Botox has been used for years successfully, but there have also been plenty of cases where patients have been disappointed by Botox, either because the patient wasn’t a proper candidate for Botox or because the person administering the injection wasn’t properly experienced. Here are some questions to ask during your consultation to make sure the treatment is right for you and that the provider is up to your standards.
“Am I a good candidate for Botox?”
Like most medical procedures, some people make good candidates, while others do not. With Botox, people with certain medical backgrounds or patients who are taking certain prescriptions may not be eligible for Botox. Those with neuromuscular disorders can be more prone to side-effects. Or it could be that your physical goals are simply better suited to a different procedure. Talk with your doctor about these issues before deciding on Botox.
“May I see your Botox before and after photographs?”
Any respectable cosmetic surgeon should have his own before-and-after gallery. It’s important to see the doctor’s prior work to ensure that his craftsmanship is up to your standards. There’s nothing worse than going through the time and effort (and cash) to have a Botox treatment done, only to end up getting unexpectedly inadequate results.
“Are you the person who will be doing the actual injection? If not, who is, and how qualified is he/she?”
Once you find out if the doctor is qualified, it’s important to make sure the doctor is actually doing the procedure. In some states, licensed Registered Nurses (RN) or licensed Physician’s Assistants (PA) are also permitted to conduct Botox treatments. (But watch out for the term “injection specialist,” as this title could belong to anyone.) If it turns out an RN or PA will be doing the injection, make sure that they will be supervised by the prescribing doctor, or ask to see evidence of their medical education and training. If you are uncomfortable with this, it is your right to request the doctor be the one to do the injection, as stated by The Physician's Coalition for Injectable Safety.
“How fresh is the Botox you will be using?”
Botox is shipped vacuum-dried and is “reconstituted” by clinics using a sterile saline solution. Once reconstituted, Botox begins to lose strength. This is why Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox, recommends that Botox be injected within the first six hours of being reconstituted. If the answer you receive is larger than the recommended six hours, that’s a strong hint to look elsewhere.
“Do you have Botox Platinum status?”
It is recommended that you look for a doctor with Botox Platinum status. Platinum Status is awarded to physicians who are deemed top users of Botox Cosmetic in the US. Additionally, thanks to a special offer provided by Allergan, patients will receive $25 off every Botox treatment when administered by a Botox Platinum status physician.
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--Gary K. Johnson