Today I woke up to a wonderful email from a special lady that is in Poland at present. She had her procedure a week ago it said:
I can’t knock the service Secret Surgery has provided. I feel like a completely new person, and I mean that honestly! Angela you have made it so easy for me to do and I sincerely thank you for your help, guidance and support. I will defo be doing extra bits and you will b top of my contact list!
So the VIP weekend to Wroclaw was nothing more than a booze up with woman who were not intelligent enough to research the surgery/surgeons they were having?? …………. Well where on earth was i, as this is a total contrast to the weekend i attended!
I attended the trip as Angela thought it important for her aftercare nurses to see first hand the facilities at EMC and the standards of treatment that Secret Surgery patients expect to recieve. She invited us along and had planned a very regimented itinary in order to maximise the knowledge and experiences we would share with the polish team and recieve in return.
Our trip included a visit to the hospital, meeting patients who were more than happy for us to attend whilst they were reviewed, checked for pain levels and had their dressings renewed. One thing i thought when i saw the wound dressing change was how exceptional the emphasis on wound cleansing was compared to the standards i have seen in public practice.
I was impressed to see that instead of leaving dressings on for days on end, or not even having a dressing……..the wounds were managed on a daily basis. This is primarily the reason that EMC has a Zero infection rate. We discussed the use of wound swabs for MRSA etc, and was pleased to here that they also are very strict in poland and will not take chances with anyone that could potentially have an infection. They would rather postpone someones surgery than risk cross contamination from another source.
Safety first is very much the impression i was left with. The surgeon Dr W was very impressed that as UK nurses we were interested enough to give up our time to go along to meet him, his team and tour the facilities. It gave us an insight and a first hand look at how professional the packages are run. When you initially think of surgery abroad, you think of cut price must mean cut safety and cut care. The total opposite is true in the case of secret surgery. The lengths that Angela Chouhaib and her team go to maximise patient comfort and safety is nothing more than outstanding.
The patients are chauferred to the hospital daily for their dressing changes, in constant telephone contact for support mentally, as well as all the physical care. Dr W has very strict guidelines on how surgery is assessed. For example, if you went to him asking for ridicolously sized breasts for your frame, he would assess your whole body, and would not do something that would leave you looking like a freak of nature, despite the obvious financial reward. He also has protocols that mean no one will be able to access more than one major surgery in one hospital visit. It is these strict protocols…………safety and comfort over money, that mean the hospital currently has a zero mortality rate. How many institutions can boast that??
What the sun journalists failed to mention amongst many things was the lengths Secret surgery go to, in order to make the whole process as smooth as possible and as anxiety reducing as possible. As a bariatric patient myself having had both gastric bypass and lower body lift on the NHS in the UK, i know only too well how extremely stressful the whole process is. Not only stressful for the patient but for the loved ones aswell. Angela included a service that can cater for a companion to keep the patients company, and offers them just as much support mentally as the client recieves. This is again an example of the extra mile that secret surgery goes.
We enjoyed meals together in relaxing restuarants, not the drunken nights that the sun portrayed us to have. I mean for goodness sake, some people had just had major surgery……..they would hardly be up to drinking poland dry!! i enjoyed half a glassof wine on the last evening, and other than that drank coke and water, as did almost everyone else. We enjoyed a shopping trip to the Renoma shopping centre which was primarily led by Tracy who gave us valuable advice on how to dress our new found figures and how to look after the inner person that maybe is still struggling with the effects that obesity left. Sadly Jennifer the journalist showed little or no interest in talking to any of us about our journies.
We had so many stories ready to share, but she wandered around the shops looking at boots and jumpers for herself and took no notice of us all. It was very dissapointing on sunday evening when both jennifer and mike did not bother to attend the extensive traditional polish buffet that had been laid on at the very exclusive Pod Freda restuarant, rudely leaving Angela to pay the bill !!
