The big trend in cosmetic enhancement is for smaller-scale, intensive treatments that avoid surgery altogether, and medical day spas have definitely become the go-to resource for these procedures. But before you rush to the nearest medical day spa for the latest "no-knife facelift," you should know a few things about what to expect.

Top Treatments: The How and Why

Medical spa options cover the full spectrum from wrinkle correction to cellulite treatments, but most of these procedures have one thing in common: they are designed to create a few very specific improvements, very quickly and with a minimum of discomfort.

Many treatments take less than 30 minutes to perform, so while the results may not be permanent, plenty of time- and budget-conscious women (and even men) are more than happy to opt for "same-day" or "same-week" results from procedures such as:

• BOTOX® Cosmetic
• Injectable Dermal Fillers
• Chemical Peels
• Laser Hair Removal
• Microdermabrasion
• Laser Skin Resurfacing
• "Spider" Vein Correction
• Cellulite Reduction

Some plastic surgeons are even recommending medical spa treatments as a better option than surgery for younger patients who simply do not need the extensive changes that cosmetic surgery involves.

Your Consultation: What to Expect

Many top-tier medical day spas provide a "traditional day spa" environment, but in general most strive to balance a calming setting with clinical accuracy and high standards for professionalism. Depending on your needs, you may begin your consultation by meeting with a physician or a skincare specialist, who will examine the area you would like to enhance and offer recommendations for the best treatment options for your goals. Some treatments can be performed right away, while others will require one or more brief follow-up visits.

Tips for Success

Medical spa treatments may seem simple, but there can be a world of difference between the results from a quality medical spa center and from one that is less well equipped. A few tips to help ensure better results:

• Know who will be performing your procedure - Better medical spas will have dedicated staff members with training in procedures like BOTOX Cosmetic application or laser skin rejuvenation, specifically.

• Evaluate the equipment - With laser and IPL treatments, new equipment and up-to-date facilities are a must, so try to choose a medical day spa with newer and better-maintained systems.

• Opt for quality and quantity - A wide menu of options can be an asset, especially when you are aiming to "mix and match" different procedures -- but quality and reputation should still guide your choice.