1) Malaysia has many of the world’s best cosmetic surgeons
This is probably one of our country’s best-kept secrets, with many Malaysians heading to neighbouring countries for cosmetic procedures that may cost more or may not be as reliable as our local experts.Going overseas for treatment clearly has its risks – you may end up paying more for follow-ups and face a lot of anxiety if complications develop later on. To know where to find a cosmetic surgeon nearest to you, visit the website of Malaysian Association of Plastic, Aesthetic & Craniomaxillofacial Surgeons (www.mapacs.org) , which has a full list of their members.
2) Safety , safety, safety
As cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure (non-urgent and does not involve life or death situations), the criteria for the selection of a plastic surgeon is often made complicated. People may choose backyard beauty centres or fly-by-night surgeons who operate in hotel rooms simply because of the confidentiality. Others choose plastic surgeons from word-of-mouth recommendations, aggressive marketing, heavy discounts and promotions or the shortest waiting list. Safety should be the first and most important priority, regardless of cost, venue and doctor. Ask your surgeon about emergency measures in the unlikely event of a complication during surgery. Check out whether there are hospitals nearby, or even better, get your procedure done in a hospital settings.
3) Think twice, no, three or four times before deciding
You may already have a rough idea of what you want to do, but avoid deciding on the spot when you see a surgeon for the first time. After your initial consultation, do some research on the recommended treatment options and go back only when you are sure of what you want. It also helps to have a surgeon that you can communicate with comfortably, not one who just tells you what to do. Going under the knife means you are putting your life in his hands, so you need to choose someone you can trust. You would not want to make decisions that you will regret later.
4) Know why you want a procedure done – and what will be done
Cosmetic surgeons often encounter situations where patients bring photos of celebrities and say they want a nose, eyes or facial feature of their idol. Having the right expectations is important before you decide on a surgery or procedure. Knowing what you want helps you to better explain to your doctor your desires and expectations. From the discussion, your surgeon will assess your condition to determine whether your desired procedure is possible and advise you accordingly. For instance, if your dream nose or eyes does not suit your current facial feature, your surgeon will be able to provide alternatives to better enhance your appearance.
5) Post-treatment care is crucial
Pre and post-surgical counselling are routine practices n cosmetic surgery – expect to be given a whole list of what to do and what to avoid. Take your medications and follow your surgeon’s recommendations religiously to prevent infections or complications post-treatment. Just because cosmetic surgery is elective does not mean it needs to be taken lightly. Your body needs the time and environment to heal properly.
6) Every treatment carries risks
Heard of ‘lunch-time procedures’? The term is the catchphrase of the 21st century, with the rapid growth of quick and apparently easy beauty treatments that can be done within an hour. Even so, there is no reason to let your guard down. Experts insist that it not true that non-invasive therapies have any less risks, because even the simplest procedures can lead to complications such as infections, disfigurement, inflammation, paralysis and tissue death if conducted by inexperienced hands. Injections carry the highest risks and should be discussed carefully with your doctor before proceeding. Even lasers may have possible complications such as hyperpigmentation if an inexperienced doctor burns too deep in, injuring the dermis.
7) Cosmetic surgery is science, not magic
Be realistic – cosmetic surgery may improve the way you look, feel and carry yourself; but it may not necessarily make you more successful in life and love. The sad fact is many women seek breast augmentations, facelifts or liposuctions when they discover that their spouses or boyfriends are cheating on them. Becoming more beautiful will have little impact on a relationship gone wrong. It also will not turn you into someone else that you are not. Work on your skills and expertise to get what you want in life.
8) Many treatments are done on an outpatient basis
In this day and age, many surgeries that previously required hospitalisation can now be done on an outpatient basis. Examples include double eyelid surgery, eyebag surgery, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, genioplasty, breast lift, gynecomastia reduction, facelift surgery, cheekbone reduction, lower jaw reduction, facial feminisation surgery, ear surgery, laser vaginal rejuvenation and designer laser vaginoplasty. However, for this to be possible, a specialised day care facility with a sterile operation theatre, recovery beds, full monitoring and resuscitation devices, specialised surgical instruments and trained nursing personnel is essential. The surgeon must be confident, competent, and fairly swift. The benefits of outpatient treatment is numerous, such as reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infections, lower costs, more comfort and privacy recuperating in your own home. Your doctor will provide you with a follow-up schedule in the two weeks following your surgery, as well as essential contact numbers that you can call 24-hours.
9) If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
Is it too cheap? Are the results too amazing or fast? Do the claims appear simply too good to be true? In cosmetic surgery, your instincts play an important role in determining a successful outcome. No matter how good the marketing claims are, let your gut feel tell you whether it is what you want. Every other day, cosmetic surgeons end up doing corrective work of uncertified and unlicensed beauticians in beauty centres. Even if the additional cost does not affect you, the trauma of a cosmetic procedure gone wrong can severely affect one’s psychological and emotional state of mind. The bottom line is this: there are simply no short-cuts!
The Price Of Beauty
Ever wondered how much cosmetic surgery actually costs? Here is a quick guide:
|Botox injections||RM650 per zone (approximately 3-5 injections)RM1000-RM1500 for 3 zones|
|Laser (rejuvenation)||RM700-RM1,000 (full-face) (minimum of 4 treatments required)|
|Laser (pigmentation)||RM600-RM1,000 (full-face) (minimum of 3 treatments required)|
|Double eyelids (oriental eyes)||RM2,000-RM2,500|
|Liposuction||RM4,500-RM5,500 (per zone)|
These rates are only a guideline and the actual costs may vary depending on:
- Where your procedure is done (hospitals have additional charges of up to 20-50%, while aesthetic centres in urban areas are more costly than suburban areas)
- The severity of your condition
- The number of zones requiring treatment
- The type of surgery required