The decision to have a cosmetic procedure is a very personal and complex decision for each individual. This decision requires the individual to accept the aspects of their appearance that make them feel older, less confident and even vulnerable; and then make the decision to change it. Most people desire a cosmetic procedure in preparation for an important event, a life change or a new career. Others just want to look the best they can, despite their age. The realization of the dissatisfaction often makes the individual feel as if they are narcissistic or vain, and neither of these qualities is socially acceptable. This is a common misconception and this, along with the decision to make a change, often brings fear and uncertainty. The average person will consider the possibility of having a cosmetic procedure for almost a year before booking a consultation. Many of them will first turn to the Internet to seek information on different types of procedures and various locations that these procedures are offered.
For those who have friends or family members that get treatments at a medical spa, the decision is often easier as they have better insight about the medical spa and the physician performing the procedure. The rest of the patients are left to decide on where to have their procedure by advertisements or a website. When investigating a medical spa, potential patients should consider several important factors.
Booking the consultation can tell you quite a lot about the medical spa. Is the staff professional and knowledgeable? Are they friendly and courteous? Did they answer your questions and make you feel comfortable? Keep in mind that all questions cannot be answered over the phone and most of the time a consultation is necessary to answer detailed questions. Upon entering the medical spa or practice, make note of whether you are greeted politely. The environment should have a comfortable clean environment, but does not need to be over the top in the décor.
The consultation process should begin with questions about what you are dissatisfied with and what you are trying to improve about your appearance. The consultation typically starts with an esthetician to determine what your concerns are and what treatments are indicated to enhance your appearance. Photographs should be taken as part of the “physical exam” in order to better understand the areas of facial enhancement you are interested in. These photos also help to track your rejuvenation progress over the course of the treatment plan. In our office we use a Visia Skin Analysis machine to obtain an in depth evaluation of the skin integrity and obtain an overview of the face. This machine helps to identify skin conditions that are not visible to the naked eye. Additional photos may be necessary to focus on specific areas of concern. From this evaluation, we can identify your overall skin health (percentage of wrinkles, UV damage, brown spots, etc.) in comparison to other people in your age group.
The next portion of the consultation should focus on the procedures and products available to enhance your appearance and overall skin health. Several options should be given from less aggressive to more aggressive depending on your comfort level. The esthetician should be able to discuss general risks and benefits to each procedure. If you are interested in facials, peels or skin care products, you would generally continue to see the esthetician in most medical spas. If a more aggressive procedure such as Botox, Xeomin, dermal fillers, or laser procedures are desired, you should have an additional consultation with the physician or the physician assistant.
It is extremely important that your medical provider shares the same vision as you regarding the type of results you are expecting. Some people are interested in an obvious improvement and others are more interested in achieving natural results that make them look refreshed and less tired. At our medical spa, we focus on natural appearing results and usually attract patients that desire the same. However, there have been times where we have referred patients elsewhere because they desired an appearance that was not aligned with our philosophy. The provider should also listen to your concerns and devise a plan to enhance your appearance and skin health based on your budget. Depending on your expectations of rejuvenation, sometimes one procedure is needed to achieve the desired effect and other times several procedures may be necessary. For patients with budget concerns, Care Credit is available or the patient may prefer to have procedures performed over a longer time frame.
Once the consultation is complete, you should feel comfortable with the options you are presented with and the decision you have made to invest in a cosmetic procedure. Your procedure should leave you feeling confident and refreshed.