This was the last opportunity for them to do the interviews that they were there to do, but sadly work took priority, or so we thought. Facebook pictures of site seeing at the time reflected how honest they were. Not only was the report in the sun, totally unfactual & unsubstantiated, it was also very insulting and demeaning. The people that were on that trip for surgery had done months and months of research, talking to surgical teams around the world, and asking millions of questions. Everyday they post in the facebook groups of both secret surgery and Weight loss surgery friends which have become a community themselves. The support that is given and recieved is unending and given with care and compassion.
There isnt a question that Angela does not answer!I agree there will be some people out there that probably spend 5 minutes and will choose the cheapest most convienient company and not even realise what they were getting into. Secret surgery clients however are nothing like that. They are simply not allowed to be for a start. Angela and the team ENSURE that their clients are well informed of ALL risks involved. They have infact turned people away that have had unrealistic expectations of surgery and the results. When Secret Surgery clients give consent for surgery, then it is 100% informed consent.
I am a trained nurse, i would under no circumstances risk losing my pin number for a company that i wasnt sure would be totally legally and ethically moral. I think the sun report tainted what was a very special weekend.
If you’ve never video-chatted, you really need to give it a try! Video-chatting is the latest thing with anyone who uses the net and spends a long time away from their loved ones. PC programmes like Skype, and smartphone apps like FaceTime all allow us to speak to our family and friends face-to-face over the internet – but what else are they doing?
A lot of experts are beginning to think that the rise in popularity of video-chatting is contributing to the hike in numbers of people undergoing facial cosmetic surgery, with a particular emphasis on Botox injections and skin fillers. Especially with high-definition technology emerging on many of these applications, it’s no surprise we’re feeling worried by our wrinkles!
Statistics that have been published by the American Society of Plastic Surgery also support this theory, indicating that the demand for ‘chin jobs’ has increased by 71% recently, while Botox remains an incredibly popular treatment. The specific rise in numbers of people undergoing treatments to the face – basically, anywhere that can be seen on a video-chat window – is somewhat telling.
Angela Chouaib, MD and founder of Secret Surgery Ltd., says that “It’s an interesting theory, and it’s one I hadn’t previously thought of. With social networking sites like Facebook making our photographs that much easier to scrutinise, it’s no surprise that video-chat is providing the final push. Of course, it’s not a bad thing – being able to see your loved ones looking more beautiful and confident than ever can never be a bad thing!”
Having a pectoral implant means undergoing a cosmetic surgery to change the appearance and the size of the pectoral muscles. These are the muscles in a male chest, which are impressive and good to look at.
Pectoral implants are solid, silicone prosthetic devices, which are specially carved and shaped for every individual who is having the implant done before insertion. After the implant, they should look and feel natural, yet give them the desired chest according to each individual body shape or defect. Bicep and triceps implants are the ones most commonly used to shape, enlarge and firm the upper chest and arm areas and if they are correctly inserted then they give a natural appearance of the chest and muscles in both the flexed and relaxed condition.
An incision is made in the armpit and a pocket is created in the fascia of the upper pectoral muscle. Once the implant pocket is created, a soft, solid silicone implant is sculpted to the exact size and most esthetic appearance.
Usually, this sculpting requires vast knowledge from having placed many pectoral implants before, to know specifically how the final implant will look after healing. Once sculpted, the silicone implant is inserted into the pocket and it is secured with a few small self-dissolving sutures. The external incision is closed, and a very small dressing is placed under the arms to promote rapid healing. The patient can typically see the change to the pectoral area immediately after surgery.
During the recovery period, the patient is instructed not to lift their arms after surgery. When the dressings are removed the patient is told to follow a gentle exercise program for the next few weeks to permit a full and comfortable range of motion of the arms. This allows the pec implants to settle into the fascia pockets that surround the muscle. Generally within a week or two, physical use of the upper body muscles may be resumed and within one month, full pectoral muscular activity may be recommenced.
