After several months of research and plucking up...
After several months of research and plucking up courage, I booked my permalip surgery and now it is suddenly 1 week before the procedure!! I have had juvaderm ultra (1ml, then 1.3ml) before, which gave me a taster of having lips just a tad fuller. However the effect of this wore off after about 2 months so this habit could prove costly! Also, I always got lumps after the injections which can apparently build up over time creating scar tissue. So I'm cutting out the injections and trying for a more permanent option. My before pics shouldn't have any filler left, but there is a slight chance there is some residual left in there, but regardless you can see how small my mouth is.
I have booked a "see and treat" consultation with Mr Roy Ng in London. I'm confident this is the best option for me as I have done a lot of research myself beforehand so don't think I need any more time to reflect. However if after the consultation I do, I will re-book. In my head, after looking at people's before and after stories on here with similar lips to mine, I'm hoping to be offered 4mm top and bottom but let's see what my surgeon suggests. He's the expert. I'm worried my mouth is too small for any of the sizes?!
Hubby is supportive of my choice, he's not quite sure why I am doing it and constantly tells me he loves my lips as they are, but he loved my lips with juvaderm so I've assured him it will be a similar outcome but permanent. If either of us absolutely hate it, I'll get them removed. He's coming with me. Mum is sad and upset, but she was about my breast augmentation 8 years ago and now she thinks they look great. Sister thinks I am the biggest weirdo and that I need therapy... Dad I am not telling, he would freak out at the cost and the butchery, really wouldn't get it and I don't want to put him through unnecessary angst. If he notices (I can go 2 months without seeing him) I'll say it's a new plumping lip balm! Best friend, who loves new procedures is excited to see results. Other close friends (who are not surgery advocates) I am only going to tell if they notice. Only as they have my best interests at heart and I'd have to do so much explaining about the procedure so they didn't freak out and stage an intervention! Who knows, maybe they'd be right to?!
I have absolutely LOVED this site for reading everyone's stories so I hope I can be as much help! I am planning to update my journey regularly for you to see the progress (and tbh, for me to see it documented out in front of me) and I'll probably need a lot of reassurance. If anyone is going through recovery at the same time, please get in touch, I'm such a worrier it'll be nice to have someone to worry and obsess over lips with! Fingers crossed this story has a happy ending!
4 Oct 2016
Day of treatment
On consultation for permalip Dr Ng recommended the 5mm to me. His reasoning was any smaller would not be wildly noticeable as I already had shape to my lips. However he let me know the risks associated with the 5mm and as it related to an elongating of the Cupid's bow, this did ring alarm bells. I like the fact with lip liner I can make my lips look quite pouty and doll like. This is much more preferable to me and my partner than the longer, thicker (sausage) lip look. Also, with the 5mm in a small (in length) mouth, ridging can occur on the upper lip and lips will be more straight. He advised that with the 4mm you have the chance to essentially dress them up or down, with makeup. I thought this sounded like how I treat my breast augmentation. With a padded bra they look huge, with no bra they're modest yet full and I've always enjoyed this about them. However the down side of the 4mm is that they're much less noticeable. Looking at and touching the implants, the difference between 5mm and 4mm looked vast! I thought the 4mm were the 3mm! But he explained the 3mm are completely pointless so weren't on display. Whilst I was so excited to be offered the 5mm, looking at it I just couldn't imagine it in my lip and looking natural and was really leaning towards the 4mm. Mr Ng explained that if for any reason the implants shift position, a re-do is included in the price. If I decide the 4mm is not big enough I can also pay £500 to get the procedure redone with the 5's. All aftercare is included in the price as is an explant. So I decided to go ahead with the procedure.
I should mention that I really warmed to Mr Ng (and Belinda the nurse who kindly explained all my meds to me and assisted in the operation and Serena the patient care coordinator who was so prompt at answering my queries prior). My consultation was ever so relaxed and informative and nothing felt pressured or hurried. I was given all the information, pros/cons of both sizes and plenty of time to decide. Even though I had booked a "see and treat" appointment, he made it clear that if I needed more time, I could leave it that day and rebook. I'd made my mind up though. 4mm top and bottom it was...
4 Oct 2016
Day of treatment
(Two hours post op)
I am unrecognisable the swelling is so severe! Just unlucky with that, apparently some people will swell hugely, some won't at all and there's no telling. I'm 32, healthy and a non smoker. Mr Ng was wonderful, really calming and reassuring that this was a totally normal reaction for some people. I have a little bit of blood around the incision sites and corners of my mouth, however I'm so swollen I can't inspect the incisions so I don't know if they are wide open or anything, or if the blood is normal? Theres a lot of white patches, red patches and the beginning of what looks like blue patches. My lips are tight! Like they feel they will burst. Not easy. Not nice.
