It seems like every day there is a new medical spa or plastic surgery center that pops up in town. There's the pediatrician that has decided to add BOTOX to her practice to treat the mothers of her young patients, the OBGYN who has decided to add CoolSculpting and EmSculpt to help her patients lose weight after childbirth, the RN who wants to have her own medical spa and finds an absentee medical director, and the Emergency Room doctor who is just plain burnt out on hospital medicine and is now looking to open a plastic surgery center after taking a weekend course on liposuction and eyelid surgery. The problem for the consumer is that with all of these options, how does one find the best medical spa and/or plastic surgery center?
Not only are there a lot of options, but it is becoming increasingly more difficult by the day to trust online review sites-- and it can be hard to get a recommendation from a friend because so many are hesitant to admit that they have had cosmetic treatments.
With all of this in mind, we've created a list of the five traits that all good medical spas have in common.
These are The Five Things You Should Never Compromise When Choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon and Medical Spa:
There are two types of plastic surgeons: Facial Plastic Surgeons and General Plastic Surgeons. You wouldn't go to a podiatrist to deliver your baby, and you also shouldn't go to a non-plastic surgeon for your plastic surgery. The same goes for medical spas. The vast majority of medical spas feature a medical director whose training has absolutely nothing to do with esthetics. Many don't even know how to inject BOTOX or properly fire a laser. This is a scary thought because although cosmetic treatments are elective, that doesn't mean they're not a big deal. Many botched treatments can't be undone-- permanent damage can be done by a provider who doesn't know what they're doing.
What it comes down to is this: do you want a facial plastic surgeon who has performed thousands of facial plastic surgeries and has extensive knowledge of facial anatomy overseeing all medical procedures at the medical spa you visit or do you want the urologist who has no formal training in esthetics overseeing your treatment?
This divide is known as "core" vs. "non-core." Core physicians in the world of esthetics are those that come from the specialty of facial plastic surgery, dermatology, general plastic surgery, or oculoplastic surgery. All other specialties are considered outsiders, or "non-core" providers.
Having a core physician personally involved in your medical spa matters deeply. We have a team of experienced and highly skilled nurses that perform a large number of our injectable treatments here at The Esthetics Center, but they were trained and coached by our facial plastic surgeon medical director who has been injecting BOTOX and filler for decades. He underwent years of surgical and facial anatomy training-- making him a true expert in his field. This expertise is passed on to everyone on the team. In our office, a level of open communication and support exists between our medical director and our nurses that encourages questions, discussions, and second opinions. This empowers us to provide outstanding treatments to every single patient. For offices that have a non-core medical director, there is no synergy of treatment considerations and concerns due to the fact that there is a narrower spectrum of information. This means, when treatment options are shared, they likely are not as informed due to a lack of an authoritative resource immediately at hand.
We believe everyone is worse off visiting cosmetic surgery centers and medical spas that don't have a core physician at the helm-- this includes both patients and providers.
Your appearance is not something to be taken lightly. We believe you should have all of your questions clearly answered before agreeing to your treatment. Unfortunately, we've heard horror stories of esthetic companies providing treatments that they deemed appropriate for the patient without the patient even consenting to treatment. It wasn't until the patient received a several thousand dollar bill that they found out they'd received a 5-syringe liquid facelift!
There should be no surprises like this, ever. It's simple common decency that you should know exactly what you're signing up for and why this is the best treatment for your needs. If your treatment plan doesn't make sense to you, you should be encouraged to ask more questions and receive answers that make sense to you.
The biggest obstacle to most patients getting this type of informative, non-hurried experience is that their medical spa has discovered that if they see 2 BOTOX patients every 15 minutes, they can make double the money! Sounds great for the provider, right? Unfortunately, this approach can lead to a TERRIBLE experience for the patient. Instead of having an expert guide you through the process, you're hurried along, left to feel like you're just a number. Your education and satisfaction aren't important-- what is important to these clinics is your money!
That's why you should never compromise in finding a provider that actually has time for you. That asks you questions like, "I know you're here today for BOTOX, but is there anything else bothering you that we can help you with? Sunspots? Facial volume?"
This is the level of care and education that you deserve. No question should go unanswered-- this world of cosmetic treatments is vast and can be confusing. There are hundreds of available treatments and you deserve someone who can help you decide which treatments are best for your circumstance.