PLEASE NOTE: This method may result in the appearance of stretch marks on the chest (tattoos can become distorted)
The Clinic & Surgeon:
He was graduated in the Medical University of Warsaw. He was the first doctor in Poland, received his doctorate in tissue immunology. Lecturer at over 60 plastic surgery, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery conferences on all over the world.
Founder of the Polish Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Group member of Europen Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (EACS). As the first in Poland introduced a method of syringe liposuction, laser CO, methods, and dermabrasion crystals Aquamid. His clinic is a multiple winner of the press rankings.
The Clinic is the oldest, employing the biggest number of plastic surgeons Clinic in Poland. Our experience is acknowledged by the ISO certificate but also by the fact that our clinic has been chosen by producer of Dutch make me Beauty program to conduct procedures for its Polish version.
“I’ve wanted a breast reduction for many years now, being a mother of four, but I never thought I’d see it happen. I used to hate the way I looked, and so I started searching for surgeries online, and this is how I found Secret Surgery.”
“I looked at pictures on the web, and then got in contact with Angela Chouaib, Secret Surgery’s MD. She was so helpful, and made me realise just how viable surgery with Secret Surgery would be. Angela put me through to the Secret Surgery Facebook group, where I could talk to other people in the same position as me.”
“Talking to past patients, I just knew I was making the right decision. As soon as I made up my mind and paid my deposit, I could sit back and just let Angela take over. I never regretted my decision – not for a moment.”
“Angela was great the whole way through. She talked me through every step, and I never felt pushed into things. All I had to do was turn up at the airport and fly to Wroclaw, where Aga was waiting. She was lovely, and explained everything to me.”
“I was also introduced to Dr. W, the surgeon who would be performing my breast reduction. I really felt like I was in safe hands with him, and I was right! The procedure was fantastic, as was the care I received after it.”
“I’d like to thank Angela from the bottom of my heart, for you have really helped me to make my dream a reality. I’m eternally grateful!”
It’s always lovely to hear genuinely moving stories like this one, and at Secret Surgery we’re just pleased to be able to make a difference. Thanks to Nuala, we’re able to offer first-hand patient stories which might just help more people to take the plunge and change their lives.
Today we’re catching up with Mary, from Ireland, who had a breast lift with Secret Surgery earlier this year. We’ve got details about her experiences with us, and if you’ve ever considered a breast lift for yourself, Mary’s words have a lot to offer.
“Three years ago, I saw a picture of myself at a wedding, at a size 26. I felt disgusted at how far I’d let myself go, and I joined Weight Watchers the week after. Two and a half years later, I’d lost six stone and eight pounds!”
“Unfortunately after I lost weight, I was left with lots of saggy bits, which I desperately wanted rid of! So I started researching cosmetic surgeries, starting in Ireland, but I couldn’t afford those. It was then that I found Secret Surgery.”
“When I contacted Angela, I was so impressed by her quick response and professionalism. She was so considerate, even when I had to change my dates twice, and she even called me the day before I was due to go, and we chatted for an hour!”
“When I got there, the hospital was immaculate, and the staff were so friendly and professional. I met Dr. W., who reassured me, and my breast lift was practically painless. It was all so easy! And Angela stayed in contact with me throughout the whole process.”
“I’d have to say it was the best decision of my life. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’m recommending Secret Surgery to all of my friends – and others! I’ll never forget my wonderful experience and all the friends I’ve made for life.”
We’ve got more details coming from Mary in the next couple of weeks. If you’ve got a Secret Surgery story to share with us, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
There’s a bit of a debate in the cosmetic surgery industry at the moment about whether face lifts should be performed with the patient under local or general anaesthetic; if you come along to Secret Surgery to have such a procedure, it’ll be done under local anaesthetic – and here’s why.
When we perform face lifts with local anaesthetic, the procedure is safer, more affordable for you, and it produces better surgery results; and I can’t think of anything else one might look for in a cosmetic surgery procedure.
Under local anaesthetic the cost of the procedure is at least 20% less than it is under general anaesthetic; you’ll avoid all the risks that come with deeper anaesthetics, and also be up and on your feet much more quickly than if you undergo a general anaesthetic.
