm, etc) to go along with the lip lift procedure. I've done fillers and was tired of them. I didn't necessary want a 'poutier' upper lip, I just wanted more tooth show (I had zero tooth show) and I wanted my upper lip to be a little 'wider'...just increase the size vertically, not necessarily 3-dimensionally, if that makes sense.
I found Dr. Gary Horndeski on Realself and scheduled a consult with him. From the start, I liked him, mostly because he abhors fillers like Juvederm in the lips. His desire is to give long-lasting permanent results and fillers don't do that. He basically said "it's a waste of money and I don't like seeing my patients throw their money away when I could do something about it". I had a lip lift done last Friday (6/14) in Houston by Dr. Horndeski. He removed approx 2-3mm of skin. I actually wanted more, but he stressed that we needed to be conservative with this because it's easy to take more out, but impossible to put it back. I'd read all of the reviews (since I've been researching it for 3 years) and I was prepared for a long painful recovery, given the stories I'd seen.
Honestly, it was so easy! The worst part was the numbing injection. I'm not gonna lie: that was excruciating. After that was done, he and his nurse draped my face and did the procedure. I was wide awake the entire time and it took about 10 mins. Afterwards, I was given a prescription for antibiotics and painkillers. About 30mins after the procedure, the numbing started to wear off, so it became a little painful. I took my pain pill and antibiotic and went back home. It was uncomfortable for about 3-4 hours, then it was totally fine. I never needed another pain pill, I just managed with Tylenol. The next day, I was really puffy but I went out and ran errands and went to Whole Foods. It was fine!! (I'd heard horror stories about people who didn't leave their house for days or weeks after the lip lift procedure). I was out and shopping less than 24 hours afterwards.
The following 4 days, the swelling went down bit by bit. I had my stitches removed on Day 4 (Monday). I'm now on Day 6 and the incision is pale pink and hardly noticeable. I talked to Dr. Horndeski when I went back in for my suture removal and told him that I would wait a month or 2, but I may come back to have more skin removed. Right now, I have about 1mm tooth show and only at certain angles.. I was hoping for closer to 3-4mm tooth show, so he'd probably need to remove another 3mm of skin which he said was absolutely no problem. He's very conservative, but it's also because of the nature of the procedure: you can always take more, but you can't put it back, so he would prefer to take less, and have you come back for a little more to be excised than take too much and risk you being incredibly unhappy. I will tell you the worst part of the healing process that no one told me is that you can't blow your nose; and yawning and sneezing are a little uncomfortable as well (since your nostrils flare and when you're swollen, it's very sensitive). Again, nothing terrible and I would do it again (and am planning to) in a heartbeat! He charged me $2K for the procedure which was actually less than other surgeons I'd consulted with ($4K-8K), so I'm very very happy :) I'll post pics soon!