25 February 2011

Under the needle: would you?

Treatment room at The Hospital Group, Kildare Street
Last night was possibly one of the most bizarre evenings I’ve had in a long time.
Glass of wine in hand, I stood in a group of about 40 women in a doctor’s surgery, goggling as a 47-year-old woman underwent a series of facial filler injections and lost about 10 years, instantaneously, right in front of our eyes.
The procedures took place in the plush headquarters of The Hospital Group on Kildare Street, who provide a whole host of cosmetic surgery, obesity surgery and non-surgical treatments.
Because there’s no requirement for a general anaesthetic, injectable fillers, cheek augmentation and chin enhancement procedures all fall into the latter category  - meaning every starlet with a face full of filler can honestly claim to have never even considered the prospect of cosmetic surgery.
The demonstration marked the launch of The Hospital Group’s latest procedure; Facial Volume Enhancement Treatments.  The procedure is designed to replace volume loss incurred over the years - typically seen over the chin and cheek areas. It promises a younger and fresher appearance and is billed as ‘a minimally invasive surgical procedure done under local anesthesia’.
I have to confess, before yesterday evening I would never even have considered a treatment of this type. But it seems I’m in the minority, as there are clinics like this springing up all over Ireland and the death of the Celtic Tiger doesn’t seem to be putting them off.
For the record, I would prefer that we didn’t live in a world where there is increasing pressure on women to look younger for longer. I wish more people genuinely believed in growing old gracefully and that beauty gets better with age.
But five minutes into the demo and I was wondering what I could pawn, where I should sign and if they’d accept part payment in change tickets from Dublin Bus.
Surgeon Shunil Roy, working with the brand Restylane (hyaluronic acid), administered a total of 6 injections into his willing patient’s forehead, cheeks, lips and chin, and the results were both immediate and dramatic. Her skin looked younger, fresher and smoother in an instant, without it being obvious in any way that she’d ‘had something done’.

I asked the vulgar question about the total cost of the procedures we’d witnessed. The damage? Around €1600 - though most people wouldn’t do it all in a oner, opting instead for a series of gradual enhancements. We were told that the filler would be gradually metabolised by the body, and that the results would last between 6 months to a year.

At this stage, they were preaching to the converted.

We turned to the gorgeous TV presenter who was standing beside us and asked, “Are you tempted?” She roared laughing before answering, “Are you serious? Oh God yeah!" And in that moment, I’m pretty sure that she spoke for us all.

But what about you? Would you? Could you? Have you? How far would you go in the pursuit of younger looking skin?
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