Just because a cosmetic procedure is nonsurgical doesn't mean it's risk free. While Botox and other injectables are typically lower risk than a facelift or a tummy tuck, going to the wrong Botox provider can result in months of dissatisfaction. Many patients believe that because day spas and other nonmedical offices offer Botox, it's as simple as getting a haircut. This certainly isn't true.
While Botox is a nonsurgical procedure, it requires specific training to achieve the right outcomes. If you're considering Botox or other injectable treatments, it's important to give the same scrutiny and care to your decision as you would if you were getting a facelift or another surgical procedure. In this blog, you'll learn why a plastic surgeon is typically the best choice for Botox injections, as well as how to select a provider you can trust.
1. Knowledge and Training Matter
If there were a single factor that affected the outcome of Botox, it would be injector knowledge.
Board-certified plastic surgeons spend years gaining mastery of facial aging and the anatomy of the human face. They literally know the human face inside and out having seen the inside during surgery and are true experts in aging and appearance.
In contrast, "cosmetic" physicians (typically with backgrounds such as general practice, internal medicine, family medicine, ob/gyn, emergency medicine, etc.), nurses running medical spas, dentists, and other providers who may offer Botox have very limited knowledge, training, and understanding of facial anatomy and the nuances of using Botox. In fact, most non-plastic surgeons learn how to inject Botox in a one day course.
The difference between the two groups is that the plastic surgeon can design a customized treatment tailored to your specific facial anatomy as well as goals, while a non-plastic surgeon is much more likely to give you a standard one-size-fits-all treatment because he or she lacks a deeper understanding of facial anatomy. The end result is that a plastic surgeon is more likely to produce a softer, more natural look because he or she will know exactly where and how much Botox to inject based on your specific face.
2. A Plastic Surgeon Can Recommend the Best Treatment, Whether It's Botox or Something Else
Typically, dermatologists, medical spas, and other individuals who offer Botox treatment have a very limited service menu. In contrast, plastic surgeons offer both surgical and nonsurgical services. In general, plastic surgeons have a far better understanding of all available treatment options because they offer all treatments. As a result, they have the experience to objectively recommend the right treatment for a patient.
Here's an example of how this can be important. Have you ever been concerned with forehead wrinkles? Well, forehead wrinkles are one of the most common reasons both women and men walk into plastic surgery offices and medical spas across the country. For many patients, Botox is an excellent treatment for these wrinkles. But, for other patients, a forehead lift may be needed. Only a plastic surgeon will be able to reliably make the distinction between who is a good candidate for Botox and who is not. This is because the plastic surgeon is the only provider knowledgeable enough and experienced enough to know the difference, and also because the plastic surgeon can offer the right treatment to both groups. By contrast, the average medical spa provider is unlikely to recognize the differences between the two groups and, furthermore, in many circumstances will still recommend Botox treatment because that is all they have to offer. When all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail. The end result of giving a Botox injection to someone who needs a forehead lift are droopy brows and heavy eyelids.
Regardless of your goals or treatment needs, being able to objectively discuss your options with a skilled plastic surgeon is critical to a satisfactory outcome.
3. There Comes A Time When Botox is No Longer Enough, or No Longer Appropriate, and Only A Plastic Surgeon Can Tell You When That Is
Botox and other injectables are mainstay treatments for patients in their 20's, 30's, and even 40's. But there comes a time, for everyone, when injections are no longer enough. For most people this times comes in their 40's or 50's. Continuing to rely on injections when they're no longer enough will make you look overdone, unnatural, or, worse yet, plain strange or weird. It's important to find a good plastic surgeon with whom you can establish a good partnership early to navigate you through the various stages of your beauty life.
4. For Your Safety, Plastic Surgeons Perform a Thorough Medical Evaluation
Ultimately, Botox is a relatively safe, low-risk treatment. However, plastic surgeons work to further minimize patient risks by evaluating a patient's medical history holistically. This can determine candidacy for Botox or determine other options in a treatment plan. Your surgeon may ask about:
- Current medications and supplements
- Drug or food allergies
- Existing medical conditions
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding status
- History of Botox, plastic surgery, or fillers
By understanding a patient's health, a surgeon can design a treatment plan that yields satisfactory outcomes while minimizing risk to the greatest extent possible.
5. Plastic Surgeons Have Photo Galleries
One individual's idea of a successful Botox treatment could vary from their provider's. Few patients seek injections with a goal of achieving the "frozen face" look that's often characterized as Botox gone wrong. Finding an injector whose aesthetic sensibilities match your own is crucial to satisfaction.
Typically, trained plastic surgeons understand the subtleties that can make a significant impact on patient outcomes. Exceptional plastic surgeons have an artist's eye which allows for beautiful and natural-looking results. For nervous prospective injection patients, being able to gain access to a surgeon's before-and-after gallery of results can yield peace of mind and proof of quality.
6. Plastic Surgeons Are Actively Involved in Recovery
Botox is popular, in part, due to its convenience. Most patients are able to resume daily duties immediately after leaving their physician's office. With the exception of minor swelling and bruising, most have no noticeable effects from the injections.
For most patients, minimizing recovery and pain after the procedure is critical. Working with a surgeon on your recovery plan and follow-ups can ensure you're able to resume day-to-day life as quickly as possible. Depending on your medical history, treatment goals, and other needs, your surgeon may design a custom recovery plan that recommends you avoid:
- Vitamin E
- Fish oil
Surgeons may recommend additional actions, such as applying ice to the injection site, to further aid in swift and painless recovery.
7. Plastic Surgeons Educate Their Patients
Patients should never feel afraid to ask plenty of questions before receiving Botox. An injector who is evasive during questioning or makes a patient feel rushed during consultation may be unprofessional or unskilled. During consultation, your surgeon should educate you on each of the following factors:
- Type(s) of injectables to be administered
- Sites to be targeted with Botox or other injectables
- Dosage of Botox to be administered
- Documented risks of Botox
- Best practices for before and after care
- The cost of your treatment
In addition to each of these factors, your plastic surgeon should be forthcoming about their experience administering Botox treatment and their background with successful injections.
Benefits of Hiring a Plastic Surgeon for Botox
While many registered nurse injectors are competent Botox providers, many others cannot match the skill, knowledge, or experience level of a board-certified plastic surgeon. To avoid minimized results or the dreaded "frozen face," prospective Botox patients should consider hiring a plastic surgeon.
At 77 Plastic Surgery, Dr. Larry Fan wants to provide the very best results for our patients. Unlike many other plastic surgeons, he personally performs all Botox injections on patients. Dr. Fan has performed thousands of Botox injections during his years of plastic surgery practice, and he will help you develop a customized treatment plan designed just for you.
To learn more about Botox at 77 Plastic or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please click here.