KOTA KINABALU : Sabah-based plastic surgeon Dr Charles Lee yesterday received the Thermage Pinnacle Award Malaysia 2008 for being the top user of Thermage tips in the country.

Servicom Holdings Sdn Bhd Executive Director, Joseph Gomez said last year, Charles has used the Thermage procedure on 126 patients in Sabah beating 11 other Peninsular Malaysia-based surgeons. Servicom Holdings Sdn Bhf is the distributor of Thermage in Malaysia.

“We congratulate Dr Charles Lee for his forward thinking in investing in the latest technology in non-invasive skin tightening procedure,” he said during the award presentation ceremony here yesterday.

Solta Medical Area Managing Director for Asia South, Wolfgang Kramer who presented Charles with the award said the commendable result proves that specialist doctors can also be creative in the application of Thermage to bring about the desired effective result to their patients.

Meanwhile, Charles who is huge advocate of the medical tourism potential in Sabah disclosed that non invasive procedures is gaining popularity here and most of those opting for procedures like this are aged between 35 and 50.

“These are younger/professional patients who no yet ready, willing, orable to go through surgery and are seeking non-invasive, no-downtime procedures,” he said.

Charles however stressed the need for those considering cosmetic assistance to improve their appearance must be well informed and selective about the procedure they want to undergo. “There are people who are going for all sort of procedures to fix problems but these procedures may not be the right ones.” He stressed. Charles also said that procedure such as Thermage will be able to attract foreigners to Sabah because no downtime for recovery means they can go for the procedure and still continue with their tours in the state.

“Procedures like this are also cheaper in Sabah compare to other places, therefore we can position ourself as the point of tourism,” he said adding that he has done the Thermage procedure on patients from UK, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, China and Brunei Darussalam. “I also integrate Thermage into other facial treatments like microneedling for acne scarring and body contouring procedures such as liposuction for skin tightening,” he said adding the the combination treatment enhances the desired results considerable.

The cost of procedure depends on the number of “hits” of the radio frequency required by a patient so it can cost between RM3,500 to RM10,500, he said. He also added that the result varies from person to person as it depends on the patient’s skin and life style.