Botox and fillers are among the cosmetic procedures patients may see advertised at discounted rates. The procedures are cheap – compared to most cosmetic procedures – and seemingly are pretty straightforward. It’s just a quick injection, right? Maybe a discounted service is a great deal.
Unfortunately, this is hardly ever the case. Botox and facial filler injections may seem simple enough, but it takes expertise and a vast understanding of facial anatomy to truly affect tremendous change. Board certified plastic surgeons Dr. James Namnoum and Dr. Stafford Broumand make the case why discounted anything in cosmetic surgery is never a wise decision.
Cutting Corners with Physical Enhancement
The very existence of discounted Botox and facial fillers proves one thing, at least: these products have the potential to work extremely well. Patients know this and are therefore perhaps on the look-out for deals that may reduce costs. Practitioners know this, and some may do the same on their end – look for a way to reduce their costs while maximizing profit. This combination may burn consumers in other areas, but when it comes to purchasing injections and other physical enhancements, the results could be disastrous.
“It’s like anything, would you go have open heart surgery on a GroupOn? No, you wouldn’t!” explains Dr. Namnoum, a board certified plastic surgeon in Atlanta. “Similarly, you shouldn’t have Botox injected – or anything else injected – as a discounted service, because, frankly, you don’t know what you’re getting. You may not even be getting Botox! Lord knows, you may be getting contraband material that’s entered into the United States. We don’t know if it’s safe, we don’t know if it’s the real deal, and patients don’t have any idea.”
Namnoum’s point about contraband product is potentially very worrisome for patients. The wrong product will definitely not achieve patient goals, but even worse, could cause health problems that end up costing patients a lot more than the money they saved. Additionally, many of these same practitioners may be working as contract physicians, concerned almost entirely with their set fees and not personalized care and results.
“Oftentimes, you’ve got doctors who are working for business entities getting paid a set fee,” explains Namnoum. “They don’t care what they put in and they don’t care about results. It’s like anything, you get what you pay for.”
Not Only is it What is Injected, but How it’s Injected
Illicit and fake product aside, even using the official product doesn’t automatically mean great results. There is a tremendous art to injections – many of the best physicians liken injectables to painting. Great paintings aren’t a collection of three colors, they are a swirling mixture of different colors of different intensities all working in unison to create something unique. This is how plastic surgeons might approach injectable patients, first determining their unique anatomy and desires and selecting the proper “paints” to achieve these goals.
“You want someone who is qualified who understands the anatomy,” begins Dr. Broumand, a board certified plastic surgeon in NYC. “It’s not only what they’re injecting, it’s how they’re injecting it and what they know. You’re paying for the expertise. As plastic surgeons, we dissect these anatomical areas in our surgery, so we know where the muscles are that we’re trying to affect with Botox. You’re getting the advantage of a trained plastic surgeon doing your injectables; you can’t do any better than that.”
The skill of a plastic surgeon is twofold – there is the decade or more of technical surgical training, as well as a honed aesthetic eye. Art and science are often incorrectly separated – the best science has a healthy dose of creativity. Similarly, the best plastic surgery joins expert technical skill with an aesthetic eye aimed at making a patient look like themselves, just better.
“We also have an aesthetic sense,” explains Broumand. “We know if we put a little bit more in one spot, or a little less in another, we can affect the outcome and give the person the look they’re trying to achieve.”
Trust is Critical with Cosmetic Procedures
Technical expertise and an aesthetic eye is what patients pay for when they go to a board certified plastic surgeon. Additionally, they know they are paying for accredited practices who purchase the best product direct from the manufacturer. Injectable profit margins are high, that’s why anyone from your dentist to hair salon is attempting to break into the market. Their goals are profit, whereas in a plastic surgeon’s office, the goal is isolated to you as a unique patient and what you want to achieve.
As said by Dr. Namnoum, the best rule of thumb with any purchase is you get what you pay for. The Botox GroupOn may save a patient a hundred dollars or more, but is that worth it? For the extra cost, patients receive the best care with the best product from the best hands. With all the cards on the table, the option seems clear when the goal is natural and safe cosmetic enhancement.