(Five hours post op)
I'm finding I NEED all the painkillers I can safely take! Then the pain becomes manageable, but as they wear off the pain is about an 8/10. With the drugs, more like a 5/10. I'm ice-ing for 10 mins a time, every hour. The pain you get from resting ice on your lips for 10 minutes is preferable to the pain when the ice is not there I'm finding! Incision sites are really stinging, but I can't see what's going on there, I'm imagining the worse, that it's wide open and my implant is sticking out but this is highly doubtful! The colour of my lips has gone back to normal (ish) now.
(Seven hours post op)
Somehow, the pain is only about 3/10 now. It would be wonderful if it stays like this! However I'm led to believe the worst is yet to come.
Without this site and all the research I'd done, right now I'd be freaking out and getting myself to A&E! It's such a dramatic look!
Forgot to add the operation details!
4 Oct 2016
Day of treatment
The procedure itself was totally manageable. Barely felt the injections. Think there were about 8 in total. Then a couple of minutes later the operation started. It felt nothing like I expected, I'd terrified myself by watching videos on YouTube but it felt much less barbaric. The whole thing, including stitches was under 20 mins. Halfway through my mind ran away with me and I was envisioning the whole thing which made me feel panicky and fluttery, I thought I was going to say "STOP" but I managed to man up by really concentrating on deep breathing. It's common for me to faint after experiencing medical procedures/dentist etc, but nope, I took 10 mins in reception and then got in the taxi with my partner. I also don't want to make out like this was a breeze, it wasn't. It's just that it wasn't as bad as I had imagined and I didn't faint. During the 20 minute journey home my lips slowly but surely got larger and I felt like everyone was staring. They definitely were when I stepped outside the taxi, people on the street just starring, opened mouthed! I was a freak show!
It got to late evening and I realised I'd not eaten, wasn't hungry and didn't understand how I could physically get food in my mouth as I honestly cannot move or part my lips. I was feeling a bit shaky so I cut up a banana into the tiniest pieces, pushed it through my lips and then air sucked it in the whole way. Can't chew, so mushed it with my tongue and swallowed. No chance of brushing my teeth. My mouth feels disgusting. Made a pillow mountain in bed and slept for the grand total of FOURTY FIVE MINUTES.
No pain, but regardless I'm taking my painkillers just to make sure it all stays at bay. There is a stinging, sore feeling on the incision sites still, but today I'm able to open my mouth that bit further, I can see the stitches and all looks healthy. Food has to be mashable and tiny, to post through your lips. Cutlery is too big and I dribble with drink glasses so I've come up with ingenious solutions, see pics. A large syringe to keep me watered and a bamboo skewer to pass pasta tubes through my lips. WINNING. Still grotesque looking and starting to peel and get crusty. Nice.
Actually slept! Managed to stay elevated on my back too! Proud! Lips are very stiff with a thick layer of crust today (...sorry). Swelling is much decreased. Today I look human. No pain in lips but a weird tugging feeling near incision sites and niggling stinging feeling. Stopped pain killers. Still dribbling everywhere. Cleaned my teeth (terribly) for the first time (gross I know but honestly couldn't open my mouth far enough before)! Speech is coming back slowly. Still not fit to be seen in public but maybe tomorrow...
No pain except when I clean the stitches which are sore and sting, but no pain killers needed. Swelling is slowly decreasing day to day. The incredibly thick crust forming on my wet/dry border has started to peel, but I'm not able to actually pick it off yet as its not ready. Can feel what I think is the implant on the left hand side, bottom lip. It does protrude out a little on the inside, but this could well be the swelling or the residual BAD filler job from earlier in the year pushing it out? Will discuss with my surgeon when I next see him. Not overly concerned, it's only day 4.
Stitches are doing my head in! Stretching/tugging/painful feeling and I'm not even doing anything weird with my lips for this pain to be justified. Going to call after the weekend and see if there's any chance of getting them taken out. Love the shape and size today but alas, it's mainly swelling. I was meant to be going to an engagement party tonight (partners friends who I know a bit) but he had to go alone as I didn't feel like my stitches were up to it, didn't want them to split and hate not smiling. Hubby told them the reason for my absence (I said he should, they're not my friends so I don't care all that much) they were all horrified and the first questions they asked were how HE felt about the whole thing! Then the conversation fell quiet apparently, as no one really knew what to say after that. So funny as if someone told me that, I'd have 101 questions (and the majority would have nothing to do with how the other half felt).
Swelling is decreasing all the time. Still sleeping elevated on my back and in short bursts as I'm so terrified of rolling onto my side I keep waking up! Sure there's something wrong with my stitches, can't wait to call them tomorrow. One side is a big old knot, the other side 2 tiny strands. Still eating tiny mouthfuls of food with minimal chewing and still they tug and pull! Normal? I've never heard anyone on here focus on them being a nuisance so I don't know why mine are so troublesome. Size is lovely today, but again most is swelling. I'm confident once I can smile and move my mouth they will fluff up a bit and not look so restricted.
