Who is Really Doing Your Botox?
It was in mid-1980s when the blessed frown lines met their match in a miraculous injection called Botox. Since then, Botox, Dysport and minimally invasive dermal fillers have revolutionized the cosmetic and anti-aging industries. American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported over 15 million cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures in 2017, including over 7 million for botulinum toxin type A. Furthermore, experts project the market of dermal fillers to rise by 12.6%, or over $10 billion, by 2023. Clearly injectables are popular. But what does this all mean for you?
Perhaps the biggest impact of this incredible demand is on just who is clamoring to provide this service. What once was a discreet visit to your medical doctor’s office has now turned into a spa-like experience with an injector where a medical doctor is often nowhere in sight. Most people with “bad Botox” blame the product, not realizing that they were injected by unqualified assistants. While Botox and filler treatments continue to be safe and effective, you must know who is actually doing the procedure! Let’s talk about what you need to know before getting your next Botox and filler treatment.
Choosing the right doctor for your Botox
Botulinum toxins (like Botox and Dysport) and dermal fillers (like Restylane, Refyne Defyne, Juvederm Vollure, Juvederm Volbella, Juvederm Voluma, Radiesse, Sculptra and Belotero) are regulated by the FDA. This is for good reason since “bad Botox” or “bad filler” could leave your face paralyzed until the effects wears off (usually 3 months), or worse, you could have parts of your face changed permanently.
According to Dr. Grant Stevens, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), while it is not necessary to have a physician perform an injection, it is critical that an appropriately qualified physician be readily available during Botox and filler treatment. He explains that “if fillers are accidentally injected into a blood vessel, one could not only have a cosmetic deformity, but also risk permanent blindness or a stroke.”
Beware of glamorized medical offices
All this is not to scare you, rather to encourage you to pick your practice carefully. Before you find yourself considering a trip to a “glamorized medical office” or Botox party, take a moment to ask yourself – are there qualified personnel performing the procedure? Injection of Botox or fillers is considered a medical procedure. Did they inform you of the risks and obtain your consent? Did the person doing your injection even talk about what could go wrong and how they would plan to fix it? Do they even have a plan?
Questions to ask your doctor before Botox treatment
Here are a few questions you should ask before getting Botox and filler treatment:
- Who is doing the injections – is it the actual board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist?
- Are they board certified in recognized medical specialties, or is it someone who hasn’t completed medical or surgical residency training?
- Does the person understand how these drugs work? Do they have in depth knowledge of facial anatomy?
- Are you completely comfortable talking to them about your specific needs and goals?
- Do they know how to individualize your treatment or does everyone they treat leave with the same “look”?
Specializations and training your doctor should have
As a board certified female plastic surgeon, I am qualified and trained to provide surgical and nonsurgical facial aesthetic treatments. Not only do I know the benefits of Botox and filler, more importantly, I know their limitations and when it is time to stop. People who look “overdone” have been to unqualified personnel who are not treating a person, but are just creating the same pout on all the faces that walk in the door.
People who look “overdone” have been to unqualified personnel who are not treating a person, but are just creating the same pout on all the faces that walk in the door.
It is important to have a doctor who specializes in aesthetics, like a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist, immediately available in case something were to go wrong. Why? After 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 6 years of specialized plastic surgery training, 1 year of subspecialty fellowship, and years in practice, I’ve seen a lot. I have experience in the operating room with the anatomic structures we treat with Botox and filler (and the ones we avoid!). Some of these high volume spas with Groupons touting deep discounts may do injections all day, but ask yourself, are they doing them right?
Our approach to Botox and filler treatment
At Tannan Plastic Surgery, I will go over the risks and benefits of the particular injections with you, whether it is Botox, filler, or both. We will discuss the pros and cons of various non-invasive treatment methods, and how you can decide what’s best for you. We will discuss what the risks are, how we mitigate them and what we would do if you did have a rare adverse event after an injection. During the consult, we can also explore our medical grade skin care line to complement your anti-aging plan. Whatever you do, be sure to seek a board certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist for your Botox and filler treatment. This is your face, after all – you deserve the very best.