Sunday 25 February 2018

Having work done can mean a whole new lease of life

Peggy Stringer, who is delighted with the results after having excess skin removed from eyelids in a Paris clinic
Peggy Stringer, who is delighted with the results after having excess skin removed from eyelids in a Paris clinic
Debbie Byrne Harmon
Anne Wolverson
Anne Wolverson
Andrea Smith

Andrea Smith

Cosmetic procedures can enhance and transform - and our reporter met three women who were thrilled with the results

Peggy Stringer

Age: 60, mum-of-four and owner of Monkstown Laser Skin Clinic

Procedures: PRP, Botox, filler, blepharoplasty

I wanted to get my eyes done because I had a lot of loose skin on the top of my eyes and my eyelids were hanging down. It wasn't affecting my eyesight, but it was very ageing and wasn't attractive. The eyes light up your face, so I decided to have a procedure called a blepharoplasty, where they remove excess skin and fat from the eyelids.

I went to Paris three years ago to have it done by Doctor Armand Halabi at Chirurgien Esthetique in Paris. I chose him because I worked with him a few years ago as part of my training, and he's an amazing young surgeon.

I've had PRP (platelet-rich plasma), aka the 'vampire facial', a little bit of filler and a little bit of Botox. Our motto in my clinic is to have your skin look the best it can for the age you are. It's not about looking ten years younger,

I've basically had anything we do in the clinic, but this was my first time having a cosmetic procedure that was invasive. It was a simple one though, and I had it done under local anaesthetic.

Dr Halabi injected anaesthetic into the top eyelid, drew lines above and below the areas where the excess skin was, and literally cut it out and sewed it up. They do the procedure on the natural line of your eye so it isn't noticeable. It only took an hour, and there was no pain whatsoever.

The doctor put me on painkillers for a few days afterwards, but I didn't need them, I just took Panadol that evening and the next day, and that was it. I had it done on Friday evening, and went shopping in Paris on Saturday afternoon and out for dinner that night. I flew back on Sunday and went to work on Monday.

I only had the top lids done - there is a lot more downtime with the lower lids and you also have to be sedated for that. The treatment costs €2,000 for the upper eyelids using local anaesthetic, but having the top and bottom lids done together is €3,000. It costs €300 if you want to stay in the clinic overnight.

There was lots of bruising afterwards, which lasted for about a week, and the swelling lasted for about four days. I had to take great care cleansing the area, because the hygiene of the eye afterwards is important. I had the stitches taken out over here on day five. I think it took about a month before the line was invisible.

Having my eyes done has made a big difference to my appearance. People said I looked well, but they didn't know what I had done until I told them. The results are still amazing. I can put on eyeshadow without having to lift my eyelids. I'm delighted I had it done and would highly recommend the procedure.

Anne Wolverson

Anne Wolverson.jpg
Anne Wolverson

Age: 52, single Dublin socialite who does charity work for St. Michael's House

Procedures: Botox, lip and nasolabial filler, thread lift

I started having Botox at 40, which I think is the perfect age to start. I get it in between my eyes and at either side twice a year, and it's brilliant, I wouldn't be without it. I also get filler in the nasolabial lines from the side of my nose down to my mouth, and I've had my lips done too.

When I fell into my late forties and early fifties, I could see my neck and under my eyes deteriorating. I wasn't brave enough to go under the knife, so I decided to have a thread lift done in Enhance Medical on South Frederick Street, where I get everything else done.

You can get different areas done, like your eyes, face and neck, so of course I decided to go for the whole hog. They use a numbing cream and then insert these tiny needles in at various points and leave them in for a few seconds.

A tiny thread is released below your skin that expands over the weeks and lifts and tightens your face. Once the threads are in position, your body generates new collagen bundles that surround each thread to maintain the lifting effect.

The doctor was amazing and the procedure was absolutely painless, which was great, as I'm completely useless with pain. There was a bit of bruising afterwards - a tiny bit under the eye and under the neck. It took about four to six weeks to see the full results and it was amazing. I was delighted at how it looked. Nobody knew what I had done but people kept telling me that I looked fantastic.

I got the thread lift done last spring and the results last for about a year to 18 months. I will go back next year to top it up, because I'm so delighted at how easy it was and the great result I've had.

Debbie Byrne Harmon

Debbie Byrne Harmon

Age: 36, mum-of-six from Ballyfermot

Procedures: Tummy tuck, breast lift, liposuction

I first got pregnant at 15 and although I have six children now, I also lost six babies. After 12 pregnancies my stomach just hung down, and I was really conscious of it. People always thought I was pregnant again because it stuck out so much and I was really fed up with it. I was always hiding away in hoodies, and I just wanted my body back.

Aside from that, because of the overhang, sweat used to get trapped in the loose skin and make it smell and itch. Something had to be done. A friend told me about this place called Beauty in Lithuania, which has an office in Drogheda. I booked an appointment but had to cancel it because I had to pay an unexpected bill. They felt that my story made me a good candidate for them, so they asked me to represent their company and offered to give me the procedure for free.

I went to a consultation and met Daiva, who was lovely. She asked me if I would like to get a breast lift too, and although I was a bit iffy about it at first, everyone kept saying I was mad. They said that I was being offered it and I couldn't have a lovely stomach and sagging boobs. So I thought about it and agreed. I decided to get the breast lift, liposuction on both sides and a tummy tuck done. In Lithuania, the whole lot cost about €4,000, including travel, whereas getting it done here would have been several times more.

I believe it was the best thing I ever did and I would highly recommend anyone to go. I went over at the end of August and the place was so spotless and peaceful. I stayed for a week, and it wasn't actually painful recovering. You just take your painkillers and get on with it.

I was a size 16 on top and 14 in jeans before I went. Now I'm a 10 in both and I'm thrilled with the result. What did my husband think about it all? He was delighted because he got a whole new woman!

Debbie will appear in RTE2's Body Shopping, a three-part documentary series to be transmitted in April. Dr Ciara Kelly follows a selection of people going down the road of cosmetic surgery. She explores why and how they're doing it, and if, in the end, getting work done makes them feel any happier.

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