Lip Lift Experience in Sugar Land, TX ( Not Recommending)

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Cost: 3,000 Two Medication (with insurance): $16...

Cost: 3,000
Two Medication (with insurance): $16 (pain killer & antibiotic)
Airplane Ticket: $500'ish
One night of Hotel & other fees: $130

I wanted to give back to the community with this honest review. Thank you to everyone who shared their stories.

Lip lift is something I've considered for 5 years and with everyone's help from Realself, I've decided on Dr. Gary Horndeski from Sugar Land, Texas.

He is, apparently, one of the best doctors for this surgery, and after meeting him and his - honest to God - fantastic staff, I can see why. My experience was very comfortable, as if I was with friends. I flew to TX alone, so I was nervous and stressed to say the least. :)

About me;
I'm 38 years old and Asian. My face has started to droop. Including my lips. Doctor said my nose to lips measured at 18mm, so we cut 4mm in the middle and a bit more on the side. I wish we had cut about 6mm...but more of that later.

Above pics are of my before, 1-2- 3 days - afters.

I've also included the picture that I showed the doctor of what I wanted. I liked the shape of her lips and the distance between her nose and lips.

I don't think I got what I asked for, and may need a revision, but I'm too swollen right now to be sure of anything.

Although a private phone call or a skype consultation was offered to me, I did the consult & surgery all on the same day.

Since I flew in, someone from the office came & picked me up ( I was not asked to pay a fee, they're simply generous like that!). And I was told that I was staying in a very bad neighborhood and seemed worried about my stay in the area.... I didn't know!

I read the hotel reviews and they seemed positive. But maybe those reviews were all fake written by the hotel? Anyway, so don't book any hotels "near the Hobby airport"! I stayed at the Days Inn (5 minutes from the airport). If you're unsure about hotels in the area, ask the doctor's office!

She answered all my questions while she drove me to the office. It was like having a mini consultation not just about the lip lift, but all sorts of surgeries. She was amazing, friendly and very caring. I honestly didn't have much to ask the doctor when the time came because she put all my fears to rest lol.

Apparently most people fly in and out on the same day of the surgery, but I decided to stay - and good thing too because I was in major pain later. But the reason why I decided to stay the night is because to fly out nonstop, it would've cost WAY too much. My surgery was set at 3PM, that didn't give me a lot of options.

I recommend that if you fly in, do so in the morning, so you'll have more fly-out options later.

So when I got to the office( 25 minutes from the airport), I was first asked to fill out some forms and then they gave me my prescriptions so I could fill it.

There is a pharmacy right across the street, and getting it filled took longer than the surgery itself.

But be sure you have your pain meds AND FOOD before the surgery. It's important! Make sure you got some sort of food you can eat after or before the surgery. If you take your meds on an empty stomach, you'll feel nauseous! The meds made me nauseas even when I ate!

I paid 3,000 through PayPal before the consultation with the doctor and the consultation was really fast. I first met his super friendly assistant where she showed me where to wait.

The doctor came in and asked me what I wanted, then asked me to show him exactly what I wanted looking through the the mirror. I then showed him 2 pictures of what I liked and wanted... one of which I uploaded so you guys can see it as well.

Then he marked my face with a marker to prepare for the surgery.

Now here comes the God awful painful part - The numbing shot from hell, right on on your nose. Times TWO!

I kid you guys not, it's seriously the worst pain you can imagine. And it's not quick either. It drags on ENDLESSLY, because he has to numb you in 2 areas, 1 on each side of your nose. You can't help but tear up.

The pain feels like when the dentist is numbing you - But 3 times more painful and it last a good minute? I don't know but it's awful and it seemed to take a long time to do, so be prepare for this part.

He then led me into his surgery room to wait for the numbing shot from hell to start working. And this is where I got to know his personal assistant, Elisa. She is a complete sweetheart and she oozes compassion. You'll love her! We also discussed what I should and shouldn't do and so on after the surgery while we waited.

I stupidly wore a white shirt to the surgery. Don't do that. I also had foundation on. Also don't wear foundation. I thought I would change and they would ask me to remove the makeup, but they didn't. SO make their job easier by going prepared.

So when the numbing-shot-from-hell kicked in, the doctor came in and they draped my face so they could start. I didn't feel anything, just a dug and pull here and there. He had to burn some of my skin to stop the bleeding..that was quite strange. Smelling your own flesh burn...but I didn't smell like B-B-Q chicken so I guess that's good...*shrug* ? The whole process took about 15 minutes? I didn't take long at all and Dr Horndeski and Elisa work so seamlessly together, they got this thing down pat. I did start feeling "something" towards the end of the surgery, not pain, just my skin waking up...

When the surgery ended, Dr Horndeski left and Elisa took over again to show me what I looked like - comically swollen. The stitches looked neat - unlike some of the other doctor's work shown on Realself. I was impressed.

