Sugar Land Lip Lift! - Sugar Land, TX

Hi guys! Let me start by saying I have...

Hi guys! Let me start by saying I have *optimistically* checked "Worth It" instead of "Not Sure" because I have a strong feeling everything will turn out fantastic. It's too soon to tell for sure, though, and I am super duper swollen.
I'd been looking into lip lifts for almost 4 years. I'm 29 and I've never liked my lips because they are VERY thin, making me look like I'm permanently pissed off about something! I wanted more volume to the top lip especially; plus, I think it looks really cute and feminine to have a nice small distance between top lip and nose (Penelope Cruz!). I'd had a consult with one other doc here in California, but looking at all the stellar reviews for Dr Horndeski's lip lifts, I decided it would be worth it to fly out to Texas to get this done. I know we all know this, but just to say it one more time: this is totally a HUGE DEAL! While it's a fairly minor operation, relatively speaking, still...it's our face! And it's permanent!! So I definitely wanted to go with a doctor who seemed to have a good deal of experience and consistently glowing reviews, which Dr H has.
I flew in to Sugar Land early this morning, had the operation, and flew out in the afternoon. Everyone at the office was extremely nice. I'd never had any surgery before, cosmetic or otherwise, and I could not stop vacillating between jittery excitement and "What the hell have I gotten myself into!??" kinds of thoughts. Dr H and I had a brief chat in which he answered all the questions I had and we discussed what I wanted. He measured my lips and I'm pretty sure what I started with was 18 mm between top lip and nose. I wanted more skin excised at the sides/ corners of the nose and less in the middle because I DREAD the rabbit look, so we decided he'd take 5 mm off under the nostrils and around the corners of the nose, and just 3 in the middle beneath the columella (spelling?). He is such a kind, laid back dude! He really put me at ease, and just talking to him I could tell he seriously knew what he was doing. I was still super nervous, though!
Then we went in for the surgery. Elisa, his assistant, is lovely. As other reviewers have said, the worst part by a landslide is the numbing injections. Yow!!!! I was prepared for pain, but OMFG those shots are utterly, utterly horrendous! So yes...do mentally prepare yourselves as much as possible for that.
Afterwards, though, no pain; just strange tugging and pulling and clipping sensations. It's certainly a tad unnerving hearing someone snipping skin off your face, but it didn't hurt because I was so numb and I was just thinking the whole time THANK GOD those horrible shots are done with. One other crazy thing was that after he'd excised the skin but before putting in the stitches, he used electricity to stop the bleeding. It was slightly unpleasant just because it smelled strongly of burning skin while that was happening...didn't see that one coming.
Then it was over! I think it took 20 or 30 minutes, all in all. They showed me my face in the mirror and I had a secret inward freakout because I was so swollen and worried 3 mm from the center was still too much, and that I would be permanently rabbity for the rest of my life, but I tried not to let on because I knew you can never tell what something's going to look like right after the surgery. And I knew they'd done a great job. After I picked up the Vicodin and antibiotics they prescribed me, Jana, the uber sweet receptionist, gave me a ride all the way back to George Bush Int'l Airport!
Something that surprised me a bit was the post-op pain. I'd gotten the sense from other reviewers that there wouldn't be much pain afterwards, but I've had to take 3 Vicodin so far because it's pretty bad, and will take another one before going to bed tonight. Also, eating and drinking are both quite awkward. I can't wait for that part to be over, and I really can't wait to see how it heals! I'm so excited for the time when I can put lipstick on and see what that looks like. I think my result will be on the subtle side, but that's what I wanted. I've taken 9 days off of work; I REALLY don't want my co-workers to know I had something done, and would love it even more if my parents couldn't tell, either. I've just posted one post-op pic here, and two of my lips before. I will try to keep posting every day. I know this site helped me tremendously when I was considering/planning this procedure, so I'd like to be a help, too, if I can.

Xoxo!

2 days post

It's been two days and I can definitely see, and feel, the swelling subsiding. I'm loving it so far! I forgot to mention before that I'd wanted a corner lip lift as well as the bullhorn, because my lips fall into a natural frown. I asked Dr H about this and he vehemently said I shouldn't do it, that he only does the corner lift for way older women who have enough wrinkles around their lips to hide the scar. I was a bit disappointed about that because I've seen some beautiful corner lift results on this site on ladies who are clearly on the young side. I might go for that procedure at a future date, after everything is healed, if I feel I still want it. I'd love a little up turn to the sides! Either way, I am VERY happy with my results as of now and can't wait to see how it turns out as it heals more. Little to no tooth show yet, but I'll be patient :)

4 days post

It's been four days, and I think the swelling around my lips has almost all disappeared. The weird thing is, it seems to have moved into my lower cheeks, so it looks like I have jowls. I'm guessing this is just because the residual serum from the numbing shots is moving around my face, and hopefully it'll be gone soon.
As I deflate around the mouth area, I'm getting a little worried that maybe I didn't take off enough skin. My tooth show is still very minimal, and I really loved how voluminous my lips looked those first couple of days. I wonder if they're still going to decrease in volume, or if I'll wind up with more of an upturn as the scar heals. Either way, I'm still happy I did it. I'd really prefer not to have to go through the surgery again, though!

