We’d be lying if we hadn’t at some point looked in the mirror and wondered what we’d look like with Angelina Jolie’s perfect pout. Achieving voluminous pucker perfect lips is not longer restricted to lip-plumping lip gloss and a strategically placed dollop of gloss, more and more women are taking to cosmetic enhancement with fillers to achieve their desired look.
Full lips with a clearly defined border are not only key to a youthful appearance but can aid in face symmetry and overall body confidence.
I took to Dubai Cosmetic Surgery to find out the options.
Dubai Cosmetic Surgery is a respected multi-specialty practice with a network of world-class clinics in the UAE, established since 2004. If you’re going to trust anyone with cosmetic enhancement, it would be them.
Offering a wide range of treatments from rhinophlasty to liposuction, Botox to hair restorative surgery, their expert, highly trained surgeons are among the best in the business.
I met with Dr Ömer Refik Özerdem, a specialist plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon most famous for his expertise in hair restoration techniques. However, I was not there to have my locks replenished, I was interested in finding out more about what lip enhancement could do for me. With a career spanning almost two decades and a philosophy to provide natural results not to mention his long-term patient satisfaction, I was in good hands.
Dr Ömer earned his Doctorate degree at Çukorova University in Turkey then afterwards had a post-graduate residency at Pittsburgh University and subspecialty residency positions in both cosmetic surgery and cranio-facial surgery in Miami and Alabama Universities respectively.
Dr Ömer ,what is the main trend that you notice amongst the UAE market when it comes to facial cosmetic surgery?
A: There is big demand for fillers and Botox here. Botox application is desired not only to improve the facial creases or to raise the eyebrows, but also to control migraine type headaches. Fillers are generally desired for lip augmentation. However, lip reduction is also one of the frequent operations in UAE. As for surgical interventions, face-neck lifting and cosmetic surgery of the eyelids are also very popular.
Why do you recommend facial fillers including dermal filler for the lips, when it comes to wanting to improve or enhance one’s appearance?
One of the signs of ageing is the thinner lips, they get thinner as time passes. Fullness of these structures can give a younger appearance. Just 5 minutes of application can give great results.
How long do the effects of lip filler last?
There are various products with different types of effect and time. We generally prefer FDA approved hyaluronic acid as filler. These products generally stay around 6 months. However, repeated application will result win longer lasting results.
What do you mostly notice about the use of cosmetic procedures in the UAE?
In fact, requests for cosmetic procedures are not very different from the other countries. That is, at least my observation. Hair transplantation is very frequent here, even among the female patients. UAE is also very advantageous in health tourism so we have many patients from abroad.
To what extent has the rise in cosmetic procedures been down to celebrity culture and media?
Art is very important in Arabic culture. I believe that Plastic Surgery is a bridge between art and medicine. That is, I think, why Plastic Surgery is very popular in UAE, people love art and aesthetics.
How safe in general are cosmetic procedures?
There is always a risk whatever you do in medicine. However it is important to minimize the risks with adequate equipment, experience and training. All these factors are improved very carefully every day by the training and health care centers. The UAE has really very strict rules in terms of health regulations that help to minimize the possible problems in Aesthetic Surgery.
What advice would you give anyone looking to improve their appearance through a cosmetic procedure?
Every person would benefit from a certain extent and type of cosmetic intervention. For example, only liposuction would suffice for a person who has some fat on her/his tummy. However if there is also sagging skin, the best solution can be a tummy tuck procedure. So it is important to consult a Plastic Surgeon to learn the optimal operation for each individual. Otherwise, the results might cause disappointment.
What difference can dermal fillers give to one’s face?
As we get older, our tissues (such as skin, fat, bones etc) become thinner and thinner on our face. So there is significant volume loss with time. The solution is to replace this loss. Fillers are among our choices to do this. Fullness of face structures, as I said above, would make you look younger and more energetic. This would surely reflect to your social life with enhanced self-confidence.
Satisfied with Dr Ömer’s answers and a quick observation that yes indeed my face was slightly asymmetric I opted for Restylane fillers in both my bottom and top lips. The desired effect was for natural enhancement rather than an obvious plump. The process is performed by using an injectable dermal filler to amplify the volume in the lips.
Restylane contains hyaluronic acid which is derived from the body, hence no skin testing is required before treatment. After fifteen minutes of numbing cream to ease the pain of the injection, the substance was gently injected along the borders of my lips, with 60% going to my bottom lip and the remaining 40% of the 1ml to my upper paying slightly more attention to the asymmetry.
The effects of Restylane last for around six months after which you can opt to have a repeat procedure to top up. The effects are immediately noticeable if a little exaggerated with swelling and slight bruising.
It takes around a week for the swelling to subside and the new natural shape of your lips to become evident. My lips are fuller, my profile improved and I’m incredibly happy with the results.