I have always disliked my thin upper lip from a...
21 Jan 2014
Day of treatment
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 facialfeminization.eu, 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.
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.
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.
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.
28 Apr 2014
3 months post
I am extremely happy with how this is healing. My scars are barely even visible, even in pure daylight. My lip has been lifted so wonderfully that it was physically hard for me to try and pull my lip down to show the scar in the first photo!
Also somebody asked about mouth corners being affected by the lip lift - as far as I know lip lifts don't affect the mouth corners at all and mine haven't changed a bit.
I still really like my lips since the lip lift. I would consider topping up with a little filler before I go on holiday in June as I expect my February filler will wear off a little before then, but the shape and height are perfect for me.
I CAN FEEL MY COLUMELLA AGAIN!
28 Apr 2014
3 months post
3 months post-op and the feeling to the cartilage between my nostrils is returning! It's been very numb but today I softly brushed it with my finger and I got a strange tickling feeling that buzzed through both my nostrils like pins and needles. It's so strange but I'm so happy they haven't severed the nerves forever. I thought "I guess this is the price you pay for a lifted lip", but nope!
My boyfriend is one of THOSE who do eskimo kisses a lot. As my nose was half numb I tended to get carried away and slam his nose with mine like a rhino because i couldn't feel it. Those days will be over in another one or two months I think!
Here's what I looked like before permalip, lip lift and filler.
In my opinion I look quite masculine. My lip-nose gap is huge, my top lip is nearly invisible when I smile... so happy I got these procedures. If I had to choose one that made the most difference, it would be the lip lift. It's balanced my face hugely, I look more feminine, and it's rolled out more of my inner lip so it looks bigger too.