A lot of people have taken notice to my appearance lately, it’s no secret I look a little different and I’m an open book about it. While some are commenting that ‘Dalmatia really suits me,‘ (and yes) it certainly does, it’s not Dalmatia, love or marriage that has improved my look, it’s a lot of doctors, specialists and treatments. I wanted to share my experiences at Poliklinika Bagatin with you as I know a lot of people are wondering what treatments they can get done, how much they cost and if it’s really worth it. I am completely aware that Croatia is becoming a hot spot for medical, health and beauty tourism and if I can help someone choose my country and the clinic that I frequent, then I’ve done my bit. In this post I’ll also open up about the work that I have had done and what I plan on doing next.
Ever since I moved to Croatia in 2016, one name seemed to be everywhere, Bagatin. They even had good word of mouth, all my new friends had great things to say about it. Poliklinika Bagatin is an award winning multi service clinic based in Zagreb Croatia that also recently opened a second clinic in Split. They specialise in dermatology, dentistry (read Chasing The Donkey’s dental transformation here), plastic surgery and aesthetic surgery. It is literally your one stop shop for all your health and beauty needs.
In the last 5 months I have been at Bagatin in almost bi-weekly. Located in the Green Gold centre of Zagreb, next to the Double Tree Hilton, Poliklinika Bagatin is a modern and professional environment with the best views of the city. There is a second location in Zagreb, down the road from Green Gold Centre where all the plastic surgery is done. My husband recently had gynocomastia surgery with Dr Dinko Bagatin, more on that in another post.
ONE. MED CONTOUR BODY SHAPING
Was it really possible to lose several inches from your waistline from a body shaping machine? I was skeptical.
Before we even begin, what is Med Contour? Med Contour is a combination of ultrasound therapy, vacuum massage and lymphatic drainage. After a few sessions you’ll notice your skin tighter, firmer with less cellulite and bumps visible on the body. All in all, it burns away your cellulite and I am definitely down for that! Each session lasts between 45-60 minutes and it is said that Med Contour is an alternative to liposuction. It’s not painful but can take some getting used to as the heat therapy can be a bit uncomfortable at times.
During my consultation, I informed the specialist that I wanted to focus on stomach, thighs, buttocks and lower back regions of my body. These were my “problem areas” where the cellulite wasn’t budging. I use the term loosely, I am aware I have a fairly fit figure but I consider these areas a little more difficult to manage the older I get. We agree on 6 sessions to be done weekly.
I noticed the biggest change in my body from sessions 1-2, this is where my body was beginning to create the shape that would remain how it is today. I lost 4cm around my waist and 5cm around my stomach. The cellulite that was visible around the back of my thighs and buttocks region were fading away, more each session. By the time we got to session 6, there was hardly any fat left which meant that I felt the heat from the ultrasound machine a lot more. The treatment had worked. Here’s the thing though, you can’t do Med Contour and rely on it solely to get you results. You must be exercising regularly, eating healthy and drinking 2L of water a day to flush out the toxins. Med Contour is ideal to fast track and firm the body you’re after but you still have give up the chocolate cake, something I am very bad at.
About My Lifestyle
My exercise regime was in full force throughout the 6 week course and still is today. I am at the gym 5 times a week doing weight training, high intensity and yoga. My diet is mostly ketogenic, high fat, low carb diet. I am also intermittent fasting in the evening (from 9pm) till about midday the following day, unless I am having dinner at a restaurant where I will begin fasting at the end of the last meal. I am not strict on myself because I love food so when I am at a restaurant, I order what I feel like but try to avoid pizza and pasta (unless the truffle pasta is renowned). When I am at home, I follow the ketogenic diet. My lifestyle is fairly active and I often go for long walks in the morning without my phone and do average at least 10,000 steps at least 4 times a week.
Would I recommend Med Contour? Absolutely. All skepticism has left the building. I was really impressed with the results already in the first 2 sessions and I’ll confirm that it gave my butt a bit of a noticeable lift. I’m also thinking about doing a few more sessions in the next month for the summer. Med Contour is one of the most popular treatments at Poliklinika Bagatin, especially during the cooler months so if you’re interested in getting this done, I’d advise you book ahead as availability is limited.
Price: This 6 week treatment was gifted and in collaboration with Poliklinika Bagatin however, the total price for the 6 treatments that I did costs 10,033kn (1350€.) They have an offer where if you buy 4, you get 2 sessions free.