Elisa said I have to remove the stitch myself in 5 I'll tell you how that goes when it's time. I hope it's not painful.

It started getting painful as I was walking out the door, but I didn't take the pain killer then- Hydrocodone - because I *thought* I had to eat something with it. I didn't know that you could take it with or without food.

So I asked the receptionist, who came to pick me up to drive me to get some food as she was driving me back to my hotel, so I could take my meds, which she so generously did. And I want to mention that she didn't have to do this at all, but she did. EVERYONE was so amazingly kind! If I end up not liking my results, I would never regret going to this office! She mentioned that I could take my pain killer without food so I promptly took it, but it was too late, I was already pain. Which is the worse thing you could do. You're suppose to take your meds, as soon as it starts, not when you're in full-blown pain!

Anyways, I got some mushy food - Grilled Cheese Sandwich, but could barely open my mouth or chew. I ate some and took my antibiotics. When we got to my hotel, she waited outside for me to go insi my room - because I booked a room in a horrible area - and left. I'm always going to be grateful to her.

And then the pain started. It was SO bad because I waited too long to take my meds.

As soon as you leave the office, TAKE YOUR PAIN KILLERS! Asap!

So the aches and pain started and even 2 hours later, it didn't get much better so I took another half of the pain meds and that totally knocked me out and made it bearable.

I was so coo-coo, I got up at 12 AM, thinking I missed my flight, I texted my hub and told him I missed my flight and was on the phone calling the front desk about it when he texted me again and said it was still night time... lol. SO yea, be careful about those meds... makes you so confused!

You have to sleep upright. Surprisingly, I don't find this hard.

Day 2: ( more swollen - my nose is twice as big)

In the morning, I still had pain but it wasn't as bad. I took pain killers every 4 hours, and experienced almost no pain towards the evening.

I was given a mask to wear to the airport ( I brought my own too), but once I got there, I realized couple of bandaids would have made it less obvious.

So I went and bought small bandaids and used 4 around my nose instead.

HUGE white mask = look like a terrorist or a serial killer.
4 skin color bandaids around the nose = less obvious and not THAT bad!

The meds make me feel really nauseas, dizzy, no matter what I do. I took them with or without food and it's the same, just so you know what to expect.

Days 3.

Almost no pain (unless I move my face), but I'm taking Tylenol anyways.

I'm still feeling nauseous because of the antibiotics and I don't have an appetite. I have force myself to eat. My lips feels weird and they're so dry.

I'm writing this review on the 3rd night and my lips feels less swollen, my nose remains huge though. My stitches are feeling really itchy. I want to scratch it so bad, but I guess it's just healing really fast. I was expecting this after 1 week but I'm only on day 3...
My stitches look really straight, it's red and encrusted with black blood but compare to other "after" pictures, mine looks really clean.

I do see that the distance between my nose and lips are shorter now, by a slight degree - but not as much as I would have liked or requested. I did bring photos. Dr Horndeski is conservative. Better to cut too little than too much. I'm glad I chose him.

I'm hoping that my surgery will improve with time. I'm considering revision already and I know it's too soon to tell.

What do you guys think?

I'll keep you guys updated in 1 week.

3 Days Post

I think I got the post surgery day mixed up.

I got this done on Tues, June 23rd - 3PM. So today is the 3rd day. OMG I'm healing SO fast compared to other reviewers, it's crazy!

Elisa, Dr Horndeski's assistant, contacted me yesterday to see how I was doing. She's such a sweetie.

Sleeping upright isn't as bad as I thought it would be, but my tailbone is killing me.

I woke up today and noticed that my swelling was down quite a lot.

My swelling, compared to other reviewers weren't as bad anyways, not sure why. I'm quite healthy, maybe this had something to do with it. I don't smoke or drink alcohol, I eat lots of greens and I'm a runner.

My nose is still twice it's normal size, and my top lip is so swollen that, when I open my mouth, I have less tooth show than before.

I forgot to mention 1 thing.

Before I did the surgery, I had asked my dentist to make my front tooth ( I have caps ) longer so I'll have tooth show when I opened my mouth. They look ridiculous lol! But that was my fault for asking it. I'll be cutting it down to look normal when everything settles down.

I like my top lips swollen like this, I look like I have fillers lol.

My scars are red and itchy, I guess they're healing fine.
I don't have any pain. My lips feel sore when I move my mouth, but other wise, no pain. I can chew gently, suck on a straw, talk carefully, but can't open my mouth wide enough to floss my teeth and smiling is painful. My cat did something funny last night and I almost pulled one of my stitches from laughing. If you have a cute pet, keep them away from you lol...

I still don't have much of an appetite but I was craving sugar last night.