Of course, there’s also no point paying for cosmetic surgery if you don’t get good results at the end of it all. While under general anaesthesia, our bodies have absolutely no muscle tone at all; this means that face lifts performed like this often look ‘too tight’, because there’s no muscle tone there to indicate to the surgeon when to stop pulling. Face lifts can also be ruined by potential side effects to general anaesthesia, including nausea and vomiting.
At Secret Surgery, we know how to have fun – but we’re also top professionals in our field. Our procedures are some of the best in the world, and you can rely on us to get a job done without taking any shortcuts. And it’s not just us who think so.
Emma Caston, Clinic Manager at Persona Cosmetic Medicine, says “Secret Surgery offer a first-class service with client care being their top priority. Safe in this knowledge, we now offer Secret Surgery to all of our clients; we know that they’ll be well looked after during their procedure, with the reassurance of the UK post-care being kept in-house under the direction of Dr Lisa Delamaine”.
It isn’t just women who come to our surgery for procedures, I’m sure it’s not just women who read this blog. Today, let’s give the men a little attention, shall we? Let’s talk about pecs – otherwise known as pectoral muscles, those big hunky ones on your chest.
Women aren’t always sympathetic to the fact that men face a lot of pressure to conform to expectations, too; just as we might feel self-conscious about our baggy breasts, waists and legs, men can feel insecure about their figures, too. Not buff enough? Feeling a little old? We’re all human!
While lots of men opt for the same surgeries as women, like liposuction, tummy tucks and face lifts, there are also lots of surgeries designed especially for the hairier sex. One of the most popular types of cosmetic surgery for men is the pectoral implant.
With a pectoral implant, you’ll look fitter, buffer, and more attractive to the opposite sex. It can also increase your confidence tenfold, so whether it comes to chatting up ladies or performing well at work, you’ll find that pectoral implants make life a whole lot easier.
Angela Chouaib, MD and founder of Secret Surgery Ltd. says that “It’s so pleasing to see so many men come through our doors here at Secret Surgery. For too long, cosmetic surgery has been thought of as just for women – that’s not true! We’re all human, and men can feel insecure too. At Secret Surgery, we’re proud to offer help to everyone who asks for it.”
In so many ways, life is a constant struggle to communicate; if only we as human beings could somehow flawlessly understand each other all of the time, we’d probably find life a lot easier to get through without trouble.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. When it comes to surgery abroad, there are even more language barriers than in everyday life. There’s the literal language barrier that you’ll meet when you travel to a foreign country to undergo your surgery. There’s a technical language barrier, when our surgeons try to explain your surgery to you in a way that doesn’t necessitate scientific knowledge, and there’s a social language barrier – as there always is – between you and your surgeon. Can you say this? Can you ask this?
Yes! Of course you can. At Secret Surgery, we know how important it is to be able to communicate with people – and communication in the patient-doctor relationship is all the more crucial. We’ve broken down the communication barriers, so you don’t feel misunderstood when you opt for surgery with us.
Consultants are available throughout the UK, so any worries and problems you have can be brought directly to them. Our expert team of surgeons are as practised in bedside manner as they are in their own medical specialisms, and we’re dedicated to making cosmetic surgery less daunting, less intimidating, and much more… fun! As the most accessible medical tourism company in the UK, we don’t need to be told that we’re good at communication.
Angela Chouaib, MD and founder of Secret Surgery Ltd., says that “Secret Surgery’s aim is to make surgery abroad hassle-free, and a huge part of that is knowing that online support is available 365 days a year. We’re here for you when you need us – and that’s what’s important.”
Secret Surgery also offers an 24/7 online support community here.
