Sabah on medical tourism map

Thermage, developed in the United States, uses a radio frequency technology to gently heat the skin’s lower layers resulting in the building of natural collagen to tighten it.

Several tourists from Australia and New Zealand have turned up at the office of consultant plastic surgeon Dr Charles Lee to have the procedure.

Dr Lee said most of the patients who have come for the procedure since he began performing it three years ago have been Malaysians, and that many foreigners were interested in getting the procedure done here.

"This procedure allows a patient to leave after about two hours. There is no need for a follow-up or to stay indoors.

"People who are here on holiday, or who may be in the country for other medical procedures, can have it done."

He said the global beauty industry is worth RM576 billion annually, including make-up and hair care, and demand for non-surgical procedures for uplifting skin has increased.

Thermage is only available in Malaysia from physicians who have been trained to use the method.

Dr Lee received the Thermage Pinnacle Award on Monday from Solta Medical South Asia area managing director Wolfgang Kramer for recording the highest usage of Thermage in Malaysia, beating 11 other physicians based in Peninsular Malaysia.