Every year around the holidays, patients start thinking about holiday parties and family functions. This means they start worrying about how they look. It is too late for surgery, so they want quick treatments with minimal downtime and good results. The problem is that while it is good to bargain hunt for presents and holiday items, cosmetic procedures need a little more care and caution.
With the changes in insurance reimbursements, many doctors are looking to make more money. Cash up front procedures such as Botox, injectable fillers, and lasers seem like a good idea. Even if they are not trained at all in plastic surgery, most companies will have a nurse or doctor come to the office and train them for a few hours and sell them whatever they wish. I know of Ob-Gyns, Internists, Family Practitioners, Anesthesiologists, Rehab Medicine, and Podiatrists who rebrand themselves and advertise as if they are the experts in the field. Some even do cosmetic surgery!
Another problem is the salon or spa that offers these services with an unlicensed person in the business or an apartment. They claim to be doctors or nurses from other countries, and inject who knows what into unsuspecting people with often disastrous results.
So, how do you avoid these traps? First, make sure you know what specialty your doctor trained in. Ask if they are Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. If they give a different board name, it is not the same. You can check going to www.plasticsurgery.org and use the “Find a Physician” tool.
Second, make sure you ask to see the box and syringe of any injectable filler, as it will have the name printed right on it. If they take it out of a large bottle, and it is clear, 99% of the time it is silicone and not what you want injected. Even if it is Botox, ask to see the bottle. It should say Botox and have a purple top. Ask how many units you will be getting so you can make sure they are not watering it down to lower the price.
Lastly, do not let anyone inject you with anything outside a doctor’s office. Make sure it is a licensed physician in the state you are in, or a nurse under his/her direct care. Anything else is illegal.
Wrinkle treatments, when done properly by a trained injector, can be incredibly rewarding and offers a quick beauty boost. Go for it, but just be safe and smart. If it doesn’t feel right, just say no.