I needed very little convincing before making my way down to the Cadogan Clinic, one of the very best locations in London (might I add) to speak to Nurse Libbie Wallace, a master in her field. After filling in a short consultation form, Nurse Libbie asks me how old I am. After replying 28, she chuckles a little, but continues… I’m not the youngest client she’s had walk through the door, but she does tell me that she would only ever treat those that actually can benefit from the treatment, ‘It’s important that I manage patients expectations’.
Before the procedure even begins, the professional who’s going to perform the procedure will first apply a chemical solution — usually trichloroacetic acid, glycolic acid, trichloroacetic acid, salicylic acid, lactic acid or carbolic acid (phenol) on small areas of your skin. Doing so can create a controlled wound, allowing the new skin to take its place.
It’s a poison: a purified protein called botulinum toxin type A derived from bacteria. It temporarily relaxes muscle areas by blocking nerve impulses that trigger contractions, softening wrinkles and modifying expression. In therapeutic treatment it’s used for cerebral palsy and conditions such as excessive sweating. Although Botox has been used off-label since the 1990s in North America, Health Canada only approved it in 2001 for treating the two vertical lines between the brows (the ‘elevens’) and in 2005 for forehead wrinkles and crow’s feet.
The most common reconstructive procedures are tumor removal, laceration repair, scar repair, hand surgery, and breast reduction plasty. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of reconstructive breast reductions for women increased in 2007 by 2 percent from the year before. Breast reduction in men also increased in 2007 by 7 percent. In 2012, there were 68,416 performed.
There’s definitely no denying, the B word has definitely been a talking point of late, not just in the media, but within my close circle of friends too. Would you? Wouldn’t you? Have you? Has she? I promise it’s not as ‘Real Housewives of Cheshire’ as it sounds... But whilst I'm only 28, the reality is that the constant stream of late nights, binge drinking (sorry Mum) and falling asleep with a full face of makeup on, are all starting to show their effects.
However, abdominoplasty is not considered a weight loss procedure.“One problem with the majority of patients is that they think it’s okay to have a tummy tuck just because they are overweight,” says New York City plastic and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Leonard Grossman. “Being overweight results in the majority of complications associated with tummy tucks.”
When performed by an experienced cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon, chemical facial peels are safe. With light and medium peels, relatively mild chemical peel side effects such as redness, stinging, and crusting usually subside within a day or two after the treatment. The side effects of deep chemical peels are typically more pronounced, and recovery time is longer. More serious side effects, such as infection and scarring, are possible, especially with medium and deep chemical peels. However, serious side effects are rare when the procedure is performed by a qualified doctor.
The cost of chemical peels depends on many factors such as the severity of the wrinkles, the extent of the sun damage, the total number of treatments, the specific area needing treatment, the brand and type of peel, time of peel and deepness. Deeper peels typically cost more as they are more time intensive and the risk management is greater. In Santa Barbara, superficial peels average between $250 -$400 while medium depth TCA peels cost between $600 to $800.
An ideal candidate for a chemical peel is in good physical health, understands the procedure, and has realistic expectations of the outcome. You are likely to be pleased with the results of a chemical peel if your goal is to alleviate acne, smooth wrinkles, improve skin texture, eliminate age spots, or reduce the effects of sun damage. The different types of chemical peels come in varying strengths and provide different levels of treatment. Ask your doctor which chemical peel is best for your skin type and needs.
If you’re interested, talk to your physician about getting a referral. (If I were to go for it, I’d also do my own research, maybe asking a friend who’d had a positive experience — and whose results I could see — for the name of her doctor.) Then check with your provincial college of physicians for disciplinary issues, the Canadian Medical Protective Association for malpractice issues and RateMDs.com to see what other patients say about specific doctors. Ask for Botox before and after photos, and get a sense of how long the doctor has been administering Botox. (Are are a few other questions to ask your doctor before taking the plunge.)
"I tell my patients that they will immediately notice a difference in their abdominal area, but that it will take two to three months for most of the swelling to subside and to get their final result," says Dr. Pat Pazmino, a Miami plastic surgeon, in a RealSelf Q&A. "Sometimes, some swelling persists over the suture line - this will also go down as your body continues to heal across the scar."
The chemical solution for superficial peels — also known as light peels or lunchtime peels — is typically alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) or beta hydroxy acid. AHAs are naturally occurring compounds found in papayas, milk, sugar cane and other foods. Healing time for a superficial chemical peel is often between 1 and 7 days. Superficial peels are the most affordable and may range from under $100 to over $200, depending on the provider.