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Pitfalls Of Price Shopping For Cosmetic Procedures

Posted: 6:00 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I’ve called around and found that there are many different prices for the same procedure. Why wouldn’t anyone get a filler for a better price especially when two different facilities are using the exact same filler?

Answer: Having a cosmetic procedure is not the same as buying retail merchandise. While it makes sense to buy an authentic Prada purse on sale at 30 percent off compared to the full price, there is much more to a cosmetic procedure than buying merchandise.

The key difference between retail merchandise and a cosmetic procedure lies in the skill of the person performing the treatment. While a given device or product such Infini RF, Bellafill, Restylane or Juvederm may be the same at different facilities, significant differences in the skill and knowledge level of the doctors and lower levels exist. As the cosmetic surgery market becomes more commercialized and competitive, many non-plastic surgeons, even non-doctors, have entered the market to offer services, often at heavily discounted prices. Much of the marketing is directed at price rather than skill, misleading consumers to focus primarily on price rather than quality of the end result. This is especially prevalent with non-surgical and minimal invasive procedures that don’t require the certification or training needed to be a surgeon.

Tips to reduce your chances of a poorer result include:

1) Do not make price your main focus

2) Seek a physician who is Board Certified in the area of expertise you are seeking

3) Consider avoiding lower level providers such as medical assistants, physician assistants, etc. Their skill, knowledge and training is different from that of most physicians.

4) If you are having face work, seek out a face specialist rather than someone who does a little bit of everything all over the body.

5) If you are interested in a particular procedure such as Bellafill, seek out someone with extensive experience in these treatments. Pin them down as to how many syringes of Bellafill they perform per year.

Seeking a qualified and experienced injector can be the defining difference between a good and poor result from filler injections. This becomes even more important with 5 year fillers such as Bellafill since you have a long-term result which needs to be done right the first time around.


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