11.19.2006

Plastic Surgery

OK, so not really, but it's the closest I'll ever get.

Today, I got "laser-ed" for purely cosmetic purposes.

You see, many years ago, I picked at my nose and was left with a small red scar right in the CENTRE of my nose.. Usually scars fade away sooner or later, but this one didn't. I was quite upset. Of all ploaces to have a scar, it had to be right in the middle of my face?!

It's small, but it bothered me. I have to make sure that I cover it wth concealer everyday. If I don't, the red dot stands out against my pale skin. What a pain. Worse, there would be ocassions where smeone would ask me: "Is that a pimple on your nose?" Grrr. But I would be loath to go into a lengthy explanation which the other person would not be interested in listening to, anyways. Really, if I cover it up properly, no one can tell. In fact when I mentioned it to a friend, she kept scanning my face asking "Where?" So I can sort of understand when people feel they need to fix something others think is no big deal at all.

I kept saying that I wanted to fix it, but never did. I really did want to be rid of the scar, but at the same time I wasn't sure whether I wanted to risk any complications for the sake of aesthetics; and what about cost? So I always found a reason to put it off - no time, too expensive, don't know of a reputable doctor, etc. I thought my wedding would be a strong motivating factor, but even then, I didn't do it.

But recently I'd been reading up on scar removal and found that it can be addressed through relatively simple procedures, even topical creams. Knowing that it would probably take a straightforward and speedy procedure helped. And a friend recently went for Thermage (a treatment using heat to stimulate collagen production) and gave me her doctor's contact. So I called last week and got an appointment today.

The red spot was diagnosed as being dilated blood vessels. It was a miniscule bump of blood vessels that dilated post "trauma" (i.e. me picking at it). Doc said it could be fixed by laser and would I like to get it done immediately? I was quite uprepared - I had imagined that I would need a second appointment for my treatment. Today was supposed to be consult only! But since I had been putting it off for years, I said OK.

I was put onto a chair, much like the ones you sit on at the dentist's. The nurse helped me put on a pair of goggles to "protect my eyes". I was told that the laser was high heat and it would hurt, but because my scar was so small, no anesthetic would be administered (!!!) Although it was a minor procedure, I had a mild "freak-out" when the goggles were placed over my eyes. I'm not sure what about it disturbed me, really. Perhaps it was because my vision was obscured. It almost made me feel as if they needed to hide what they were doing because it was so bad. Same thing when they put an eye mask over you at the dentist, right before they start drilling.

I started thinking, Am I mad? I must be totally STUPID to risk my face over what is essentially no big deal. But too late, was already in the chair. It felt like needles, the laser. Like an injection going in when drawing blood. It was over in less than a minute.

As I left the clinic, I thought about other procedures that people I know have gone through - double eyelid surgery, mole removal, ear tucks (where ears get pinned back) - and I shuddered. After this experience, it made me more certain than ever of one thing: that I would never want any kind of invasive surgery for vanity's sake.

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