With a classic little black dress that perfectly depicts her enviable curves, Dessiree – we only get to hear her first name – is at first sight a natural beauty.
But looks, as we all know, can be deceptive. In fact, she is the face – and the body – of an arresting new advertising campaign from the cosmetics giant Allergan, the company behind the famous anti-wrinkle jab Botox.
A quote from Dessiree, billed as an & # 39; actual aesthetic surgery patient & # 39 ;, is next to her photo, which nicely explains the procedure she allegedly undergone.
& # 39; I was so enthusiastic. I had no idea that my fat could be transferred to another part of my body, & she says.
Model Dessiree is the face – and the body – of a catchy new advertising campaign from the cosmetic-medical giant Allergan, in which she says: & # 39; I had no idea that my fat could be transferred to another part of my body. & # 39 ; The Dessiree campaign is for a new piece of surgical material called Revolve that, according to Allergan, the process of & # 39; autologous fat transfer & # 39; easier
First introduced about ten years ago, the concept is unmistakably appealing: surgical removal of unwanted fat from the thighs or stomach and injection into an area where a larger volume is desired, such as the bottom or face.
The Dessiree campaign is for a new piece of surgical equipment called Revolve, which Allergan believes makes the process – medically known as autologous fat transfer – easier.
I was one of the first British journalists to see the new ads – aimed at doctors rather than patients – when I attended the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Annual Meeting in New Orleans last week, an event that shows the future has in store for cosmetic improvements.
It is not open to the public, but I received unprecedented access. And fat transfer, I discovered, is big business – Revolve was just one of three similar launches during the meeting.
But it also became clear that it is one of the most risky cosmetic operations, coupled with permanent deformity, blindness and a significant risk of a rapid, painful death.
JABS HAS LEADED TO GIVE YOUR CURVES LIKE A KARDASHIAN
During a fat transfer operation, the patient first undergoes a liposuction procedure, using a fine hollow tube to break fat and then suck it out through small incisions.
The removed jelly-like tissue is then processed – mechanically milled to a smooth liquid and filtered – before it is ready for reinjection.
Using a thick needle or fine hollow tube, small fat deposits are inserted into the designated & # 39; ent & # 39; place and intertwine with the surrounding tissues, creating fullness and improving natural parts of the volume. Theoretically at least.
The most common areas for injecting fat are the lips, cheeks or in the bottom to create a pert, lifted effect – simulating the silhouettes of the reality star Kim Kardashian, and the singers Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé (although none of them has admitted having a buttock-enhancing operation)
The Mail on Sunday approached Allergan to talk to Dessiree and to get more information about the procedure she was undergoing, but they did not respond to our request.
We can only assume that their voluptuous spokes model is a living example of how good the results can be.
Yet there are serious concerns in the medical community about fat transfer.
The most common areas for injecting fat are the lips, cheeks or in the bottom to create a pert, lifted effect – simulating the silhouettes of the reality star Kim Kardashian, and the singers Jennifer Lopez and Beyoncé (although none of them has admitted having a buttock-enhancing operation).
But a top surgeon told me privately that the results often & # 39; an absolute disaster & # 39; goods.
WOMEN DYING FOR A LARGER BOTTOM
Last year it appeared that women who underwent bump enlargement with fat had a one in 3,000 chance of dying after following the procedure, also known as & # 39; the Brazilian butt lift & # 39; – making it the most deadly of all cosmetic procedures.
Complications also include bacterial infections, including MRSA, necrosis (tissue death), scars, wound fractures, and abscesses.
Four years ago, this newspaper revealed the first known British death after the operation. Jane Kiiza, 48, a mother of one from London, chose surgery because she & # 39; a new look & # 39; wanted, after her son, who was educated in Cambridge, had left home.
In August last year, a British mother of three, Leah Cambridge (above), died 29 years after a & # 39; bottom lift & # 39; operation in Turkey
She was reportedly in good health before being operated on 18 June 2015 at the BMI Clementine Churchill Hospital, Harrow. She died in the hospital four days later.
Her surgeon Shailesh Vadodaria still offers buttock operations on his website.
Then, in August last year, a British mother-of-three, Leah Cambridge, 29, died after undergoing the operation in Turkey.
