When you visit an aesthetic clinic run by an appropriately qualified medical professional, there are certain things you should expect during your time there. Here we outline the key parts of every patient journey…
Whether you have a treatment in mind or simply want advice on the best options for you, it’s likely that you will send a clinic an enquiry via email, their website, social media or over the phone.
From there, most clinics should get back to you within a few days to discuss your request in more detail. They may ask you about your concerns, whether you’ve had an aesthetic procedure before, and what your expectations from treatment are.
This enables the clinic co-ordinator to book you in for a consultation with the most relevant and experienced professional at a time that suits you both. Of course, if you would like to see a certain person working at the clinic then you can request this.
It’s also normal for the clinic to send you further information on the concerns and/or treatments you’ve discussed, as well as a bit of background info on their expertise and the next steps of your journey.
An in-depth consultation is an essential part of every aesthetic treatment journey. It allows you to learn more about the cause of your concerns and the treatment options available. It also helps you get a feel for the practitioner, to ensure you feel safe and comfortable in their hands before booking a procedure.
A good consultation should involve the practitioner taking a full medical history from you (to ensure you don’t have any conditions that may exclude you from certain treatments) and carrying out a physical assessment of your concerns. They’ll also ask you about why you’re considering treatment and what you hope you to achieve. Don’t forget, it’s important that they tell you about their experience, qualifications and general ethos.
All practitioners have a unique consultation approach and may use different methods to gather the information they need. Once they have everything, the practitioner should outline a range of treatment options for you, with information on the pros and cons of each. They should also detail how many sessions may be needed to achieve the best results, how long results are expected to last, and the cost involved.
You should feel free to ask as many questions as you want to ensure you make an informed choice. Practitioners should not pressure you to make a decision there and then – instead they should send you home armed with information for what is known as a ‘cooling-off period’. This gives you the time and space to consider all your options.
When you go to a clinic for treatment, your practitioner should run through everything you’ve agreed to ensure you understand what to expect and still want to go ahead. They may ask to take ‘before’ photos of you to go in your medical records and document your treatment journey. If they want to also use these photos in their marketing material, it’s important they obtain your consent.
They should then disinfect the treatment area and, if relevant, apply numbing cream to reduce any discomfort. It’s important that your practitioner is following good hygiene practises such as wearing gloves and having their hair tied back.
The practitioner will then conduct the treatment. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, you should let them know so they can stop or adjust their technique appropriately. ‘After’ photos may then be taken to demonstrate how you look immediately after treatment.
Once the practitioner has finished the treatment, they should give you aftercare instructions. For injectable procedures, this could include avoiding touching your treatment area and using make-up for a certain number of hours. Other likely things they will advise are staying out of the gym and saunas, while avoiding alcohol for a set amount of time.
Most practitioners will also give this information to you in written (printed or digital) format too, so you don’t forget. It’s also important that they share emergency contact details with you and arrange a follow-up appointment. At your follow-up, they will check that the treatment has worked, answer any questions you may have and book you in for your next session. They may also want to take photos to document the progress of the treatment.