Feeling down

I'm feeling a little sad today. I think my upper lip has relaxed and deflated so much it looks almost identical to how it did before the surgery. I'm worried that if it keeps going at this rate, pretty soon it will look exactly the same. It was such a big hassle to take 10 days off work and fly out there; I really don't want to do it again and don't know if I will. Wish I'd taken off at least 6 mm :-/

Update

Just pulled out stitches. Glad those are out!

Almost a week

I'm now on day 6, and I think my scars are healing just fine. I was out and about a lot today, and nobody noticed a thing. One thing that I hope goes back to normal pretty soon is my cheeks. They're still quite swollen toward the bottom around the jaw line, making it look like I have jowls or little cotton balls in my cheeks. When I asked the Dr H's wonderful assistant, Elisa (who has helped me SOOO much throughout this process), she told me that this is because I wasn't quite able to sleep sitting up the first nights after my surgery. That was another thing I hadn't expected before the procedure - they highly recommend that after you go home, you sleep sitting upright for two nights. I tried, but kept sliding down in my sleep! So I guess this makes the swelling from the numbing shots reside a little longer in your face.
I just looked at some "before" pics of my lips, and felt a little better about my results. My lips before were REALLY thin, and now the top one has a tiny bit more height...they're still small but now I can totally tell the difference in the upper lip-to-nose stretch. So that's good!
Now I really want to put fillers in them, see how that looks and possibly do something permanent like Permalip if I like the fillers. I have to wait a few months before doing any fillers because apparently if you do that too soon after the LL, the wound can be tugged down and reopen a bit. I want to get them as nice as they can be :)

Pics of scar at one week

Very freaked out about my nose

I know it's too soon to tell, but I'm feeling freaked out and depressed about the changes to my nose. My nostrils always look flared and much more visible than they used to be. My nose used to be delicate and cute and feminine, but now it looks pig like, and gives me a harsh, angry expression all the time. I'm SO scared that this won't go away. I think that if I liked the change in my lip area, I wouldn't be so sad about the nose...but the fact is that basically nothing happened to my lips; my lip looks exactly the same as before, no fuller, and I have zero tooth show. So the only thing that has really changed about my appearance is that I've widened my nose holes. I'm really quite bummed about this :(

Almost 2 weeks

Think my nose is shaping up! The swelling seems to be diminishing very gradually, though I'm not sure if this is actually happening or if I'm just gradually getting used to it. Either way, I'm a lot less worried about it now :)
My scar seems to be healing pretty well; I'm posting pics of that. I went back to work after 10 days, and I have to smile a lot at work because I work at a restaurant. Smiling feels strange, like I'm trying to pull a tight string inside my skin under my nose. Sometimes it hurts a little and I hope I'm not doing some sort of damage to my internal scar. I asked Dr H's assistant Elisa and she said it was fine...hope she's right!
I'm going to wait 6 months and see how things heal up, then I might get more skin excised. For now, the very small difference that I am slightly able to see is in the distance between my nose and upper lip. It's such a tiny difference that it really is barely, barely noticeable. My lips themselves and my tooth show haven't really changed since before. I really do want to make clear that I'm not at all anti lip lift; I think it's an awesome procedure, lots of people have fantastic results, and you should absolutely go for it if you've considered it well and found a good doctor. I just put "Not Worth It" for my review because for me, the time off of work, effort, healing process, and money didn't quite ad up to justify the extremely small result at the end. Hope that makes sense. At the end of the day, though, I also must say that I am VERY grateful that my result was too little, instead of being too much. We've all read horror stories about people who get lousy lip lifts that excise too aggressively (probably from inexperienced doctors), and so I totally appreciate Dr H's insistence on an initially conservative approach.
I also want to say that I am very thankful to RealSelf. Everyone on this site is so supportive, helpful, considerate, respectful of each other...and downright nice! Thanks RealSelf, and everyone on it :)

Pics 17 days post with makeup covering scar

Nearly a month and scar looks great

I just wanted to do a quick update to say one more time that my doctor was GREAT and I recommend him wholeheartedly. He did an amazing job with my scar; it seems to be healing perfectly. I definitely don't want to give the impression that he didn't do a good job by marking "not worth it" for my review. As I've explained before, I just didn't find the whole process and effort to be worth the outcome, all things considered - but this has nothing to do with my doctor. I asked for it to be subtle, and he excised the amount of skin that we discussed. His assistant has been impeccable with answering all of my questions promptly. Regarding my nose, she has reassured me that it looks enlarged because of swelling, which will subside. My swelling was aggravated and prolonged by the fact that I wasn't able to sleep upright throughout the night during the first two nights following my surgery. I didn't realize that not being able to stay upright could effect swelling this far after the date! I'll post more pics when there's a bit more of a change to show.
Texas Plastic Surgeon

Everything was excellent, everyone was 100% professional, caring, and competent, and Dr Horndeski is a really nice guy!

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
4 out of 5 stars Wait times
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