Shortly thereafter, the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons, representing the vast majority of NHS-trained cosmetic surgeons in private practice, forbade their surgeons from offering their buttocks with fat.
However, the association represents only a third of all cosmetic doctors who work in their books in Britain, many of whom think they work in less well-regulated private clinical chains.
Meanwhile, the cosmetic tourism industry is flourishing, with thousands of British patients traveling overseas, many tempted by price fixing.
British cosmetic surgeon Nigel Mercer admitted: & # 39; We have no idea how many women have these operations. & # 39;
A study by the Royal London Hospital reported a six-fold increase in cases of urgent aftercare from procedures conducted abroad since 2013, including buttocks.
Last week, Boston-based surgeon revealed Dr. Daniel Del Veccio, one of a number of students who studied deaths from the buttock augmentation, the reason why the operation is so deadly.
He explained that fat injected into the thick buttock muscle does not stay there. Instead, the fluid squeezes through the muscle fibers and fills space under the buttock in the pelvis. This can extend the delicate blood vessels that pass through this area and rupture them.
The result? Enormous bleeding, circulatory fat and rapid death.
& # 39; You can inject fat under the skin of the buttocks if you stay above the muscle, but there is no safe way to inject into the muscle & # 39 ;, said Del Veccio.
Given the demand, the official rule of American certified surgeons seems to be: & # 39; We offer it better than taking patients to non-regulated clinics. & # 39;
The British association has no immediate plan to follow this example.
"We must do our own research before deciding whether it can be done safely," said Mr. Mercer.
OVERTUFFED, NOT IN A LOOK AT … GROTESQUE
And what about the transfer of fat to the face? During a lecture at the meeting in New Orleans, a world-renowned surgeon said that that could result in & # 39; Howdy Doody face & # 39 ;, referring to an American wooden puppet character who was the star of a 1960s television show.
The doll had exaggerated features and was once described as the & # 39; ugliest puppet you can imagine & # 39 ;.
Another doctor I spoke to in New Orleans gave his opinion about the results of the fat transfer to the face: & # 39; Frozen, overstuffed, unable to smile … grotesque, he said.
The problem is one of & # 39; dominance of the donor site & # 39 ;: fat taken from the stomach and injected into the face remains stomach fat.
& # 39; We use it to correct malformations and it works brilliantly in the right patient, for the right purpose, and well done & # 39 ;, said Mr. Mercer.
& # 39; But we advise them not to gain weight, because the transferred fat can expand quickly, just like stomach fat does.
& # 39; In ten to fifteen years we may see a major problem with facial fat, especially since women who did it in their thirties and forties go through menopause when weight gain occurs.
& # 39; Once the fat is in the face, it is almost impossible to get out. & # 39;
Worse, if fat injected around the eyes enters a blood vessel, the results can be catastrophic.
& # 39; There are approximately 600 cases of blindness caused by injections with fillers and fat & # 39 ;, Mr. Mercer added.
And so, while images such as Dessiree & # 39; s nest social media, nurturing a desire for bigger turns and plump pouts, the fact remains fat transfer is really a game of Russian roulette.
Would you dare to try these advanced treatments?
Although fat transport seems a risk too far, the cosmetic surgery industry remains relentlessly innovative.
Statistics released last week have shown that about 28,000 people in the UK underwent cosmetic surgery last year, about half the number in 2013.
Instead, the choice nowadays appears to be & # 39; tweakments & # 39; to be: smaller procedures with, hopefully, subtle, natural results.
A large number of these new procedures were unveiled in New Orleans last week and no doubt they will soon pave the way across the Atlantic.
Here are some of the latest developments and what the experts had to say about this.
BANISH BINGO WINGS, BUILD BIGGER BICEPS
What is it?
Emsculpt was introduced in the UK last fall and is a device that flexes muscles by destroying them with electromagnetic energy.
Originally designed for the abdomen and buttocks, the device has now been adapted by the Czech company behind it, BTL, to also focus on smaller muscle areas: the biceps and triceps and calves.
Emsculpt was introduced to the UK last fall and is a device that flexes muscles by destroying them with electromagnetic energy
How does it work?
Fast pulses activate nerves that control the muscles, causing them to contract spontaneously.
The entire muscle is activated, instead of the 40 to 70 percent achieved by tensioning.