Size still nice, bit smaller. Would love for them to stay this size. Sent pics to the clinic as I was worried about why my stitches pull. They're great, they always get straight back to me over my concerns and put my mind at ease. All normal. Earliest I can get them removed is 10 days post. I can now muster a faint snarl (my attempt at a smile). Saw my mum today "OH MY GOD YOUR FACE IS PARALYSED". Once reassured there's no lasting damage (I HOPE) she thinks they're lovely and suit me, shame they won't stay this size :(
Getting a tiny bit better at smiling today. Still a snarl, but more movement!
Tried lippy for the first time this morning. I did go over my lip line a bit (old habits) I hope this is similar to what I can expect from "dressing them up" when I'm fully healed. I felt like Kylie Jenner!
I'm a new woman! I got so panicked about my stitches that Dr Ng offered to see me to check everything was OK. He really went above and beyond to accommodate this visit too... He took a look and ensured me everything was fine, then removed my stitches as I was fully healed. Wow. I can smile and open my mouth now and I have no pain! This was such a treat for the weekend, and really put my mind at ease after getting so worried. Apparently the vast majority of people don't have any issue with stitches. Just for me and my mouth, they were a huge, painful irritant.
Went out with a friend who knew about the op today, she couldn't stop raving about them. Said they were perfect as whilst they were much bigger (the "much" was probably still swelling?) I still looked like me and not "done".
Back to work. I work a job where every time I go in, I work with different people. So I don't have "friends" at work... So obviously no one said anything like "you look different" as they don't know what I looked like before. But one woman just came straight out with "your lips look great, how much filler do you have"? Tbh this isn't as bizarre a convo as it might sound in my line of work but I wasn't prepared for it lol! Huge interest when I explained...
Day 13 and general observations.
Something I'd not really mentioned was the weird numb and slightly tingly feeling. This changes each day though (for the better), when I had my boobs done I remember this feeling and I'm sure it was to do with nerves knitting back together. Or something. Also read other stories on here of people experiencing the same thing. Putting lip liner on also a strange feeling, definitely not painful at all, but a tiny bit sore in places. Though I did have my lips ripped open 13 days ago and silicone thrust inside, then a couple of days ago I had my stitches pulled out, so a small degree of soreness in places seems totally normal. Speech back to normal when I concentrate on making it that way, movement pretty much normal too, can pull an array of strange faces which is eeer... Always useful (!?). Can eat anything without it having to be small. Smile is getting broader (quite a big ridge in philtrum from smiling which doesn't bother me, but currently serves to prove me, the 5's would have been to big for my minuscule child sized mouth. Oh another thing I have remembered, I got a big old dry bobbly patch on my lips, thought it was fordyce spots, but after 2 days of exfoliation and religious application of Blistex it has gone and they are smooth. I have 2 little sores in the corners,of my lips, hacks? I've had these before though before permalip so it's probably a coincidence they have just occurred as it's just got colder here now and my diet has been appalling.
Right, that is definitely enough waffling from me for a while. My life has finally resumed now! I will update in a month or so...
7 Week Update
I've just hit the 7 weeks post op mark. I'm pretty sure the swelling has all gone now. They kinda look like I am perma pouting, however I like this! I have always suffered in winter with dry lips and I'm happy to report the implants do not worsen it. If I scrub them and oil them at night, the next morning they are smooth, I haven't bothered with this pic which is why they look a bit dry... With lip liner and lippy I can make them look huge, so they are very versatile. Subtle yet definite difference, for ever! Such a good feeling! Happy to answer any questions you have, X
5 months post procedure. Final results.
Adding an update as I really appreciated them when doing my research. Swelling is meant to be completely gone at 3 months and I am at 5 months.
Judging by my "before" pics, I'd say these 4mm implants are fairly similar to around 1-1.5ml filler. FOREVER!!! They are subtle, close friends I'd not seen for a while didn't comment/seem to notice. My dad even said to me the other day "I'm glad you don't have that stuff in your lips anymore" (I told him my bigger lips were due to filler when they were still a bit swollen at around 1month post op) which is a bit sad. However whilst I found all that a bit frustrating, I needn't as I can really see the difference and that should be all that matters.
Slight ridge under my nose when smiling but I have such a short philtrum and narrow mouth this really was inevitable.
For me they were worth the money (£2000). Filler in London is around £400 for 1ml and I would have been getting this bi-annually. They also look fantastic with lipstick (this is when people give me compliments on my "full" lips haha). It's great not to have to think about regular and costly injections to keep the look I like. That being said, I'm sure at some point I may be tempted to get some filler on top of the implants but we shall see. It's definitely not something I will pursue in the immediate future.
Next procedure (possibly) will be lip tattooing.