My antibiotics make me feel slightly nauseous, not enough to throw up though - just feeling unwell, I don't know if I should complain to the doctor or just bare it since it's not too bad.

I'm to remove the 1 stitch by myself on Monday. I'm anxious that it'll be painful or I'll rip something while doing it.

Thank you for the encouraging comments!

7th Day Post-Op

I removed my 1 stitch yesterday morning.

Elisa, Dr Horndeski's assistant, texted me to remind me, which was so kind of her. This office definitely don't just leave you hanging after the surgery.

The experience - the removal of 1 stitch - was uncomfortable.

I first cleansed the area with some warm, salted water to loosen up the scabs. After the surgery, Elisa told me not to do anything to my stitches (including cleaning or applying ointments), so it still had a lot of dried blood on the area.

It stung when I pulled on the stitch, and I had to wiggle it back and forth to get it going. I've heard that it slipped right out for some people, but for me, it was a "strong pull" to get it out. I did have a lot of scabs on the stitch that were crusted over, so that might be the reason for my struggle.

My stitches, now that most of the scabs are off, look red and pink. One side of my nose has a pimple like bump on the stitch site and it itches like crazy.

I'm going to text Elisa in a few days about it if it doesn't go away. It might be a rash, a minor infection or a pimple.

I have extremely sensitive skin and this whole week, I lived like a complete slob trying to keep my stitches dry, per doctor's order. Other wise, my stitches are looking great.

My swelling is still going down and my top lip is starting to look like my own lip. But now I look like I barely did anything to it.

As I've previously mentioned, I've asked my dentist to elongate my front 2 teeth (like a rabbit against his recommendations) so I'll have tooth showing when my mouth was open, if it wasn't for that, none of my teeth would've shown today.

I'm hoping that once all the swelling goes down, I will have more teeth showing. Or I'm definitely going to need a revision. I'm NOT looking forward to the numbing shot from hell again...

About the swelling;

It has moved to the bottom of my cheeks..but that also seems to be dissipating. I was getting worried, I won't lie! No girl wants jowls!

I'm noticing;
1) Top of my lips and the tip of my nose seems to be tingling sometimes...
2) I can't fully smile yet. I can't move my top lip upwards.
3) I was worried that one side of my nose was sewn flat, while the other side looked rounded. The flat side seemed to be getting rounder everyday. So no worries there. My nose is still twice its normal size.

I asked Elisa;
if I could excise - run. She said yes.
when I could start using the scar cream, she said wait 2 more weeks.

Oh and 1 more thing. The antibiotics no longer makes me nauseous, I guess my body got over it. :D

I'll keep you guys updated. Have a lovely day! :)

Post 12th Day

Updated photos. Post 12 - I'm still swollen.
I have really good scars on 1 side. The line is TINY and it blends absolutely perfectly with my nose fold.

But this side's nostril doesn't tuck in as much after the surgery. It flares out more, and there seems to be a weird rippling happening to my smile line when I smile. It's really noticeable and ugly. Never mind the scar, who wouldn't notice that your smile line has wrinkles- like you had a face lift that were pulled weird? I'm hoping this is all because my nose is swollen still...

My bad scar side has no problems when I smile but the scar is going to be thick. There is a gap between the nose fold and where the skin was cut. I think the stitch didn't hold the skin together while it was healing...

My infection is healing up well. I still have bumps but they're going away. I'm almost done with my antibiotics. I can smile -sort of, but 1 side - the side with the bad scar - can still be painful when I open my mouth too wide to eat.

I totally forgot to take the front picture without smiling today, but I'll update you guys in a month or so.

Not too happy that I look the same after almost $4k + 2 weeks off work...

Before & After side by side. PO 17

Nothings changed, still have wrinkled smile, nose distortion seems to be getting better though.

My scar seems to be getting redder, which is normal...

Post 5~6 Weeks

Here's the updated pics (someone asked :) ).

I still have the same problems, one side of the scar is pretty ugly, and it has bumps on the stitch area (undissolved stich?). It feels hard to the touch. I showed Elisa and she said it can take awhile to heal ( she texted me to check up)....

The rippling of my smile line is getting much better - but it's still horribly noticeable and makes me feel horribly conscious when I smile, so I try not to smile as much.

My nose is still swollen but they're starting to look like my old nose, so no complaint there - it's so normal looking now that even I can't tell I had complained a few months back. So if your nose is looking out of wack - it'll go back to normal soon! :)

The shortened distance between my nose and lips are barely noticeable, it looks the same - even to me, I guess the swelling is really going down now?

All in all, I just want the scars and the rippling to go away so I can just forget that I ever did this.
Texas Plastic Surgeon

Everyone is very likable and friendly at this office, even the doctor. However, I'm unhappy with how my lip lift turned out.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
2 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 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
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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