This point speaks more to the quality of the surgery center and medical spa, but if your medical spa exclusively offers non-surgical fat reduction that isn't CoolSculpting, a serum-based facial that isn't HydraFacial, a neurotoxin that isn't BOTOX, or dermal filler that isn't Juvéderm or Restylane, this should be a red flag! Second-rate providers cut corners with second rate products. They are too cheap to pay for the tools that will ensure great results for their patients, and instead, they use inferior technology.
Remember: inferior technology will lead to inferior results.
The best medical spas invest in the best, brand name products. Across the board. Because it matters! The procedures and products they offer are the ones you've actually heard of. If you call their office and ask, "do you have CoolSculpting?" and the response you get back is, "No! But we have something better!" you are being misled. They were simply too cheap to invest in the real thing.
At the best plastic surgery centers and medical spas, you will never feel pressured to buy a certain treatment or product. The process of looking and feeling your best should never feel like buying a car. Instead, it should feel more like an educational process or a collaborative effort in which you, the patient, are brought to the best treatment decision.
This means that you should feel a strong and natural rapport with your surgeon and/or treatment provider. Ideally, your provider will talk to you the same way that a friend would-- educating you, planning your roadmap and next steps with you... answering questions and giving input. You should feel empowered when you're together, and never embarrassed or ashamed of your appearance.
High-pressure sales tactics imply that your plastic surgery center/med spa is both unsuccessful AND unhealthy. If they need to pressure people into procedures, that implies that patients won't be treated without being manipulated. Think about it... when the last iPhone came out, how much manipulation did it take for you to buy that product? Most likely, it didn't take much because you really wanted the phone! It was a valuable item to you that you would seek out and purchase without any pressure. If you're not an Apple fan, think about your last trip to Home Depot. Did a team member from Home Depot follow you around the store trying to convince you to buy everything you saw? Absolutely not! Most shoppers at Home Depot know exactly what they want and are incredibly motivated to buy what they came for because the vision of their improved home inspires them.
Good plastic surgeons and medical spa providers understand this. When they are good at what they do, they won't need to coerce you. Their reputation, work, education, and confidence will speak for itself.
A clean office denotes attention to detail. It shows that there's a concerted effort to provide sterile and safe procedures. In the esthetics industry, there is nothing more important than safety. An injector may have a great technique, but if they don't inject using impeccable standards of cleanliness, your injections can lead to infection-- possibly resulting in complications such as nodules, sepsis, and even tissue necrosis (dead skin tissue). Safety isn't just for injections, it should be of the utmost concern in the operating room as well. Implants should be thoroughly sterilized, instruments should be sanitized in an autoclave, and the procedure room should be impeccably clean during surgery. Infection after surgery can be even more detrimental than injection-caused infections. This is not intended to scare, but instead to communicate that safety isn't optional. It's not something that should be taken lightly. It is the most important aspect of your procedure. Ask your provider what they do to ensure a safe, sterile treatment. Make sure they thoroughly clean your injection sight before each and every injection. There's no such thing as being "too clean," "too safe," or "too careful," so set your bar high.
The reason we emphasize this is because too many plastic surgeons and medical spas cut corners. This isn't a non-profit industry, so many second-rate providers are looking to do anything they can to make an extra dollar. When they do this, they prioritize making money over the proper care of patients.
Additionally, the medical esthetics industry is still relatively new. Many medical directors and/or owners have no idea what is legally required of them when it comes to being compliant with the medical board's standards for practicing medicine. For instance, did you know that a nurse injector CANNOT give you BOTOX as a new patient without it being prescribed by a physician, Licensed Nurse Practitioner, or Physician's Assistant? If you have been treated at a medical spa, but have never met with a licensed medical provider with prescription privileges, your medical spa is non-compliant. It may not be deliberate, but it may indicate that there are other corners being cut.
These truly are The Five Things You Should Never Compromise When Choosing a Cosmetic Surgeon and Medical Spa. There are so many other things we'd love to share, (such as: don't go to an injector who you think looks overdone... or you'll end up looking like her... never receive treatments in someone's home... never be treated by someone who calls you "honey..."), but these are the big 5.
Have questions? Want more information about what makes The Esthetics Center different? Give us a call today at (916) 941-9400 We'd love to meet you, educate you on this vast industry of esthetics, and create a personalized plan to get you looking and feeling better than you've felt in years.