"Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives." Not only is Days of Our Lives the best soap opera EVER, but one of its lead characters, John Black, embodies my lifelong struggle with my face/lips. Since as early as my fetal stages and until this very day, I have suffered what the 'first world problems' guidebook (not a real thing) refers to as 'Colourless-flatlipitis' (also not a real thing). I was at my desk, clacking away at my window of torment (Windows 7 Ultimate, to be more precise); you know, doing regular CairoZoom stuff - deciding who's worth noticing and who isn't - when CairoScene Managing Editor Farah Hosny's voice rang from across the other side of the room like a siren of hope for land in the distance: "LIP INJECTIONS, ANYONE?!" The rest was history.
Days Of Our Lives Star, John Black, pulling his classic eyebrow ponder look.
T'was a breezy Saturday afternoon when I made my way to Alexia Cosmetic Clinic
. I was warmly greeted, upon arriving, and led to wait for my appointment in their modern-chic white, silver, and purple-themed waiting area, where my hopes and anticipation for a fuller pout and a generally more feminine look were to steadily build and blow out of proportion. Being 26 years old, I had obviously considered getting lip fillers for some time now, but had some reservations that had held me back thus far - the biggest one being ending up with the dreaded upper lip 'venom sacs' look, which even A-list celebrities fall victim to (most severe cases that come to mind being Meg Ryan and Michelle Pfeiffer). Another concern was the fading process. Through my research, I had come to understand that lip injections last for up to six months, during which the fillers go through a gradual fade, and in some reported (and many observed) cases, the subjects wind up with visible clumps on the sides of their lips, in which case you can either go for touch-ups or attempt to mask it with dark lipstick and hope for the best until it fades completely. It seemed like a vicious cycle that required a whole lot of maintenance and financial flexibility, not to mention the pain and bruising as it has been reported to be the most painful among filler procedures.
Meg Ryan sporting the dreaded 'Venom Sacs' look. Observe and marvel at my impeccable Photoshop skills as I draw the comparison between her lips and those of the cobra's.
My bipolar trail of thought was suddenly interrupted when I was called in to meet with my sculptor: Dr. Fady Yacoub. We sat down for a quick chat so he can walk me through the procedure. I started by talking about my problems (problems related to my lips only, of course) and after pushing forward a box of tissues across the table, he explained to me that, although simple, the procedure requires skill and precision if Daffy Duck is not your image of beauty. He then went on to explain that the fillers he uses are made from lab-cultivated hyaluronic acid, which is easily absorbed into the skin as it is a natural substance produced in our bodies. He also showed me his extensive portfolio of 'before and afters' for other procedures he's done, ranging from augmentation surgery to Botox and fillers. If you're wondering about the difference between the two, fillers can be used where the skin has lost collagen and needs a plumper look, whereas Botox is used to relax the muscle, giving skin it a smoother appearance and reducing potential wrinkles.
He also walked me through all the other cutting-edge services Alexia offers, from laser hair removal sessions to resurfacing, mesotherapy for hair, and hyperpigmentation treatment. The procedure I found most interesting, however, was PRP - Platelet Rich Plasma for skin rejuvenation. The procedure involves a sample of the subject's blood which is then spun in a centrifuge to separate the plasma from the red blood cells. This increases the platelet count to four times its normal concentration. The concentrated platelet serum, once activated and injected into or applied to skin, stimulates the cells to create new collagen, which gives the appearance of a natural face lift and a smoother, more youthful, complexion. My next experiment! But I digress.
Munky prior to her lips fillers.
Feeling more at ease now, I stretched myself out on the doctor's chair before I learned, to my horror, that there will be no anaesthesia. Dr. Fady insisted that local anaesthesia is completely unnecessary and that it will only feel like a mild pin-prick. After the lines were drawn around my lips where the needle would penetrate my skin, I was told to take a deep breath, and in went the first prick. It was indeed mild but you definitely feel the liquid filling up your lips, which I found to be both strange and amusing. The whole process took no more than five minutes, after which I was given an ice pack to prevent bruising. I freaked out when I looked in the mirror as my lips were three times their normal size, but the doctor assured me that the swelling will go down within a couple of days. I also sustained a minor bruise, but nothing a bit of coverup couldn't fix. I thanked the doctor and scheduled my follow-up appointment for the next week.
In less than a week, my lips had really taken on their new shape and the swelling and bruising was completely gone. I went in for my check-up and Dr. Fady seemed very pleased with the results, but I wanted to go a tiny bit BIGGER! So with a prick here and a prick there, voila! The second time was even easier than the first. The doctor advised me to occasionally massage my lips in order to break down any clumps and help the fillers blend in with my natural tissue. All in all, the process is definitely a lot simpler than it appears and is not permanent. If you're opting for fuller lips, make sure to do your research and have a clear understanding of the process and the necessary follow up.
For more information call +20233384714 or +201285422250, or visit 51 Demashk Street, Mohandeseen, Cairo, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.