A couple of weeks ago I received an invitation to go along to the Sculpta Cosmetic Clinic in Glasgow for their pre-Christmas open evening. Although I'm covered in tattoos and have loved changing my appearance since the age of 12, the very thought of cosmetic surgery leaves me feeling a little queasy...
So why did I go along? Curiosity. That and the promise of free booze and nibbles ;-)
I went along with my birthday twin, Angela, (who's a total nip/tuck fan). We were made to feel very welcome on arrival and offered a choice of wine and sandwiches. We opted for white, and a wee cheeky tortilla wrap. The schedule for the evening included an introduction by the clinical lead, Dr Ahmed, followed by live demonstrations of dermal fillers and a 'vampire' face-lift! (More on these later...)
Next, we were invited for a tour of the clinic, having a nosey at the various treatment rooms, including one operating theatre. Only partial sedation is used onsite, apparently for bigger ops, such as a boob job, they have a contract with the private Nuffield hospital. All a bit intimidating for me - looked very similar to my private dentist's practice and the whole thing was starting to make me feel a little uneasy... but still REALLY fascinated at the same time!
After the tour a very lovely clinician called Susan offered me a free microdermabrasion trial. I was already onto glass number 2 of the old vino, so I was feeling brave and hopped up onto the bed. For those of you unfamiliar (as I was!) with the treatment, it's like a cross between your dad's sanding machine and the dentist's hoover. Sounds much scarier than it actually was. Susan went to work on my chin, cheeks and nose. After about 15 mins (remember this was only a wee trial, not the full treatment) my face felt a little warm, but that could have been the wine, and silky smooth. Susan unscrewed the machine to show me all the icky dead skin she's managed to remove - how satisfying!
Next up, a rather brave lady became Dr Ahmed's guinea pig for the live demonstration of dermal fillers. This particular treatment was something Angela had been considering for ages, so we paid close attention. First, Dr Ahmed drew lines (in biro!?!) all down the lady's left cheek, explaining that he was going to replace all the natural collegen that had been lost through the aging process. The result would be a nice natural plump cheek and less visible lines - ya dancer! Next, we were led downstairs to one of the treatment rooms where Dr Ahmed got to work filling a GIANT needle with the filler. I think everyone in the room gasped a little at the length of it. It must have been about the length of my index finger. From here he proceeded to push said instrument of torture right along the biro lines on the lady's face. It took AGES and straight away her cheek began to ooze blood, swell up and bruise. The room was really hot and after 2 glasses of wine, both Angela and I had to get some fresh air before he had even finished the treatment. It was every bit as scary as I had envisaged and actually more invasive than I had previously thought. I think even Angela is having second thoughts...
You'd think we'd had enough by this point, wouldn't you? But how could we leave before witnessing a 'vampire' facelift??! This procedure was doubley intriguing for me. Obviously, the inner goth was awakened at the very mention of a vampire, but also because the procedure doesn't involve injecting any foreign bodies into the skin. Known professionally as PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma), a vampire facelift involves the doctor taking blood from the patient, spinning it around to separate the plasma and then injecting your own plasma back into your skin. Susan, my microdermabrasion nurse, was desperate to have this done even though, in her own words, "you look a little bit like a frog for a few days afterwards". Apparently it is the only procedure which lifts the eyelids and attacks the fine lines just under the eyes. We plucked up the courage to have a quick peek at this one before we left. I was glad to see that the needle looked a little shorter, but the whole concept of having someone jabbing about my eye with any kind of needle gives me the willies...
Unfortunately, both procedures can take up to 2 weeks to settle and therefore we didn't get to see the final results - only the nasty, painful, gorey bits. Not sure the 'open evening' had the desired effect on many of us. It seemed like the majority of the audience chose to wince and look at one another rather then watch what was going on in the chair.
Angela asked me yesterday if I was now a convert after my fancy facial scrub experience. I have to say, I am not. My skin felt good yesterday, but not any visibly better after I'd applied moisturiser and it's back to being dry again today. Not worth the £95 it would have cost me had a I paid the full price. And dermal fillers? Yikes! That's one needle I won't be going under.
What are your thoughts on cosmetic surgery? Would you go under the needle? the knife? Have you already done so? I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories.