In Search of the Perfect Bottom

My backside has been a source of distress to me for my whole post-adolescent life.

I've put a lot of effort into rectifying its disproportionately large size and as a competitive City girl have battled with a string of unbearable diets.

Over the past six years I've attempted Atkins, low GI, low calorie (well, starvation really), the cabbage soup diet and even Beyoncé's maple syrup concoction.

I've tried personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, power plates and Brazilian boot camps, yet I still look dreadful in jeans.

So when I recently heard whispers around the City about a new form of "lunchtime lipo", my ears pricked up.

Rumour had it that the newest form of fat removal caused only minimal bruising and downtime - so virtually no time off work - and was taking London by storm.

After five minutes on Google I'd located Dr Ayoubi, the man credited with introducing the treatment to the UK, and had booked myself a consultation session at the London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic in Harley Street.

Dr Ayoubi, a charming and softly spoken Syrian, first explained the philosophy of his clinic, which is that any surgery is aimed at "enhancing" rather than "altering" looks. I had been hoping for more shrinkage than "enhancement".

The treatment can be applied to any part of the body though the most popular areas are post-natal tummies, saddlebags, double chins and bingo wings.

Not surprisingly, 80 per cent of Dr Ayoubi's clients are women but he noted, "We do get men. Most of them are looking to remove 'man breasts'." I don't blame them.

The treatment is not a cure for obesity. It's designed for patients with areas of "stubborn fat".

After granting that the fat around my rear was suitably stubborn, I contemplated an appointment the following week, which would make me "bikini-ready" three weeks after that.

With a holiday to Europe looming and a beach full of sun-kissed supermodels on my mind, I handed over my credit card.

On my way to the treatment, my optimism faded and I was instead questioning my own sanity. Fortunately my fears were allayed on arrival at the fantastically chic Hurlingham Clinic (and spa, incidentally) in Parsons Green.

The atmosphere was calming - it felt like I was just swinging by for a facial - and the staff couldn't have been more friendly.

As the appointment loomed, however, the luxurious surroundings weren't enough to appease my fears - in my nervous state I embarrassingly put on my surgical gown backwards and forgot my operating knickers.

A couple of Valiums later, and with two motherly nurses holding each hand, I found myself on the operating table.

After the application of local anaesthetic, it was time for the laser treatment, an odd sensation to say the least.

Having made a very small incision, the surgeon inserted a two-milimetre-wide laser under the skin, and melted the fat cells that had been causing me so much distress.

Ice packs were applied after each zap to ensure that the skin wasn't burnt.

The first version of SmartLipo would leave it at that, but this new generation treatment (SmartLipo MPX) uses a little suction to remove some of the fat there and then, so that a partial result may be seen immediately and the end result is more effective.

"I have found that patients are anything but patient," Dr Ayoubi joked. I knew that my surgeon and I were on the same wavelength.

When I gently sat up, trying not to look too carefully at my mangled body, I noticed the sponge-like texture of my thighs before I was quickly manoeuvered into the garment I was to wear for the next 10 days.

These were like a slightly tighter, nude pair of Bridget Jones style "magic knickers", with a strategically placed hole.

Although the bruising is dramatic, the procedure and recovery period has been uncomfortable rather than painful.

What's more concerning is that two weeks later my backside is still more Kerry Katona than the Carla Bruni bottom I had envisaged.

Reassuringly, Gillie Turner, the helpful managing director of the Hurlingham Clinic, reminded me that "the treatment was not a miracle cure, that I should continue to eat sensibly and take exercise and that the full effects would become apparent in "about three months' time".

Providing my thighs no longer "kiss" and I'm happily wearing my skinny jeans by October, that's enough of a miracle for me.

London Medical & Aesthetic Clinic 020 8342 1100, www.lmaclinic.com/ Prices start from £2,200.

Lunchtime lip job: Dr Rita Rakus offers the Stylane Lipp procedure, injecting juverderm ultra into the lips to plump them up. No more than 60 mins for treatment, no downtime. Immediate results.

From £399, Hans Road, SW3, 020 7460 7324, www.drritarakus.com "No-Sweat" Botox: Jabs in the armpits at Medicetics stop you sweating for six months.

Around 30 mins for treatment, no downtime. Results within a week.

£400, 37 Connaught Street, W2, 020 7402 2033, www.medicetics.com Double-chin eraser: Dr Sebagh's Lipo Dissolve at The French Cosmetic Company gets rid of the under-chin fatty lump using injections of artichoke extract. Ten mins for treatment, no downtime. Results in a week.

£400-£500, 25 Wimpole Street, W1, 020 7637 0548 Stomach fat removal: Liposuction with Harley Medical Group involves inserting a suction tube into the body fat from which a small vacuum then draws out the fat. Overnight hospital stay with one-week recovery time.

From £2,965, Great St Thomas Apostle, EC4, 0800 085 4984, www.harleymedical.co.uk Million-dollar smile: A new treatment from America, Smile Strips are teeth-whitening plastic strips with peroxide gel that are applied directly onto teeth. Five-minute consultation, 30 minutes for application, no downtime. Immediate results.

£45, 42 Harley Street, W1, 020 7636 5981, www.harleystreetdental studio.com Instant knee lift: Thermage skin tightening at Wimpole Aesthetics Centre promotes collagen production to lift the skin. Twenty to 120 mins for treatment, no downtime. Results visible in two to three months.

£1,000-£3,000, 48 Wimpole Street, W1, 020 7224 2247, www.wimpoleaesthetics.co.uk

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Haiti Rehabilitation Camp Run by Nun with N.J. Ties Offers Hope, Haven for Earthquake Victims
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Mita Jean Louis, wearing a bright, floral blouse and pink shorts, stares into a mirror, unmindful of the people around her. She is smiling, and someone asks if she's smiling because she sees the reflection of such a beautiful young woman.The smile vanishes. "I don't know,'' says the 19-year-old, instantly shy. She puts the mirror away in a makeshift cabinet, and lowers herself onto her bed. The bandage that covers the stump of her thigh shows through below her shorts.Mita turns her face into the shoulder of another teenager. This girl, 17-year-old Reginette Sinelien, has lost a leg, too."They have come a long way,'' says Sister Mary Finnick, "but they still have a long way to go.''The 77-year-old nun runs what has to be one of the most unusual places in Haiti, perhaps anywhere in the world. It is a rehabilitation center for those badly hurt in the earthquake, a refugee camp, a haven for the displaced, a magnet for the altruistic, an incubator of new green businesses, a gallery of Haitian art, and even a soccer center.The dining room table in what had once had been the mansion of a wealthy Haitian businessman served as an operating table in the hours following the quake. What had been a chapel became a pharmacy. Its grand soccer field became a tent city that included a place for victims like Mita to recuperate from amputations and find artificial limbs.More Haiti coverage: • Perth Amboy team heading to Haiti to help quake survivors • Bob Braun: N.J. community leaders, officials speak at Rutgers on aiding Haiti's future• After Haiti earthquake, spike in adoption requests benefits other countries in need• Newark Archdiocese donates church supplies to parishes in Haiti after devastating earthquake• Newark diocese raises over $1 million for Haitian relief• Hopewell woman lost in Haiti after earthquake is confirmed dead• N.J. Haitians connect with loved ones through mobile phones in earthquake's aftermath"I guess, in a way, we were the only game in town,'' says Finnick, who grew up in Lowell, Mass., but summered as a nun in Cape May.The "we" is Matthew 25, a place established in 2005 as a way of "twinning" Catholic parishes in the United States - including three in New Jersey-with those in Haiti. The building is a guest house, open in the past mostly to those from America who wanted to work for the poor in Haiti.It came through the earthquake only slightly damaged, while other houses in the Delmas 33 neighborhood crumbled into debris. The center - named for the Gospel exhortation by Christ to help "the least of my people" - instantly became a center for all manner of groups who responded in the aftermath of the disaster.The international Lions Clubs designated it as a camp and sent sturdy blue tents to house what, at its peak, were 2,000 homeless refugees from the quake, people selected by a committee headed by a local soccer star, Pierre Michel Tanis. He is a coach and player on the Full Techniques, a local traveling soccer club that played its games on a field now covered with blue tents."The people were here so we lost our field. We wanted it organized well - first, to help the people, and then to make sure they move off the field,'' says Tanis, better known by his playing name of Tye.The team now can play only on what's left of what had been a huge open area - on a concrete basketball court-without knee pads.Word spread quickly about what Sister Mary was doing. Doctors from the United States and Portugal arrived, some to perform amputations.Sue Morrison of Mountain Lakes, a surgeon who had been involved in the twinning parishes program, came to help. A friend, medical student Sarah Connelly from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, contacted a prosthetics company that put together a foundation to help those, like Mita, who lost limbs when concrete walls fell on them."We're here to provide quality care to people like Mita,'' says Dennis Acton of Manchester, N.H., a prosethetics producer who began the foundation."All kinds of people have come through here,'' says Finnick, including "Acupuncturists without Borders" and a plumber who donated and installed modern dual-flush toilets.It also drew a group that wants to start a business building geodesic dome homes for Haitians, and another seeking to create organic compost-based toilet systems."I think having the word 'sister' in your name makes people guilty," says Finnick who once headed her order, the Gray Nuns of Yardley, Pa. She recently retired as a nursing professor at the University of Buffalo.One recent night, guests included coaches from an organization in Massachusetts who want to train Haitian players and coaches, and a teacher from White Plains who had come to volunteer. A local artist named Einstein Albert sells his works there."I guess I have a knack for putting people together who want to do something good for others,'' Finnick says.
Falklands Hero Forced to Sell Medal for 84k After ...
By Liz Hazelton for MailOnline Updated:05:10 EDT, 3 December 2009 He spent 27 years oblivious to a bullet lodged inside his hip after being shot three times during the Falklands War.But when the pain became too much, hero paratrooper Captain Ian Bailey was forced to have surgery - bringing an end of his career as a security guard.Thrown back on his life savings, the 49-year-old had no choice but to sell his military medal which yesterday went for a recordbreaking £84,000.Capt Bailey was a 22-year-old corporal in the 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, when he charged Argentinian positions at Mount Longdon.Armed with grenades and a fixed bayonet, the paratrooper embarked on the daring assault alongside Sergeant Ian McKay, who was to receive a posthumous Victoria Cross.The attack was successful but Sgt McKay was killed and Capt Bailey received dreadful injuries to the neck and the hip.He was given up for dead by Army surgeons but later underwent no fewer than seven operations on the hospital ship Uganda and recovered.While receiving his neck wound, piece of shrapnel severed the cord of his metal identity tags, which fell into the mud.They were found a year later by a sergeant-major clearing the battlefield and returned to him.Capt Bailey, meanwhile, received a Military Medal for his actions and stayed with the Paras for a further 20 years.He left the in 2002 after the pain in his neck from the old injury forced him to have his neck fused.'As the chance of this operation being successful was only 50% I decided to resign my commission and leave,' Capt Bailey said.'I did not take a medical discharge as firstly it was not offered and, secondly, trying to get a job aged 42 after being medically discharged from the Army would have been difficult.'I was told to stop running, tabbing [marching with full pack] and jumping out of aeroplanes and I should be fine.'But after leaving the Army I started to have problems with my hip injury.' He finally had surgery this summer.'I was amazed to learn that I still had the head of an Argentine bullet as well as numerous smaller fragments of shrapnel lodged inside me,' he said.'This took three hours on the operating table and five days in hospital. They found many bits of shrapnel including the head of the bullet.'These offending items had been in my body since June 1982 and no-one had bothered to mention it.' Surgery forced Capt Bailey, who has a wife and two children, to leave his job as a security guard which led to the difficult decision to auction his Falklands memorabilia.His Military Medal, dog tag, six other medals, x rays and congratulatory correspondence from Army top brass were all included in the sale.The collection were sold by auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb in London.Director Pierce Noonan said the lot was bought by a private collector in the UK, who wishes to remain anonymous.He said: 'It's a record price for a Military Medal. The reason it sold for so much is because of the significance of him being involved with the last action of Ian McKay. He was the last man to see him alive.' He added that it was an emotional day for Capt Bailey, saying: 'He was sad to see his medals go but he was happy with the amount of money that they raised.' 'Before having this operation in June, he had to resign from his job in the security industry.'He was warned the job could not be held open for him and since then he has been unable to gain further employment.'Had he been made aware of the presence of the bullet and shrapnel inside him while he was under the care of the military, it would almost certainly have been removed at the time.'If this had happened his successful career in the security industry would not have been interrupted as it has been.'The Army should have spotted the bullet and removed it. If they did spot it, they never told him about it and he didn't know anything about it until 2002.'This is extraordinary. If it had been spotted and dealt with at the time, he would still have a good job.'Despite inquiries to the Ministry of Defence and various veteran organisations, other than his war pension, he has not been able to claim any compensation for his loss of earnings.'
My Husband Died From a Routine Knee Operation Because the ...
By Jo Macfarlane for MailOnline Updated:20:03 EDT, 20 March 2011 When her husband went into hospital for a knee operation, Penny Belcuore hoped it might end the chronic pain that prevented him carrying their young daughters on his shoulders.But Luigi Belcuore died on the operating table after surgeon Professor James Richardson failed to follow guidance for using equipment.As a result, the orthopaedic specialist injected Mr Belcuore, 43, with an air bubble that stopped his heart, an inquest has heard.Mrs Belcuore has accused Prof Richardson of 'playing God' with her husband's life.The grief-stricken widow discovered she was pregnant just four weeks after the death and was left to give birth to the baby boy his father would never see.Speaking for the first time since the inquest at Shrewsbury Magistrates' Court earlier this month, Mrs Belcuore, 34, said of Prof Richardson: 'I will never fully understand how someone so experienced in medicine and surgery would not think that injecting air under pressure for several minutes would not lead to certain death.'I feel he pushed the boundaries and was using my husband as a guinea pig. In effect, he played God with my husband's life.'The scary thing is he did not think he had done anything wrong and that the manufacturer's instructions were a guideline and not a safety issue.' Mrs Belcuore was told of her husband's death in a phone call from Prof Richardson.'He told me he had died of a massive heart attack on the operating table,' she said.'He was crying, and kept saying he was so sorry.'My world just crumbled. Later I found out it wasn't a heart attack and that his death had been caused by the modified equipment.' Mr Belcuore had a cartilage problem in his left knee.He had agreed to take part in a clinical trial at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital in Oswestry, Shropshire, applying stem cells taken from his cartilage to damaged areas in the hope they would regenerate.Prof Richardson had told the inquest that he assembled the equipment, called Quixil, in accordance with manufacturer Johnson & Johnson's instructions.He should have used it to spray a substance to help blood clot.However, he did not use the recommended plastic tube but attached a needle instead.He also did not use the blood-clotting substance.Instead, high-pressure air was then directed at the wound for several minutes to dry the blood. The resultant air bubble entered Mr Belcuore's veins, causing his heart to stop.A representative for Johnson & Johnson told the inquest that a needle should not have been used under any circumstances, and an expert witness said that a junior doctor would have understood the risks this presented.The inquest jury said: 'We consider that the surgical equipment used in the procedure was modified in a significant way and that this modification was outside the intended use.' Giving a narrative verdict, which simply records the circumstances of the death, coroner John Ellery said the modified equipment contributed to the death and Prof Richardson should have asked the hospital's ethics committee's advice before using it.The case has been referred to the General Medical Council (GMC) for investigation.Mr Belcuore, from the village of Morton Bagot, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, worked as Northern European sales manager at the computer company Nvidia. He died in October 2009.His wife, who works as a products promotional manager, gave birth to a son last year.She said: 'Life has at times been almost too much to bear but I have had to find the strength to carry on for our two daughters and baby boy.' Mrs Belcuore, who lost her own father in a car crash when she was six, has been left with eight-month-old Louis and daughters Lydia, four, and Sienna, three.She said: 'The hardest thing of all is that both they, and the son he never even got to see, will now grow up without their dad.'He was the kind of husband every women deserves.' Prof Richardson still works at the hospital while he is being investigated by the GMC.Mrs Belcuore said: 'In the inquest he resembled a mad scientist, but it's hard for me to feel angry at him. It's not in my nature.'He will have to live with this for the rest of his life. I now have to live with the huge hole that Luigi's death has left.' Victoria Blankstone, a solicitor at law firm Irwin Mitchell who is representing the family, said the death was a 'tragic error' and called for a full GMC investigation.Hospital chief executive Wendy Farrington-Chadd said they accepted legal liability for the incident.
In Search of the Perfect Bottom
My backside has been a source of distress to me for my whole post-adolescent life.I've put a lot of effort into rectifying its disproportionately large size and as a competitive City girl have battled with a string of unbearable diets.Over the past six years I've attempted Atkins, low GI, low calorie (well, starvation really), the cabbage soup diet and even Beyoncé's maple syrup concoction.I've tried personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, power plates and Brazilian boot camps, yet I still look dreadful in jeans.So when I recently heard whispers around the City about a new form of "lunchtime lipo", my ears pricked up.Rumour had it that the newest form of fat removal caused only minimal bruising and downtime - so virtually no time off work - and was taking London by storm.After five minutes on Google I'd located Dr Ayoubi, the man credited with introducing the treatment to the UK, and had booked myself a consultation session at the London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic in Harley Street.Dr Ayoubi, a charming and softly spoken Syrian, first explained the philosophy of his clinic, which is that any surgery is aimed at "enhancing" rather than "altering" looks. I had been hoping for more shrinkage than "enhancement".The treatment can be applied to any part of the body though the most popular areas are post-natal tummies, saddlebags, double chins and bingo wings.Not surprisingly, 80 per cent of Dr Ayoubi's clients are women but he noted, "We do get men. Most of them are looking to remove 'man breasts'." I don't blame them.The treatment is not a cure for obesity. It's designed for patients with areas of "stubborn fat".After granting that the fat around my rear was suitably stubborn, I contemplated an appointment the following week, which would make me "bikini-ready" three weeks after that.With a holiday to Europe looming and a beach full of sun-kissed supermodels on my mind, I handed over my credit card.On my way to the treatment, my optimism faded and I was instead questioning my own sanity. Fortunately my fears were allayed on arrival at the fantastically chic Hurlingham Clinic (and spa, incidentally) in Parsons Green.The atmosphere was calming - it felt like I was just swinging by for a facial - and the staff couldn't have been more friendly.As the appointment loomed, however, the luxurious surroundings weren't enough to appease my fears - in my nervous state I embarrassingly put on my surgical gown backwards and forgot my operating knickers.A couple of Valiums later, and with two motherly nurses holding each hand, I found myself on the operating table.After the application of local anaesthetic, it was time for the laser treatment, an odd sensation to say the least.Having made a very small incision, the surgeon inserted a two-milimetre-wide laser under the skin, and melted the fat cells that had been causing me so much distress.Ice packs were applied after each zap to ensure that the skin wasn't burnt.The first version of SmartLipo would leave it at that, but this new generation treatment (SmartLipo MPX) uses a little suction to remove some of the fat there and then, so that a partial result may be seen immediately and the end result is more effective."I have found that patients are anything but patient," Dr Ayoubi joked. I knew that my surgeon and I were on the same wavelength.When I gently sat up, trying not to look too carefully at my mangled body, I noticed the sponge-like texture of my thighs before I was quickly manoeuvered into the garment I was to wear for the next 10 days.These were like a slightly tighter, nude pair of Bridget Jones style "magic knickers", with a strategically placed hole.Although the bruising is dramatic, the procedure and recovery period has been uncomfortable rather than painful.What's more concerning is that two weeks later my backside is still more Kerry Katona than the Carla Bruni bottom I had envisaged.Reassuringly, Gillie Turner, the helpful managing director of the Hurlingham Clinic, reminded me that "the treatment was not a miracle cure, that I should continue to eat sensibly and take exercise and that the full effects would become apparent in "about three months' time".Providing my thighs no longer "kiss" and I'm happily wearing my skinny jeans by October, that's enough of a miracle for me.London Medical & Aesthetic Clinic 020 8342 1100, www.lmaclinic.com/ Prices start from £2,200.Lunchtime lip job: Dr Rita Rakus offers the Stylane Lipp procedure, injecting juverderm ultra into the lips to plump them up. No more than 60 mins for treatment, no downtime. Immediate results.From £399, Hans Road, SW3, 020 7460 7324, www.drritarakus.com "No-Sweat" Botox: Jabs in the armpits at Medicetics stop you sweating for six months.Around 30 mins for treatment, no downtime. Results within a week.£400, 37 Connaught Street, W2, 020 7402 2033, www.medicetics.com Double-chin eraser: Dr Sebagh's Lipo Dissolve at The French Cosmetic Company gets rid of the under-chin fatty lump using injections of artichoke extract. Ten mins for treatment, no downtime. Results in a week.£400-£500, 25 Wimpole Street, W1, 020 7637 0548 Stomach fat removal: Liposuction with Harley Medical Group involves inserting a suction tube into the body fat from which a small vacuum then draws out the fat. Overnight hospital stay with one-week recovery time.From £2,965, Great St Thomas Apostle, EC4, 0800 085 4984, www.harleymedical.co.uk Million-dollar smile: A new treatment from America, Smile Strips are teeth-whitening plastic strips with peroxide gel that are applied directly onto teeth. Five-minute consultation, 30 minutes for application, no downtime. Immediate results.£45, 42 Harley Street, W1, 020 7636 5981, www.harleystreetdental studio.com Instant knee lift: Thermage skin tightening at Wimpole Aesthetics Centre promotes collagen production to lift the skin. Twenty to 120 mins for treatment, no downtime. Results visible in two to three months.£1,000-£3,000, 48 Wimpole Street, W1, 020 7224 2247, www.wimpoleaesthetics.co.uk
In Search of the Perfect Bottom
My backside has been a source of distress to me for my whole post-adolescent life.I've put a lot of effort into rectifying its disproportionately large size and as a competitive City girl have battled with a string of unbearable diets.Over the past six years I've attempted Atkins, low GI, low calorie (well, starvation really), the cabbage soup diet and even Beyoncé's maple syrup concoction.I've tried personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, power plates and Brazilian boot camps, yet I still look dreadful in jeans.So when I recently heard whispers around the City about a new form of "lunchtime lipo", my ears pricked up.Rumour had it that the newest form of fat removal caused only minimal bruising and downtime - so virtually no time off work - and was taking London by storm.After five minutes on Google I'd located Dr Ayoubi, the man credited with introducing the treatment to the UK, and had booked myself a consultation session at the London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic in Harley Street.Dr Ayoubi, a charming and softly spoken Syrian, first explained the philosophy of his clinic, which is that any surgery is aimed at "enhancing" rather than "altering" looks. I had been hoping for more shrinkage than "enhancement".The treatment can be applied to any part of the body though the most popular areas are post-natal tummies, saddlebags, double chins and bingo wings.Not surprisingly, 80 per cent of Dr Ayoubi's clients are women but he noted, "We do get men. Most of them are looking to remove 'man breasts'." I don't blame them.The treatment is not a cure for obesity. It's designed for patients with areas of "stubborn fat".After granting that the fat around my rear was suitably stubborn, I contemplated an appointment the following week, which would make me "bikini-ready" three weeks after that.With a holiday to Europe looming and a beach full of sun-kissed supermodels on my mind, I handed over my credit card.On my way to the treatment, my optimism faded and I was instead questioning my own sanity. Fortunately my fears were allayed on arrival at the fantastically chic Hurlingham Clinic (and spa, incidentally) in Parsons Green.The atmosphere was calming - it felt like I was just swinging by for a facial - and the staff couldn't have been more friendly.As the appointment loomed, however, the luxurious surroundings weren't enough to appease my fears - in my nervous state I embarrassingly put on my surgical gown backwards and forgot my operating knickers.A couple of Valiums later, and with two motherly nurses holding each hand, I found myself on the operating table.After the application of local anaesthetic, it was time for the laser treatment, an odd sensation to say the least.Having made a very small incision, the surgeon inserted a two-milimetre-wide laser under the skin, and melted the fat cells that had been causing me so much distress.Ice packs were applied after each zap to ensure that the skin wasn't burnt.The first version of SmartLipo would leave it at that, but this new generation treatment (SmartLipo MPX) uses a little suction to remove some of the fat there and then, so that a partial result may be seen immediately and the end result is more effective."I have found that patients are anything but patient," Dr Ayoubi joked. I knew that my surgeon and I were on the same wavelength.When I gently sat up, trying not to look too carefully at my mangled body, I noticed the sponge-like texture of my thighs before I was quickly manoeuvered into the garment I was to wear for the next 10 days.These were like a slightly tighter, nude pair of Bridget Jones style "magic knickers", with a strategically placed hole.Although the bruising is dramatic, the procedure and recovery period has been uncomfortable rather than painful.What's more concerning is that two weeks later my backside is still more Kerry Katona than the Carla Bruni bottom I had envisaged.Reassuringly, Gillie Turner, the helpful managing director of the Hurlingham Clinic, reminded me that "the treatment was not a miracle cure, that I should continue to eat sensibly and take exercise and that the full effects would become apparent in "about three months' time".Providing my thighs no longer "kiss" and I'm happily wearing my skinny jeans by October, that's enough of a miracle for me.London Medical & Aesthetic Clinic 020 8342 1100, www.lmaclinic.com/ Prices start from £2,200.Lunchtime lip job: Dr Rita Rakus offers the Stylane Lipp procedure, injecting juverderm ultra into the lips to plump them up. No more than 60 mins for treatment, no downtime. Immediate results.From £399, Hans Road, SW3, 020 7460 7324, www.drritarakus.com "No-Sweat" Botox: Jabs in the armpits at Medicetics stop you sweating for six months.Around 30 mins for treatment, no downtime. Results within a week.£400, 37 Connaught Street, W2, 020 7402 2033, www.medicetics.com Double-chin eraser: Dr Sebagh's Lipo Dissolve at The French Cosmetic Company gets rid of the under-chin fatty lump using injections of artichoke extract. Ten mins for treatment, no downtime. Results in a week.£400-£500, 25 Wimpole Street, W1, 020 7637 0548 Stomach fat removal: Liposuction with Harley Medical Group involves inserting a suction tube into the body fat from which a small vacuum then draws out the fat. Overnight hospital stay with one-week recovery time.From £2,965, Great St Thomas Apostle, EC4, 0800 085 4984, www.harleymedical.co.uk Million-dollar smile: A new treatment from America, Smile Strips are teeth-whitening plastic strips with peroxide gel that are applied directly onto teeth. Five-minute consultation, 30 minutes for application, no downtime. Immediate results.£45, 42 Harley Street, W1, 020 7636 5981, www.harleystreetdental studio.com Instant knee lift: Thermage skin tightening at Wimpole Aesthetics Centre promotes collagen production to lift the skin. Twenty to 120 mins for treatment, no downtime. Results visible in two to three months.£1,000-£3,000, 48 Wimpole Street, W1, 020 7224 2247, www.wimpoleaesthetics.co.uk
In Search of the Perfect Bottom
My backside has been a source of distress to me for my whole post-adolescent life.I've put a lot of effort into rectifying its disproportionately large size and as a competitive City girl have battled with a string of unbearable diets.Over the past six years I've attempted Atkins, low GI, low calorie (well, starvation really), the cabbage soup diet and even Beyoncé's maple syrup concoction.I've tried personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, power plates and Brazilian boot camps, yet I still look dreadful in jeans.So when I recently heard whispers around the City about a new form of "lunchtime lipo", my ears pricked up.Rumour had it that the newest form of fat removal caused only minimal bruising and downtime - so virtually no time off work - and was taking London by storm.After five minutes on Google I'd located Dr Ayoubi, the man credited with introducing the treatment to the UK, and had booked myself a consultation session at the London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic in Harley Street.Dr Ayoubi, a charming and softly spoken Syrian, first explained the philosophy of his clinic, which is that any surgery is aimed at "enhancing" rather than "altering" looks. I had been hoping for more shrinkage than "enhancement".The treatment can be applied to any part of the body though the most popular areas are post-natal tummies, saddlebags, double chins and bingo wings.Not surprisingly, 80 per cent of Dr Ayoubi's clients are women but he noted, "We do get men. Most of them are looking to remove 'man breasts'." I don't blame them.The treatment is not a cure for obesity. It's designed for patients with areas of "stubborn fat".After granting that the fat around my rear was suitably stubborn, I contemplated an appointment the following week, which would make me "bikini-ready" three weeks after that.With a holiday to Europe looming and a beach full of sun-kissed supermodels on my mind, I handed over my credit card.On my way to the treatment, my optimism faded and I was instead questioning my own sanity. Fortunately my fears were allayed on arrival at the fantastically chic Hurlingham Clinic (and spa, incidentally) in Parsons Green.The atmosphere was calming - it felt like I was just swinging by for a facial - and the staff couldn't have been more friendly.As the appointment loomed, however, the luxurious surroundings weren't enough to appease my fears - in my nervous state I embarrassingly put on my surgical gown backwards and forgot my operating knickers.A couple of Valiums later, and with two motherly nurses holding each hand, I found myself on the operating table.After the application of local anaesthetic, it was time for the laser treatment, an odd sensation to say the least.Having made a very small incision, the surgeon inserted a two-milimetre-wide laser under the skin, and melted the fat cells that had been causing me so much distress.Ice packs were applied after each zap to ensure that the skin wasn't burnt.The first version of SmartLipo would leave it at that, but this new generation treatment (SmartLipo MPX) uses a little suction to remove some of the fat there and then, so that a partial result may be seen immediately and the end result is more effective."I have found that patients are anything but patient," Dr Ayoubi joked. I knew that my surgeon and I were on the same wavelength.When I gently sat up, trying not to look too carefully at my mangled body, I noticed the sponge-like texture of my thighs before I was quickly manoeuvered into the garment I was to wear for the next 10 days.These were like a slightly tighter, nude pair of Bridget Jones style "magic knickers", with a strategically placed hole.Although the bruising is dramatic, the procedure and recovery period has been uncomfortable rather than painful.What's more concerning is that two weeks later my backside is still more Kerry Katona than the Carla Bruni bottom I had envisaged.Reassuringly, Gillie Turner, the helpful managing director of the Hurlingham Clinic, reminded me that "the treatment was not a miracle cure, that I should continue to eat sensibly and take exercise and that the full effects would become apparent in "about three months' time".Providing my thighs no longer "kiss" and I'm happily wearing my skinny jeans by October, that's enough of a miracle for me.London Medical & Aesthetic Clinic 020 8342 1100, www.lmaclinic.com/ Prices start from £2,200.Lunchtime lip job: Dr Rita Rakus offers the Stylane Lipp procedure, injecting juverderm ultra into the lips to plump them up. No more than 60 mins for treatment, no downtime. Immediate results.From £399, Hans Road, SW3, 020 7460 7324, www.drritarakus.com "No-Sweat" Botox: Jabs in the armpits at Medicetics stop you sweating for six months.Around 30 mins for treatment, no downtime. Results within a week.£400, 37 Connaught Street, W2, 020 7402 2033, www.medicetics.com Double-chin eraser: Dr Sebagh's Lipo Dissolve at The French Cosmetic Company gets rid of the under-chin fatty lump using injections of artichoke extract. Ten mins for treatment, no downtime. Results in a week.£400-£500, 25 Wimpole Street, W1, 020 7637 0548 Stomach fat removal: Liposuction with Harley Medical Group involves inserting a suction tube into the body fat from which a small vacuum then draws out the fat. Overnight hospital stay with one-week recovery time.From £2,965, Great St Thomas Apostle, EC4, 0800 085 4984, www.harleymedical.co.uk Million-dollar smile: A new treatment from America, Smile Strips are teeth-whitening plastic strips with peroxide gel that are applied directly onto teeth. Five-minute consultation, 30 minutes for application, no downtime. Immediate results.£45, 42 Harley Street, W1, 020 7636 5981, www.harleystreetdental studio.com Instant knee lift: Thermage skin tightening at Wimpole Aesthetics Centre promotes collagen production to lift the skin. Twenty to 120 mins for treatment, no downtime. Results visible in two to three months.£1,000-£3,000, 48 Wimpole Street, W1, 020 7224 2247, www.wimpoleaesthetics.co.uk
Ending the Cycle
GLASGOW, Scotland - Jonathan has scars from his former life. Jagged scars on his neck and the back of his head. He has a history of drug abuse and assault. Some of the punches he threw landed on police officers.But today, his scars are partly covered by a bright pink shirt and black apron. He leans across a gleaming counter to hand over a chicken wrap and fries. "Sea salt or chili salt?" he asks a customer, with an affable grin.Jonathan, 28, works at Street and Arrow, a café in a 31-foot Airstream trailer that offers second chances along with trendy street food. The truck is run, at an arm's length, by the Scottish police. It's part of an approach to tackling violence that authorities say has had a notable effect on crime in a city with a rough reputation, and it's attracting attention in London and beyond.In 2005, the World Health Organization dubbed Glasgow the "murder capital of Europe." There had been 83 homicides the previous year in the Glasgow region, where gangs were known for their booze-and-blades culture.Exasperated police in Glasgow decided to rethink strategy. They set up a violence reduction unit (VRU) guided by the philosophy that violence is like a public health issue: violent behaviour spreads from person to person. To contain it, you need to think in terms of transmission and risk, symptoms and causes."You cannot arrest your way out of this problem," said Niven Rennie, director of the now-national Scottish VRU, a unit funded by the government with a budget of US$1.6 million this year.Scottish police plucked ideas from the Cure Violence project in Chicago, Boston's Operation Ceasefire and Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, among other initiatives. They formed partnerships with local teachers, doctors and social workers.They didn't abandon traditional policing. Shortly after launching the VRU, police ratcheted up stop-and-search and successfully campaigned for legislation that increased the maximum sentences for carrying a knife. But increasingly, they emphasized the interruption and prevention of violent behaviour. They are intervening in hospitals, working with partners in schools and helping former offenders get back to work.Meanwhile, over the past decade, Glasgow has seen a 60 per cent drop in homicides, and violent crime in Scotland has fallen to historic lows.The notion that the public health approach may have contributed to the decline has brought officers from as far afield as Canada and New Zealand to Glasgow to learn more.And in London, where knife crime has risen by 50 per cent in the past three years, Mayor Sadiq Khan recently announced the creation of a violence reduction unit modelled on Scotland's. "We have listened and researched the public health approaches in cities like Glasgow, where their own long-term approach over more than a decade has delivered large reductions in violence," the mayor said in a statement.Researchers urge caution in assessing the effects of Scotland's program. They stress the difficulty of pinpointing and disentangling the variables that influence crime rates."There are a lot of factors at play," said Susan McVie, a professor of criminology at the University of Edinburgh.Scottish police have been "bold, they've been progressive in a way that has not happened in the city of Glasgow before," said Alistair Fraser, a criminology lecturer at the University of Glasgow and author of a book on gang identity. Fraser said the VRU has been successful at changing the narrative about crime, but he was hesitant about more concrete results. "There is a general sense it's a good thing," he said, "but little in the way of hard proof."The picture is complicated by statistics showing that crime also has decreased in areas of Scotland where the VRU is not active. Other possible explanations for the decline include anti-knife campaigns in Scottish schools and a trend of young people spending more time at home and less lingering on the streets.Some international comparisons have also shown Scotland to score relatively high on assault rates, although Scottish officials dismiss the comparisons because of different ways of counting and recording crime.And yet there is consensus that Glasgow's gang culture is not what it once was.Growing up in Glasgow, there were places "you absolutely didn't venture," Humza Yousaf, Scotland's justice secretary, said as he sipped tea at the recent opening of the city's second Street and Arrow café, staffed by former gang members and people deemed at risk of offending. Now, Yousaf said, "there's not a place in Glasgow that I wouldn't go to."And individuals involved with Scotland's anti-violence efforts say they can see the difference it is making.Eddie Gorman, 53, spent more than 20 years in prison before joining the VRU. He now works as one of the program's "navigators," patrolling emergency wards at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays - peak days for violence - in hopes of finding people at a "reachable moment.""We wear bright pink T-shirts - it's very non-threatening," he said."Sometimes, when I contact them again after 24 hours, they don't remember me or my name, but they remember the pink T-shirt."Soft-spoken but armed with stories from his own chaotic past, Gorman points people in the direction of help, whether that's counselling, an alcohol recovery program or housing.Callum, 27, remembers when he first met a pink-shirted navigator. Early last year, he was rushed to the hospital after being stabbed nine times. It was his 17th visit to the emergency room in just over a year. His back is a canvas of scars. (Like others interviewed for this article, he spoke to the Washington Post on the condition that only his first name would be used, so future employers won't immediately associate him with his past.)Callum said he became violent when he drank, but he didn't know how to stop the cycle. After getting help with his drinking, he was offered a 12-month job at the Street and Arrow food truck and 18 months of mentorship. Today, he's employed as a mentor at the second Street and Arrow café.Christine Goodall, an oral surgeon in Glasgow, works in partnership with the Scottish police. A decade ago, she said, hospital staff were inundated with patients pouring in with "broken jaws, broken cheekbones, slashes across the face."Upset by what she was seeing on the operating table, Goodall co-founded Medics Against Violence, a network of about 250 health-care professionals - doctors, nurses, dentists, paramedics - who fan out into schools around Scotland and share stories about the consequences of knife crime, including their own first-hand experiences of patching people back together.Iain Murray, a police inspector who oversees the social enterprise arm of the initiative, including the cafés, said what they are doing is breaking the generational cycle - that if young men and women turn around their lives, then their children are less likely to follow them down a path of violence.He said about 150 people have been through the program's various employment schemes and estimates about 85 per cent have gone on to find other jobs.Back at the food truck, Jonathan is busy preparing meals for the lunchtime crowd, which included a former offender who used to work at the food truck and now is employed as a supervisor at a nearby shop.Despite his history of assaulting police officers, Jonathan now counts Murray as a friend. He said he's working on his issues with authority and values the "feelings check-in" sessions with his mentor at work - a big deal for a Glaswegian like him who grew up thinking that showing vulnerability was a form of weakness."It's like no other work environment," Jonathan said, shaking chili salt onto a plate of fries.- Washington Post
Coyotes Star Had Emergency Surgery at HSC
PHOENIX, Ariz. - Mikkel Boedker was hoping to play a little golf over the NHL all-star break, but instead found himself recovering from emergency surgery and bunking at a friend's house in Winnipeg.The Arizona Coyotes' leading scorer took a hard hit from Winnipeg Jets defenceman Mark Stuart on Jan. 18 and ended up on an operating table later that night.The 25-year-old Denmark native arrived at Health Sciences Centre for what he thought was going to be a routine MRI and was subsequently rushed into emergency surgery to staunch internal bleeding and remove his ruptured spleen."I got hit awkwardly behind the net and didn't think much of it. Felt like I lost my wind and kept on playing, but turned out it was more serious than that," said Boedker. "A bit of a scare. After the hit the wind was knocked out of me for a bit. But when you play, the adrenaline goes through you and I didn't think much of it. My rib cage hurt a bit and I tried to play through it. Played the second period out. Got into the dressing room and needed a bit of attention from the medical staff."They looked at it and they couldn't find much. I was just uncomfortable. I went back out for the third and I couldn't do much with the puck. I didn't feel comfortable being out there so I went back to the dressing room. The doctor came and looked at me and he just said 'We should get an MRI just to make sure.' They couldn't get it at the arena, they didn't have the MRI machine, so we had to go to the hospital. We were kind of in-between about whether I should go since they couldn't find anything wrong. The Winnipeg doctors insisted on us going, and it was critical that they did that. I can't thank them enough for making sure."Dr. Swee Teo and Dr. Ron Steigerwald examined Boedker at the rink and Dr. Ethel MacIntosh performed his surgery at HSC."I'm lucky to be treated so nice and so well. It's underrated what they do. People don't realize the effort and the job they do," said Boedker. "All the star players get all the credit in the world, but without (the medical staff), the league wouldn't be running and the players wouldn't be healthy enough to play and perform the way they do."Boedker saw a consecutive games-streak end at 257 - the fourth-longest in Coyotes history. He leads Arizona with 28 points and 14 goals and had scored five goals in four games before the injury.Boedker doesn't remember much from the night of his surgery."At that point I was in so much pain that it was a blur. I remember telling our trainer just to call my parents and make sure that they know what was going on. They're back home in Denmark, so it's a long haul for them to come here," said Boedker, who had a career-high 19 goals and 32 assists last season."I wanted them to call them to let them be aware of the situation, that I was going into surgery. I didn't think it was an emergency. They rushed me to the hospital. I didn't think it was that bad, but now looking back on it, I realize it was an emergency."Nobody said anything (about what would have happened if I had got on the plane back to Phoenix). They didn't get much into detail, but I was bleeding on the inside. It was pretty bad. I'm really happy and thankful the doctors made sure I got to the hospital and got taken care of. They made me listen to them, and not just be a hockey player. To be a person and listen to them. It's not about hockey at the time, it's about your health."Boedker stayed in hospital until last Thursday before moving to the house of a friend he did not want to identify. Boedker played junior hockey in Kitchener for the OHL's Rangers before joining the Coyotes. He says his treatment in Winnipeg is typical of what he's experienced in Canada."I remember the nurse took the bandage off from my scar and she said, 'It looks nice and they did a great job.' I expected 10 stitches, but I didn't realize it was from under my chest to my belly button, with staples. That was interesting. You think something, and then it's completely different," he said. "They did an unbelievable job. The people at the HSC were unbelievable. Everyone in Canada is all about hockey, so they all wanted to talk hockey. They're big fans of the Jets and they were good people."I think I'll have good memories of Winnipeg. They made my hospital visit and surgery a good one. Again, I can't thank them enough. I know my family back home is appreciative of what they did. It's a scary memory. But when people ask, I'm always going to say it happened in Winnipeg." Twitter: @garylawlessARIZONA Coyotes left-winger Mikkel Boedker spent the past week in Winnipeg after emergency surgery resulting from a hard hit in a game against the Winnipeg Jets. Some details:Birthdate: Dec. 16, 1989 (Age 25)Birthplace: Brondby, DenmarkHeight: 6-0Weight: 211Shoots: LeftDrafted: eighth overall, first round, 2008 NHL Entry DraftSource: National Hockey League
Paul Tucker Warns Worst 'Might Not Be Over'
The Bank of England's (BoE) deputy governor has warned "the worst may still be ahead" for the UK's finance industry, as he urged banks to boost their capital defences.Paul Tucker - who is a front-runner for the job as BoE governor when Sir Mervyn King steps down next year - said threats to the industry persist."We are in very difficult circumstances at the moment in the sense that huge risks are behind us," he said."There is still a tangible probability - not a high probability - that the worst may still be ahead."The UK's banks have been forced to build up large capital defences following the financial crisis of 2007-09, when banks including RBS and Lloyds had to be rescued by UK taxpayers.But speaking at the British Bankers' Association's annual conference in London, Mr Tucker warned that even the new Basel rules for minimum reserves - designed after the financial crisis - were not enough."Basel I, II, III, IV and V are not calibrated for the kind of end of the world risks that lie within the realms of the possible at the moment," he said."If we get a tidal wave, we may all be grateful that there are a few billion more in capital here and there in the banking industry, keeping banks in the private sector rather than the dead hand of state ownership."He also pushed for an overhaul in the way bank bosses are paid - proposing that they could be paid partlyin debt to ensure they have a strong interest in their company's future."Having managers exposed to instruments whose value depends on the survival of their firm would give them a healthy incentive to maintain a safe and sound bank," he said.Also at the conference, Rolls Royce's finance director urged regulators to find the right trade-off between regulation and financial stability."The balance between stability and growth is a fine judgement, which we feel is being overlooked more in favour of regulation rather than growth," Mark Morris said."If the patient is on the operating table, our view is, don't kill him, resuscitate him and try and keep him alive."While Bill Michael, the head of financial services at KPMG, said the banking industry needs "a ground-breaking shift inculture and behaviour.""Banks have treated customers like geese - there to be force-fed financial products, whether they're appropriate or not," he said.
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