TWO. FILLER & BOTOX
I started “playing with my face” around 12 months ago. I started with half a syringe of dermal fillers in my lips. I didn’t do the full ml because I was terrified of looking like a duck as I had a very small upper lip to begin with. Those familiar with filler know that half a ml won’t get you far and I was back in the chair three weeks later for a full ml in my lips (.7 in top and .3 in the bottom). Over the summer I didn’t do anything else.
End of October I had gathered up the courage to go “all in.” I had half a syringe of filler injected under each eye via tear trough, another ml injected in my lips and botox on my forehead and crows feet (40 units). I didn’t do this at Poliklinika Bagatin, it was with another doctor in Zagreb.
Everything after the procedure was going well until I noticed that I had a visible dark line that was forming under my left eye from the tear trough. It looked like a permanent bruise that showed no signs of going away. About a month later under my right eye, I had what looked like a bubble appear. It literally freaked me out and I knew this was not the result I was looking for. I did a lot of research and found out I had the Tyndall effect. This occurs when the filler has been placed too close to the surface. This is now where Bagatin and Dr Josip Lovric come into the picture.
I expressed my concerns with Dr Lovric who told me to be patient and let the filler settle. Dermal filler under the eyes takes time, a long time to settle but the tyndall affect was not going to last forever. I asked if it was possible to dissolve the filler under my eyes with hyaluronidase and start all over again. Dr Lovric said this was an option however not ideal for my situation as my tyndall effect wasn’t really worst case scenario and would dissipate over time. The problem with dissolving dermal fillers is that it is unknown how long it would take for the hyaluronidase to begone from the under eye area. Even if I redid the entire non-invasive procedure three months later, it was not guaranteed that the hyaluronidase would be completely dissolved from that area, which meant that it could dissolve the new filler immediately.
On this visit I had another ml of Juvederm Volift injected into my lips. Juvederm is a dermal filler made of hyaluronic acid which is a naturally occurring substance in our skin and tissue. To prepare me for my non-surgical procedure, the medical assistant put numbing cream on and around my lips, this would reduce the level of pain to come. Dermal lip fillers can hurt depending on your pain threshold. It’s not the best feeling in the world but with numbing cream it’s less painful. Injecting the filler process doesn’t take any longer than 5 minutes but expect the whole session, including the initial consultation and numbing cream to take between 30-45 minutes.
I was very happy with the results because this dermal filler in particular gives your lips a natural plump look and are long lasting (6-12months). We agreed that we would be building or contouring my lips one ml at a time, every three months. I also made it clear I didn’t want to look like a “balkanka,” only an improved version of myself. Dr Lovric made it clear this wasn’t the type of look he wanted on his portfolio and that I was in safe hands.
Come end of January and I was booked in with Dr Lovric for another syringe of Juvederm Volift. I still had a good shape on my top lip but I wanted to begin contouring it to make my lips look fuller. This is a process because I literally had no upper lip to begin with and one of the fastest ways to achieve the undesirable duck face is to put too much filler in at one time which I was trying to avoid. The skin around your lips needs time to expand naturally and not be under so much stress and pressure all at once.
Here’s the catch 22 with lip filler, you very quickly get used to that extra ml and already for some more. I can totally understand how some people go overboard. This is why it’s important to go to a doctor you trust and have an open conversation about the look you’re trying to achieve. I still have a few more visits to Dr Lovric to go before I achieve my desired lip shape but I know I am in good hands. As much as I hate needles, I am always excited to see my favourite doctor in Zagreb.
Prices for non-surgical procedures at Poliklinika Bagatin are competitive to the rest of Croatia and wider Europe. In this region there are a lot of unqualified “cosmetic surgeons” who provide a cheaper price and service but I wouldn’t recommend going to these no matter how good of a deal you think you’re getting. Always select a reputable and qualified doctor and pay that extra for the peace of mind.
I am due for another session of botox end of April where I will do my forehead, crows feet and my frown line which will be about 40-50 units all up. I’ll also have another ml injected into my lips to continue contouring the shape and I am thinking about doing another ml under each eye with Dr Lovric, all before a special trip outside the country next month.
Price: Juvederm Volift 1ml 3200kn (430€) Botox 50 units 2500kn (336€).
