My face is holding up pretty well! But my lips...
18 Jun 2015
Day of treatment
My face is holding up pretty well! But my lips were shrinking and I could see the future as a bit bleak. . So I threw down $5000 and said, let's see what happens. I know that's a lot but I wanted someone who I could trust. We'll see if it pays off. I feel weirdly confident in Dr. Pearlman's skills but I need to obviously wait for the final result. So just had the procedure. To begin, I have a lot of facial pain each day. I may even have trigeminal nerve pain. Not really sure. But my face hurts a lot. I survived a life threatening illness 15 years ago and the discs in my jaw were torn during a surgery and I've struggled with pain ever since in my face. O.K., so I bring up this point because the procedure was not too bad at all. The dental block shots barely hurt and that was the worst. But when it was almost over they must have worn off and I'm now in significant pain. THIS IN NO WAY REFLECTS THE AVERAGE EXPERIENCE. I ended up in terrible pain from restylane injections when swelling occurred. My lips looked amazing but my lips deflated within 6 weeks. I wanted a permanent solution. I would like to find a before pic but have hated having my picture taken so I'll do some searching. Dr. Pearlman's assistant took some in his office so if this works out I will ask his office people to send me the pics. I just took a 2nd pain med and we shall see if the pain becomes manageable. Overall, it was a very positive experience. Apparently the worst swelling is on the 3rd day so I am kind of dreading that. But I have to say the procedure was really not too bad. When my lips would sting he would inject more stuff to numb it. And I'm pretty sure I was unique in feeling pain during the procedure. O.K., so I shall post the first pic. Totally scary looking but I knew this going in. I have checked NOT SURE. Hopefully I can change it when the swelling goes down to "Yes." and "Worth It." I have high hopes.
Day 2 with Day 1 and 2 pics
Okay, so after reading lots of reviews of lip implants I discovered a lot of people have some pretty intense pain. So I'd recommend for anyone doing the surgery to make sure the nurse gives you something in the office and when you get home get the pain meds prescription filled asap. The initial hours are the worst. The good news is that after I took the 2 pain pills yesterday I haven't needed anything more than tylenol and ice since. I've been icing a lot. Dr. Pearlman called last night and suggested I not watch a comedy. This morning I started to watch a funny interview and when I laughed - Ouch. It really hurt. I shut it off and will be sticking to documentaries and dramas for at least a few days. I could only really eat popsicles yesterday and a banana. Today I'm onto yogurt. I have to clean the sides of my mouth with neosporin after I eat because the yogurt lingers in the stitches. The pictures don't really show how crazy my face looks. I bought some surgical masks in case I need to leave the house. These lips are nowhere near ready for public viewing.
49 Hours Post Surgery
O.K., so 49 hours since surgery. My lips are still swollen but the top has gone down a lot. My new concern is that the implants aren't going to be big enough. I'm wondering if I should have gone for 5 mm instead of 4 mm. Some of the women complained about how small their lips turned out. I think no matter what I'll be satisfied if my lips have some 3 D qualities that stabilize. It was soooo upsetting watching them go. And I like that the sides of my mouth don't look like Joker mouth. I'm just hoping the distance between my nose and upper lip will shortens over the next few days. The heaviness of the lip implant and swollenness is lowering it. A remarkable amount of swelling has gone down, though. I still look like a lizard monkey but I know 48 hours is nothing. I was expecting it to be much worse at this point. And although I'm still taking tylenol and icing, there's very little discomfort. So BooYah.
Big Time Panic
Hate how it looks today and the swelling has gone down. My mouth is smaller for some reason. Maybe because the doctor sewed up the sides of my lips or maybe because the bulkiness makes it look smaller. It's totally thrown off the symmetry of my face. I'll still wait another 5 days to see the outcome but I've stopped hoping for a good outcome. My main concern now is if the damage can be reversed.
My lips have not changed much in 2 days since my last post. I felt cheered when someone said give it two weeks but so far the result is unnatural. My mouth is more compact than it was before and it hangs lower on my face. Having a 3 day anxiety attack is not helping and im too self conscious to leave the house. I have a follow up appointment today but I'm so upset I'm afraid I'm going to freak out in the office. Sorry this has become the diary of an insane person but this is my process and maybe it's good people see what the recovery is like. It sucks. I wish i never would have done this. I should have stuck to restalyne. Apparently the more you do it the longer it lasts.
My smile's a little nicer but when I don't smile I look not as nice. Need to give it more time. Will post in a week. At least I can go to work in 2 days and not worry about people staring at me. And I'm hoping for the best. Still a long way to go! I'm rooting for these lips!
Day 11. Happier.
Okay so I don't like the shape when im not smiling but i like my smile better. Still a long way to go but went back to work today and no one said anything and no one appeared to notice. My friends on Saturday said they could tell they were a bit bigger but thank goodness no one at work seemed to notice. I shall post another pick in 2 days. Feeling more hopeful.
