Cosmetic procedures that are worth every penny

THE price tag for cosmetic procedures can go up to thousands of ringgit but some say that their benefits are "simply priceless".

"I have always thought that my arms were flabby. Because of this, I wasted years not wearing sleeveless tops," says a company executive who only wants to be known as Lily.

The 29-year-old, who describes herself as "big boned", paid RM16,500 (S$5400) for a liposuction procedure to remove excess fat on her arms, stomach and waistline.

Lily says that despite hitting the gym for years and going on diets, it was difficult to tone her body as she has a low metabolic rate.

"I have never been petite. When I gain weight, people notice it fast as my body is wide and collects fat easily."

Determined to look more svelte, she went for the procedure to remove 1.2 litres of fat from her body in early June.

While she will only see the results after three months of recovery, Lily says she looks forward to wearing sleeveless tops and may even consider donning a bikini once her body is more toned. "Life is too short. Next year, I will turn 30. I am single too, so I want to improve myself.

"If you can do something to be perfect, or even just 10 per cent better, then why not? You can earn your money back. But money can't buy confidence and your age back," she says.

This is not the first time Lily has undergone liposuction.

When she was 18, her mother paid for the procedure to remove excess fat from her thighs and buttocks.

"My mother was the one who suggested I should do it. The results were positive and that is why I decided to do more liposuction," she says.

While she admits that wearing her post-surgery liposuction garment is painful, Lily says the procedure is worth it for the benefits she will reap.

"After you recover, you will become more confident. People may not be 100 per cent perfect but we can always improve ourselves," she says.

As for 31-year-old Pang, surgery was not her preferred option, so she decided to go for non-invasive procedures for her face, like botulinum toxin, or Botox injections, dermal fillers and platelet rich plasma (PRP) jabs.

The accounts assistant from Johor Baru also got a more shapely figure by opting for body contouring treatments using a non-surgical technique that freezes and eliminates unwanted fat cells.

"I decided to do the facial procedures because I had eye bags and I felt my nose wasn't high enough. My skin texture was also bad.

"But after the procedures, my skin felt as smooth and supple as a 15-year-old's and I can hold my head up high during job interviews," says Pang, who spent about RM6,000 for each treatment.

Pang, who got married in June, says she also felt more confident when having her wedding photographs taken.

She says the body contouring treatments enabled her to get rid of 20 per cent of fat in certain areas of her body.

Even though she spent as much as RM15,000 for the procedures, Pang says she is pleased and satisfied with the results.

Company chief executive officer Sherry, who went through a mini tummy tuck and liposuction, says she feels more at ease now when she wears figure-hugging clothes like the baju kebaya.

"The procedure is to make my body more shapely, not to lose weight," says the 32-year-old mother of two.

She says the RM15,000 procedure turned out to be successful and has made her want to try a full tummy tuck in future.

The cost is a small sum compared to the total RM100,000 she spent on treatments at beauty centres.

"I did it because I want to look good all over. I can now wear my old blouses and pants which I couldn't fit into previously," she says.

She adds that while her husband had no complaints about her body before, he is happy with her new curvy silhouette.

Sherry advises those who are thinking about doing such procedures to seek a registered, licensed and preferably experienced doctor.

Sammi Too, 43, says she decided to do something at 40, as the ageing process accelerates for both men and women after 38.

The mother of two went for her first PRP jab and laser treatment, and was impressed with the results that left her skin glowing.

At that time, she was a consultant at a medical centre that offered such services, so she felt encouraged to try them. In February last year, Too went for a rhinoplasty and threadlift for her face.

"I wanted my face to look more three-dimensional and not too flat," says Too, who has also gone for other aesthetic treatments like Botox and dermal fillers.

Too, who also went for double eyelid surgery a few years ago, says that after her procedures, she doesn't need to use too much make-up and mascara any more.

"People have complimented me that I look young and fresh," she says.