Call it what you will, the tummy, belly, stomach, abdomen (if you’re feeling fancy) can be a source of distress. We all know how good they can look, but similarly, we all know how off-putting it can be to sport a paunch protruding over a skirt or bulging beneath a tailored suit. Fat and flab on your tummy is the most difficult to hide, and, cruelly, it can be the most difficult to shift. Even if you have the time to crunch and squat, pull up and lunge down, twist and shout all day long, if you’ve had a baby or three it can be nigh impossible to get rid of that tyre surrounding your once-trim tummy. Even if you succeed in shedding the weight after multiple pregnancies, you’ll likely be left with stretch marks as an unwanted reminder of your pregnancy.
Phrases like ‘tummy tuck’, ‘abdominoplasty’, and ‘cosmetic surgery’ come with a lot of misinformation. At Secret Surgery, we believe that all cosmetic procedures should be entered into with a full understanding of the methodology and any inherent risks.
There’s a difference between a full abdominoplasty and a mini-tummy tuck (yes, such a thing exists!). A full tummy tuck or abdominoplasty involves work in both the mid and lower stomach areas, together with a tightening of the abdominal wall and re-sculpting and replacement of your belly button. A mini-tummy tuck is closer to a Caesarean, leaving a smaller scar, and involving no belly button reformation. Recovery can take up to and including 6 weeks, with some precautions to be taken for 6 months after your procedure. The surgery itself takes only 3-4 hours.
Part 10 - What If Something Does Go Wrong?
So you know it’s important to ask questions about the surgery, and to always ask questions of yourself. You’ve learnt what to look for in contracts, and may have everything documented and detailed to perfection. You know where you’re going, you have your finances in order, and you’re ripe and ready to travel. You’re flexible, you have a friend to hand, and you know to plan for complications.
But no matter how much we plan, things sometimes go wrong even if you choose surgery at the hospital down the road! I wrote this guide to help you prepare for your own surgery abroad, as when I underwent surgery myself I could have done with a clear ‘how to’ guide! I hope you’ve been able to take something from it, including these last three pieces of advice:
1. Make sure you have a GP at home who knows you’re going abroad, and will help you on return to the UK. There’s a stigma surrounding medical tourism, and I know only too well that general practitioners are sometimes the authors of it. However, if you find the right GP and express how prepared you are for every eventuality, he or she should support and respect your decision.
2. Ask the surgeon abroad what to expect post-operatively, because you should know what level of pain or discomfort is normal. Of course it’s worrying when you haven’t experienced surgery before, but knowing if something really has gone wrong is imperative.
3. Lastly, don’t worry about getting in touch with the surgery. It’s ridiculous to suffer in silence, so simply contact them to express any concerns you might have. It’ll be easier to deal with if you alert them quickly, and you’ll feel more confident once you have all the answers.
Luckily, complications due to cosmetic surgery are rarer than you might think: we perform hundreds of operations monthly, and we haven’t had a single complication to date. We monitor your progress post-operatively so we’re able to make sure you’re doing well, and – if something was to happen – we’re able to respond immediately.
I’ll finish as I started off – there will always be horror stories about botched boob jobs in the media. Research everything thoroughly, and you’ll come to your own impressions about that. If you do opt for surgery abroad, I hope you’re as pleasantly surprised as I was. Find the right surgery outside the UK, and you’ll be amazed at how wonderfully clean, professional and caring they really can be.
Dos and Don’ts
When I had surgery, reminding myself of what to expect was invaluable. I started Secret Surgery to help others considering medical tourism, and I’ve always wanted to pass on my experiences and advice with complete honesty. To save you the trouble, here’s my personal ‘dos and don’ts’ list: (more…)
Breast enlargements are popular for a reason – but a woman’s desire to improve the size of her bust shouldn’t cloud their judgement when it comes to choosing where to have the operation.
Choosing a Clinic over a hospital, for example, is never a good idea. After all, what happens if complications occur during your procedure? You will have to endure a wait for an ambulance to transfer you to the nearest hospital.
The only way to ensure your safety is by going under the knife in a fully-equipped hospital like ours, where intensive care and trauma facilities are on hand in the unlikely event of a complication. We value your health and peace of mind just as much as you do.