These prices are including PDV.
THREE. DERMATOLOGY: MOLE CHECK
Have you ever had your moles checked? How often do you get your moles checked? I never have. Considering I have a lot of moles and beauty spots all over my body, this is very irresponsible on my behalf. Keeping in mind that I did also spend 25 years in Australia and the sun there is extremely strong. I am the perfect candidate for melanoma.
This is one of the check ups I was really dreading, I knew deep down that I would have at least one suspicious mole on my body, the odds were against me. Part of Bagatin’s one stop shop floor is a dermatology department where you can have your moles checked and skin examined. Fortunately I don’t suffer from acne, rosacea or psoriasis but these can all be treated at Poliklinika Bagatin.
Out of all the moles I had on my body, three came back as suspicious and needed to be removed as soon as possible. Another two were identified as potentially dangerous down the line but didn’t need to be removed as of yet. All five moles were photographed to be kept on file for future reference. Ideally, I should be going back every 3-6 months to monitor my moles. The whole process took less than 10 minutes. I was also given a copy of the five moles that needed to be monitored and exactly where they were on my body.
Price: 1000kn (153€) for 4-6 moles to be digitally analysed and kept on file.
FOUR. MOLE REMOVAL
I was dreading the day of my mole removal for several weeks. I knew that it wasn’t going to hurt but the whole idea of the procedure made me queasy. Yes, I know, I get botox and fillers and I shouldn’t complain but ask Dr Lovric, injecting me is also a mental process of it’s own.
A few days before I was due to have my moles removed, I met with Dr Martina Šarec Ivelj to discuss the procedure and assess the moles that needed to be removed. I had one on my right thigh, another on my right shoulder and another on my back. I told her I was a bit scared and she informed me that the only part that will hurt a little is the anesthesia injection. Under no circumstance would I feel the mole being removed or the stitching.
She wasn’t wrong there, the only part that did pinch momentarily was the anesthesia injection. I couldn’t feel anything else. On my thigh I did feel a bit uncomfortable when she was stitching the wound but I dealt with it. The mole on my thigh was the largest and the removal that took the longest. The removal of the moles on my shoulder and back were much faster as they were smaller. Every mole that is removed is placed into a container and sent to a laboratory for further testing. These results are available two weeks after the mole removal.
A routine check up on the stitches and wounds is also provided in the service three days after the procedure. Everything was fine with me. The stitches are taken out two weeks after the procedure. Was it scary? Only in my head. Dr Martina Šarec Ivelj was very gentle and understanding, keeping me very distracted throughout the whole procedure so that it would ease my worries away.
Price: 1000kn (135€) per mole removed plus 400kn (54€) per anesthesia.
FIVE. VISIA FACIAL ASSESSMENT REPORT
VISIA is a unique facial assessment available at Bagatin where you’re provided the full report on the condition and state of your skin. It gives you a comprehensive analysis on all spots, wrinkles, pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas, porphyrin and overall texture. Through this analysis you’re able to create a tailored skin care program best suited for your needs.
My assessment was not too surprising. I had a high percentage of brown spots and red areas, mostly due to sun damage in Australia but only showed signs of wrinkles under my eyes. This was mostly because my skin is highly dehydrated, another thing that was visible through this assessment. I already knew that I don’t drink enough water throughout the day. My forehead and crows feet were wrinkle free due to previous botox injections.
Another interesting aspect of this assessment was that it was able to identify the age of my skin. At the age of 32, my skin was 33. I wasn’t too upset by this because I only recently started a skin care routine and vowed to reduce this number in the next 12 months. I will be back to do another VISIA facial assessment within a year to see how I’m tracking.
The report also comes with a highly detailed skin care and treatment regime required to get your skin in top form. Poliklinika Bagatin is affiliated with Reviderm, a German based skin care company so the products recommended to me were from their range. I was also recommended mesotherapy and laser, all normal for my age.
Price: This assessment costs 600kn but it was gifted to me by Poliklinika Bagatin.
DISCLAIMER All treatments mentioned except for MedContour and the VISIA facial recognition report were paid for with my own money. MedContour and VISIA were gifted to me by Poliklinika Bagatin. As existing customers of Poliklinika Bagatin long before any gifting, I confirm that my opinions and observations about my expereinces with the clinic are honest and unbiased.