Hi, all. I started researching a permanent...
Hi, all. I started researching a permanent solution for my aging, thinning lips about six months ago. I tried Juvederm, which wasn't bad, but didn't help all that much or for very long. I thought about silicone injections and had a consult with a local plastic surgeon. I liked his results, but then I found out liquid silicone is not FDA approved for injection into the lips or face, so I decided against that option. The only approved permanent lip augmentation/implant I found here in the US was the Surgisil PermaLip implant. Their website has a list of trained and authorized surgeons and one happened to be in my city. I did a check on him and found out that all he does is facial reconstruction and cosmetic surgery. He brings children here from all over the world to fix their facial deformities, tumors, hemangiomas, cleft palates, etc. So I made an appointment for a consultation. His staff is great and his offices are lovely. After listening to my goals he informed me that an implant would not be an improvement over my disappointing filler experience because I had two problems - a long philtrum (about 2 cm; should be about 1.1 cm for a female), and also since my upper lip was essentially rolled under an implant wouldn't have much of an impact because it is inserted at the wet-dry border of the lip and wouldn't really be seen. He didn't think implants would be worth the cost or down-time.
I had never heard of a lip lift so he spent a great deal of time educating me on the procedure. He told me to research and think about it a let him know what I wanted to do. After looking into it, I realized he was right - I needed a lip lift for sure and decided to have implants as well since a lift doesn't help with volume. I had both procedures done on Aug 30th.
On procedure day the nurse gave me 10 mg valium and 50 mg Nucynta (a narcotic) about 45 minutes prior to my surgery. I was taken to the procedure room, covered, draped with only my face exposed. An automatic blood pressure cuff was placed on my right arm and my face was wiped down with betadine. The surgeon then came in and asked if I was comfortable and ready to proceed. I was kind of loopy by then, so I was like "sure, go for it!". The numbing injections hurt like hell, I can't lie. But I had three different procedures (lip lift, lip implants, chin implant) so that was A LOT of injections. As for what happened after that, I don't really know. They covered my eyes with a soft cloth and I drifted in and out of sleep while he did his thing. The only thing I felt was the scraping of my jawbone for the chin implant pocket - that woke me up for sure. Before I knew it I was done.
I'm now on day 3 and haven't really had any pain from the lift or lip implants. It's just kind of stiff and tight. The chin is another story altogether. And a different review. All in all, it was an easy procedure and I've only taken pain meds for the chin pain. The swelling is not as bad as I anticipated and I have little, if any, bruising so far.
I'm posting pics from before and from the last three days. Good luck to the rest of you and let me know if I can answer any questions. (:
Day 4 - So far so good
So, my surgery was on Tuesday and the new pics are from Friday. I've been counting Tuesday as day 1, but the pics are actually 72 hours post-op. I haven't had any pain and very little swelling or bruising from the lip lift or implants. I think that is because my doc started me on a 6-day Medrol pack and Arnika Forte pre-op. My chin hasn't even bruised and from the reviews I've seen chin implants usually produce some stunning bruising. The chin DOES hurt quite a bit and I have had to take some pain meds for that. All in all, the lips really feel no more painful than the day after a round of Juvederm injections, though the incisions at the corners of the lips are annoying. The subnasal incision from the lift doesn't bother me at all. Here are some day 4 pics (72 hours really). I'm happy to answer questions, so fire away.
Philtrum Length and Chin Implant Explanation
I made a side by side illustration of the difference in philtrum length from the lip lift. You will NOT get this result from implants alone. Implants are placed well below the vermillion border and will not decrease the space between the lip and base of the nose. Implants will project the lip outward, but not upward. I really want to be clear that the results seen in my photos are in large part due to the lift, not implants alone.
The chin implant I had inserted is a pre-jowl implant. If you look at the picture you can see that there is very little material augmenting the chin itself; the implant is meant to fill in the pre-jowl sulcus where bone has been absorbed due to natural aging and creates the look of jowls in the area just behind the prejowl sulcus. I did not want an invasive neck lift (which would have left the prejowl dent anyway) so I opted to fill the depression with an implant instead. Make no mistake, the recovery from this procedure is painful indeed. I did not use pain meds after my breast augmentation (500cc under the muscle) or my lip lift/implants, but I have had to take narcotics for the chin pain and am still taking them 4 days later. Also, I did not have any treatment to the wrinkles around my lips/chin area. Will have to evaluate that situation once all the swelling is gone, but the difference is unbelievable.
No problems to report. As you can see from the pics my smile is still tight and pretty wonky. Eating is getting better, but I can't open my mouth too wide yet, not because of the lip surgery but because my chin still hurts like a beotch. I had my daughter go out and buy the smallest baby toothbrush she could find because brushing hurts (chin again). Neck is massively swollen under my chin. Hoping that subsides soon! I'm wearing no makeup or lipstick in any of these photos, so be kind, lol. I know I look a wreck. :)
Had to put some make-up on to go to the store.
I had to run out to the store and there was no way I was going outside looking like the last pictures I posted. I didn't put makeup anywhere near any incisions but did the rest of my face so I didn't scare small children. Or grown adults for that matter. Overall, I am really, really happy with my results so far.
Day 6 - All is well
I pretty much slept all day. I finished my Medrol pack this morning and crashed and burned a few hours later - steroids make me hyper, then I crash for about 10 solid hours after I finish them. I took whiterobin's advice and wrapped some frozen peas in a scarf, put the peas under my neck and wrapped the scarf around my head before I went to sleep. That helped a lot with the bone pain from chin and jaw where the bone was scraped to make a pocket for the chin implant. So no pain meds today. Lips are still stiff and tight and I can't smile worth a darn, but they don't hurt. I don't talk funny, either. I know some people seem to have problems with certain letters for awhile, but I'm A-ok there. My incisions are healing nicely, but they do itch at times. I get them out in 2 days but they really aren't bothering me. Doc gave me a special cleanser that I use to clean the incisions twice a day, followed by an application of Aquafor. I'm not allowed to use anything else - no antibacterial ointment or scar gel or anything like that. After the sutures come out I will continue to use the special cleanser and begin using a different product given to me by doc in place of the Aquafor. It's upstairs and I don't feel like going up there to get it, so I'll talk about it tomorrow. He was adamant that I use no other products in addition to the ones given to me, so that is what I shall do. I tell you, I am in love with this man and in love with my results and postop progress. He is amazing and gave my lower face balance that I thought I would never see again. I cannot thank him enough.
Day 7 - Stitches Out
I had my 7 day follow-up yesterday and my stitches were removed. It stung a bit, but wasn't too uncomfortable. My cell phone camera sucks (sorry about that) and you can't see it too well but the incision is healing well and the bumps between the sutures will flatten over the next few days as the fluid can now absorb into the surrounding tissue. There is, as I thought, a lot of swelling in my chin and jowl area from the chin implant and it makes my jawline look really really weird. Doc said it will take several weeks for my new jawline to emerge. My chin is still entirely numb on the right side and probably will be for some time to come.
I do have make-up on in the pic, but nothing on my lips or the incision. For anyone that cares, I am wearing Too Faced Born This Way foundation in the shade Vanilla. This is seriously the BEST foundation ever for us more mature ladies. Highly recommend!
So, I forgot this part. I am to continue using the cleanser given to me morning and night, followed by the application of a layer of squalane. Both the cleanser and the squalane were provided by my surgeon and he asked that I use nothing else on my incisions until the scars are fully mature - about a year.