It’s important to have realistic expectations before considering if you should sign up for a treatment.
For instance, if you put on a lot of weight during your pregnancy, you should not expect liposuction to be the magic formula to help you lose the excess kilos.
“I’d advise getting back to your pre-pregnancy weight first,” says Dr Lee. “Liposuction is not a means of weight management but, rather, something that is carried out to remove localised fat tissue that’s difficult to shift.”
Remember, too, that non-invasive body shaping or toning treatments are best combined with a sensible diet and regular exercise.
Stretch marks are nearly impossible to eliminate completely so, if you’re looking to get rid of yours, remind yourself that you will likely only be able to improve their appearance.
“I find that gentle treatments performed regularly yield the best results for Asian skin, so it pays to be patient while undergoing treatment for stretch marks,” says Dr Low.
In addition to making sure you are physically ready, and cleared by your gynae to undergo any kind of aesthetic treatment, it’s important to consider the number of sessions required before committing yourself to the procedure, advises Dr Lee.
“The more treatments you have, the more money and time you have to commit. So, if you’re looking for the best results, consider these issues before you get started.”
Also, do ask the aesthetic practitioner or doctor how established the treatment is, and what results you can expect.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Whether the procedure you’ve chosen is invasive or not, you want to make sure that the person treating you is qualified and experienced. After all, even non-invasive procedures carry risks, such as burns and scarring from lasers or chemical peels.
Before you even decide on a doctor, therapist or clinic, Dr Kuek advises you to familiarise yourself with the risks of your chosen treatment.
“You can find all this information online. Visit forums and speak to people who’ve done them. Carry out your own research. If something goes wrong during or after your treatment, there’s absolutely no excuse for saying that you had no idea about the risks,” he says.
But do keep in mind that online marketing or advertising is sometimes disguised as patient reviews, so Dr Lee suggests visiting reputable websites to get your information.
Most doctors would be able to manage non-invasive procedures – even your neighbourhood general practitioner. Nevertheless, it’s still important to consider the doctor’s training and experience.
If you are after a treatment that is invasive, Dr Kuek advises you to see a specialist, as general practitioners are not allowed to perform procedures that involve cutting, stitching and surgery.
You may also wish to visit the centre in advance, to make sure that you feel comfortable in that environment and that the therapists are experienced.
Once you’ve chosen a doctor or therapist, make sure that you are comfortable communicating with her. After all, someone who understands your needs will be more likely to provide you with the best care.
Beware of any doctor who tries to talk you into undergoing a treatment you’re not comfortable with and, worse, tries to trap you into paying for a package or series of treatments you’re not interested in.