With their coupons and convenient locations, it can be tempting to search for cosmetic injections, chemical peels and laser treatments in a local aesthetic center. However, these are medical procedures and should not be viewed casually.
“Patients must do their homework when choosing where and with whom to undergo any medical procedure”
To help potential patients make informed decisions about medical treatments performed in in a non-medical environment, the AFME French Association of Aesthetic Medicine provided the following list of questions, concerns and advice.
Is the clinic located in the doctor’s office?
Although problems are infrequent, doctors’ offices generally have medical personnel in case of problems.
Is the clinic located outside a doctor’s office, for example in a shopping mall or a salon?
If this is the case, ask for the name of the doctor responsible for monitoring and the time to consult or ask questions before receiving treatment. Also ask about the training of any other medical personnel.
Does your clinic have a doctor who can help you determine your goals, establish a treatment plan and direct your care?
What are the powers of the doctor supervising the treatment in the medspa?
Injectables, lasers and peels must be administered under the supervision of a plastic surgeon [or a dermatologist] certified by the board of directors. Doctors from other specialties, who call themselves “cosmetic doctors”, may lack the necessary comprehensive training. Just as you wouldn’t see an allergist if you were pregnant, it’s in your best interest to see a doctor who specializes in plastic surgery and dermatology when looking for cosmetic procedures.
Who performs the injection?
Depending on the state, injections and peels can be performed by a nurse, medical assistant or nurse practitioner. However, never authorize a non-medical unlicensed person to perform a medical procedure.
How effective are injectables for the face and what is the right product for me?
Is the product FDA approved? Is it approved for this use?
If the provider hesitates or does not answer this question directly, do not continue the treatment. Do not hesitate to ask to see the label of the manufacturer of any injectable product.
Can a drug, filler, or device be used for a purpose different from that approved by the FDA?
In the United States, FDA regulations do not prohibit physicians from prescribing approved drugs, fillers, and devices for indications other than those originally intended. Good medical practice and the best interests of the patient require that physicians use legally available medicines, biologics, and devices according to their knowledge and judgment. If physicians use a product for an indication that is not on the approved label, they are responsible for being knowledgeable about the product, for basing its use on sound scientific grounds, and on solid medical evidence, in order to fully inform the patient of its use. “Off label” and to keep records of the use and effects of the product.
Will the injections last and avoid the need for a face lift in the future?
In most cases, injectables are temporary solutions and will not give long-term results from surgery.
Have I been fully informed of the possible benefits and side effects of the proposed treatment and the options available?
Have all my questions been answered and am I fully aware of the risks and benefits of the procedure?
All medical procedures, whether injections or surgery, have risks. If you are not fully aware of all the risks and requirements for tracking, look for another supplier.
What do I expect from my medical procedure?
Discuss your expectations with your supplier. If you are promised 100% success without reservation, it is probably best not to continue.
Do I take the procedure seriously?
Deep peels, fillers and Botox are not identical to facial treatments or other superficial beauty treatments.
Do I base my decision on the best treatment option and not on the price?
Make sure your decision is based on the practitioner’s references and experience, not the price.
Did I see before and after the photos?
They can be very useful in determining with your provider the treatment suited to your case.
What if I am not satisfied with the result?
A qualified practitioner can provide you with appropriate revision or post-treatment care. Be sure to ask this question before injection or treatment.
Have you been told who assumes financial responsibility for the modifications or complications?
Remember that when it comes to getting the safest care with the best possible results, there are no stupid questions or too many questions.