So much to share! A much improved face! So so so so worth it. (I'll also share the complaints) 7/20/15
O.K., so I'm going to write about a novel's length here. I just found a really bad pic from last year. Then I posted two from today. The glass on my phone is broken so it's all hazy below but wanted to use the same phone camera as my previous posts. I want to give people the happy ending story, but I also want to share the parts I still struggle with so that you get a right sized point of view.
1) It is a tremendous difference and improvement. I have some issues, which I will post. But if your lips are gone, I'd highly recommend this surgery.
2) I need to a pic when I'm not smiling. The smile looks great. The not smile isn't as lovely. The bottom lies flat, which is a common complaint, but still a 1000% improvement
3) I have been in terrible agony with facial pain for 15 years. The discs in my jaw were torn in a brain surgery 15 years ago. So not being in pain is the ultimate bonus. Recommend this surgery to anyone with myofacial pain, especially tmj. I think this surgery is going to change my life on that account alone. Have no idea why this is. Most likely because some nerve in my lips was cut. (Feeling in the lips comes back, though)
4) size 4 is a little small. Unless you have a narrow face, I'd opt for 5. But that's just my suggestion. It depends on your age and face shape. Your surgeon is the best person to guage what size will look natural but one of my gay male friends said he wished my lips were bigger. Whatevs.
5) Wrinkles on the lips - GONE. That alone is worth the money.
6) Lip is slightly elevated. Total Bonus.
1) The top is still a little unstable. And when I'm not smiling it seems like my mouth is a little more compact. May need a longer implant. Dr. Pearlman said we should wait a month because it takes 2 months to see the final result.
2) As I mentioned, bottom lip is flat. I need to get used to it but it's an older looking bottom lip shape. I hope they fix that in the next generation of permalip. Still, an improvement over previous bottom lip but just being honest.
3) The way my lips are shaped, a future lip lift may be hard to pull off. So I'd recommend a lip lift first if you want both procedures. There is a bit of a lift with this so that's great. But I'd like to get rhinoplasty and some times women need a lip lift afterwards. (Yes, I'm that neurotic)
4) Be prepared to look like a monster, then awful, then weird for awhile. I looked weird for 2 1/2 weeks. I guess I'm a slow healer, though. It really starts looking better when you start stretching, then it folds into a pocket. But I would recommend going to a meditation retreat - no yoga - and hanging there for a couple of weeks.
4) Go to someone good. I'd recommend Dr. Pearlman because I got a good result. And my friends have commented this week that my lips in no way look like plastic surgery lips and one friend says it looks amazing. Another friend just said I look better but that it doesn't look plastic surgery-ish and that is what she's the most happy about for me. I'm extremely picky. I still have a few issues with the length of the top lip, and may want to see about a bigger size, but hopefully those will get resolved. But my smile has improved 1000% and I gasp at how it looked before. I'll post in 6 weeks with an update. This is a very new surgery and there aren't that many Drs who know what they are doing, at least that's my guess. But he made me look much better. That before is like the worst pic ever taken of me. And the two smiling from today are pretty awesome. I'll try to post a not smiling pic soon. It's not as great. Still.
So in summary, turns out Dr. Pearlman was the right doctor for the job. I'm so grateful to him and his office staff. Really, can't recommend this procedure enough. And the pain reduction is going to change my life. But clearly I look a lot better. All that panic was for nothing. I am so happy I had this surgery.
Pain reduction clarification
Just realized point 3 was confusing. I was in tremendous facial pain for 15 years. Then I had this surgery. Now a huge chunk of the pain is gone. It's amazing to be out of pain. Or in less pain as I still have some. But I think this surgery has changed my life on that account alone. So that's why I'd recommend this to anyone who has facial pain that hasn't gotten better from other methods. I don't know if it would do the same thing for them. But TMJ surgeries are like $20,000 plus and often don't work so worst case scenario, better lips.
2months and a week
29 Aug 2015
2 months post
A lot has changed. My lips are actually bigger. My friend who said they were too small said recently "they're perfect." Another friend said "you have very kissable lips." I think 4 was the perfect size for me after all. Even my not-smile has improved significantly!!!! Sorry my phone camera is so messed up but these pics are from this morning and there was different lighting but no Photoshop. Turning 46 tomorrow. So glad I did this. The only bad news is that my pain has returned ????. I have no idea why it went away for 6 weeks. But that wasn't the reason for the surgery in the first place. I had severe face dysmorphia, I'm not going to lie. My lips just seemed to disappear overnight. It was so upsetting and preoccupied my thinking more than I'd care to admit. Now I'm happy to meet new people and see old friends too. This was one of the best things I've ever done for myself and I can't express my gratitude to Dr Pearlman and his staff enough.