Getting The Same Treatment Down The Street For Less
Posted: Wednesday, June 6, 2018
By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I saw a plastic surgeon for fillers in my smile lines and cheeks. Then I saw a doctor who is an internist at a medspa. She offered to do the same treatment for 25 to 30 percent less. I’d prefer to go with a plastic surgeon who is board certified but it’s just fillers. If I can save a thousand dollars by having such a quick and simple treatment by someone who is still a doctor, why not go with the cheaper price, especially since it’s not like I’m having surgery?
Answer: Your dilemma is a common issue faced by many patients seeking non-surgical treatments. However, it’s important to look beyond price point. Your situation is a bit different from finding the same Prada handbag on sale at 30 percent off at Neiman Marcus compared to it being full price at Saks. With the Prada bag, there is no question that I’d go with the lower price. Both bags are made by Prada with the main difference being the different prices at different stores.
If you are having injectable fillers such as Restylane, for example, Restylane is made by Galderma and sold to plastic surgeons, dermatologists and just about any physician in non-cosmetic fields. However, unlike a Prada bag, even though the filler product may be identical no matter who the doctor, there is more to having a treatment than just the product itself. What you see may not be what you get. The price quoted does not always reveal the hidden factors.
Price does not say anything about the injector’s skill nor does it indicate the experience of the injector with fillers in general or with the specific filler recommended. While being board certified in plastic surgery, in and of itself, isn’t going to guarantee a good result, a facial plastic surgeon is more likely to understand the complex facial anatomy.
This knowledge, not only of facial anatomy but also of facial function, can be the key between a good result versus a sub-standard one because as the face ages, our anatomy changes. A higher skill level is needed to lift a heavy droopy mouth corner while the same treatment may be an easy fix in a another patient with a simpler issue at the aging mouth corner.
While someone at a medspa may be able to correct basic aging concerns, a skilled facial plastic surgeon is more likely to recognize which patient requires advanced injection techniques based on his or her understanding of the deeper anatomical structures due to the extensive surgical training in the face.
It’s important for each patient to inquire about these hidden factors that bottom-line price does not reveal upfront. The good news is that if you do go with a better price and don’t like the results, think of it as a learning lesson that teaches you the importance of making the extra effort to find your better match which may be a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon next time.