Regardless of the medical specialty or the level of training of the practitioner, there are certain important aspects that you should look for before scheduling a medical aesthetics procedure. We have put together some “guidelines” for you to follow when considering medical aesthetics or any other medical treatment, even for routine aesthetic enhancements.
These guidelines are intended for you to gain some perspective on the basics and are our opinions based on experiences with patients over the years. The list is not comprehensive as there might be more to look out for depending on your circumstances and the chosen procedure.
Trust your Gut
- Firstly, when visiting the medical facility, request a tour to see that it is professional and clean, and that you are comfortable with the team you meet.
- Make sure you feel comfortable with your Medical Aesthetics Practitioner and trust him or her to perform a safe and effective procedure on you. You may find that paying a little more or driving a little further is worth it for the comfort and sense of “security” you feel when being treated.
- Is the practitioner passionate about what he/she does? A good practitioner will select the best medical aesthetic treatment/s for your individual requirements and tries to ensure that your experiences are positive.
Know your Business
To choose your Medical Aesthetics Practitioner, prepare by doing your own research so that you have enough information to ask the Doctor a variety of relevant questions. This will also help you figure out if the Doctor you are consulting knows his/her information well and is up to date with the latest and most appropriate treatment options and technologies.
- Ask why that particular procedure is being recommended versus other available treatment options when your practitioner recommends a specific procedure to you. Familiarise yourself with benefits and risks, advantages and disadvantages that will affect you and that you would benefit from when choosing an available option compared to others.
- Look for a practitioner who is sincere, unhurried and does not sugar-coat what you can expect from your treatment. A good practitioner will happily talk through any concerns you may have and will ensure that you are comfortable before administering any treatment.
- Does the practitioner tell you about possible side effects and what you should do if you experience any side effects?
- Remember to also find out about the post-treatment care and follow-up before you choose your Medical Aesthetics Practitioner. A good practitioner will offer you post-procedure phone calls and schedule a follow-up consultation, often free of charge.
Make sure your Medical Aesthetics Practitioner is adequately trained and has appropriate credentials, or is a board-certified practitioner:
- Seek out care from a well-qualified and fully registered medical practitioner. They should have a solid knowledge of the anatomy of the human body and comprehensive training about facial anatomy, also, knowledge of the action of the treatment administered. They should further have an understanding of potential risks and possible complications so they can recognise and treat these if they were to occur.
- Look into the theoretical training your Medical Aesthetics Practitioner has received and what practical training they have attended to perform the specific procedure. A simple (but impressive looking) certificate or two does not necessarily imply adequate training in the field of Medical Aesthetics.
- How many years of experience does the practitioner have in doing this procedure?
- Ask for the number of times that the practitioner has performed the particular procedure you are seeking.
- Ask for before and after photos, if available and allowed in the country the Doctor is practising in, and if the treatment was personally performed by the practitioner.
- Conduct an online review with the applicable Medical Board to ensure that the practitioner’s license and registration is in good standing. In South Africa, the following registration authorities are good starting points: the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), the Aesthetic and Anti-Ageing Medicine Society of South Africa (AAMSSA) and the South African Medical Association (SAMA). In addition to national training, your Practitioner might have achieved part of his or her training overseas and be registered with and/or board-certified at a reputable foreign institution, such as the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (AAAM) or the Dermatological & Aesthetic Surgery International League (DASIL). Do not hesitate to ask your Practitioner about his or her credentials and experience.
- Ask your Practitioner to see his or her certificates to make sure that it corresponds to what he/she has said or what they have listed on the website.
Last but not Least
- The field of aesthetic medicine is constantly evolving and so are the treatment techniques used. Ask your Medical Aesthetics Practitioner when last they have attended an accredited international aesthetic medicine conference or similar event to stay up to date.
- Look for online reviews the practitioner and the facility have received, not only on the practitioner’s website and social or business network profiles, but on other web-pages as well.
- Take the time to receive a second opinion if you are not confident with your first consultation. You might pay two consultation fees, but ensuring the best results possible should be worth it.
- Find out if the practitioner offers heavy discounts or “daily deals” and if so, be cautious. In South Africa, this is not considered ethical practice for Doctors. Also, be careful if you see aggressive or unethical advertising. After all, this is a medical practice and the patient’s needs and their health must come first in any professional establishment.
- Last, but not least, despite the fact that money does matter, decisions that concern your health should not be based solely on the cost of products or treatments. Moreover, the practice of Medical Aesthetics is a hand-crafted and personally developed form of art and medical science – combined. Some well experienced Medical Aesthetics Practitioners say it is one third medicine and two thirds art. 🙂 Would you base your decision on buying a painting on its price or on the aesthetic value and skill of the artist? Years after your aesthetics treatment, you might not remember the exact cost of the medical aesthetics treatment, but you will be very aware of the quality of the results for the rest of your life.
Everyone should do their homework and seek out their practitioner carefully – in any field of medicine. If you feel uncomfortable with a practitioner or a facility, do not go there for any treatment. Just follow your instincts. Remember, this is the only body and face you have. Choose wisely.