While large, paddle-like applicators are attached to the body during stomach and buttock treatments, the new designs are narrower and curved to fit the arms and lower legs. A 20-minute session can simulate the effect of 20,000 bicep curls.
The arm size of volunteers grew on average one centimeter, studies suggest. & # 39; Upper arms look tighter, and larger calf muscles give the effect that the ankle appears to be thinner and slimmer, & quot; Dr. Barry DiBernardo, New Jersey-based surgeon conducting tests on the new device.
Is it worth it?
The disadvantage, explains Dr. Louisiana surgeon. Simeon Wall Jr out, is that without regular use, the achieved muscle can quickly languish.
& # 39; You will not see the best results unless you train well and eat & # 39 ;, he adds.
Treatments can cost from £ 750 per session, although clinics can offer discounts for packages with multiple treatments.
CURE FOR CELLULITE … BUT IS IT PAIN VALUE?
What is it?
Injections with a drug called clostridium histolyticum collagenase – brand name Xiapex – into the buttocks and thighs can help reduce the appearance of "orange peel" skin twitching, also known as cellulite, which affects up to 90 percent of women.
How does it work?
Cellulite is just normal fat under the skin. It seems lumpy because it presses against connective tissues, the so-called septae, which anchor the skin to the lower muscle layer. Even slim women have cellulite, but the dented appearance can be exaggerated with both weight gain and aging due to loss of skin elasticity.
Xiapex is an enzyme that breaks down collagen, the protein that forms the septae. Injected into dimples in the buttocks, it dissolves the septae, making the skin smoother.
Is it worth it?
Cellulite is usually classified as severity on a scale from one that is mild to four, which is severe.
In studies, volunteers had treated 12 wells on each buttock. Each dimple was injected three times. Three sessions, with an interval of 12 weeks, were given, after which patients saw a one or two-point improvement in the severity of cellulite.
But British cosmetic advisor Nigel Mercer warns: & Injections can be painful and in many cases releasing the septae not only causes the skin to become flat again, so it may not be enough to remove the dimples. & # 39;
MINI FLAME TRANSMISSION TO CONNECT THE SKIN
What is it?
Another new non-surgical skin tightening and resurfacing technology is the Renuvion device.
How does it work?
This uses a unique type of energy that the manufacturers have called J Plasma, a heated helium gas.
Broadcast from the end of the needle-like handpiece of the machine, it looks like a mini flame thrower.
The needle is slid under the skin and moved. The skin and tissue shrink due to the heat. The technology is designed for use on the face, under the arms, on the abdomen and even above the knees.
Is it worth it?
In the wrong hands, heating under the skin can be a disaster, Dr. Wall claimed. "We have seen horrible third-degree burns in some patients who have undergone such procedures, and there is little that can do to help them," he said. Mr. Mercer agreed: "It is not the technology that is the problem, it is the person who uses the technology – the margin of error is small and in the UK there is not much regulation about who can use these machines."
NO MORE JOWELS WITH A & # 39; HOW PUNCH & # 39; FACELIFT
What is it?
The non-surgical facelift is a way to tighten lax, wrinkled skin without cutting and sewing – or a general anesthetic.
How does it work?
Two new methods were presented last week: the Recross rotation fractional resection and the Cytrellis dermal microcorrect correction device. Both are handheld devices that have a number of tiny & # 39; scalettes & # 39; contain – hollow, blunt needles – in the tip. These rotate while being pressed into the skin and a suction device then pulls the core of tissue out of the scalpette.
Between five and ten percent of the total skin surface is removed via these micro-incisions. This close-up shrinks the skin and gives a & # 39; lifting & # 39; effect.
Is it worth it?
In a new study, 90 percent of the remaining people who were treated said they would recommend & # 39; to a friend & # 39; but only one in ten had visible scars.
& # 39; The size of the holes made is the problem & # 39 ;, said Mr. Mercer. & # 39; Scarred skin is weaker skin that could cause problems further down the line. & # 39;
Cytrelis achieves similar results, but uses finer needles, which means there are no scars. & # 39; Cytrelis is for younger patients looking for a subtle improvement & # 39 ;, said Boca Raton, Florida surgeon, Jason Pozner.
Given that the costs are probably in the four-digit region, the price-quality ratio remains to be seen.
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