A new patient recently asked if our Botox was ‘diluted’. This was something I had not heard (nor been asked) in a very long time. Instead of being insulted, I was actually thrilled to have a teachable moment! While not everyone will agree, I believe the more we know about things the easier (and safer) your life can be!
What this patient really wanted to know was if they were getting what they came for – proper treatment for their frown area (or glabella). They were just asking the wrong question.
To be sure you are getting the right amount of units of Botox Cosmetic (Dysport or Xeomin) for a specific treatment is almost impossible. It would be like going to get an oil change for your car and knowing that they actually did it and not just said they did.
Botox Cosmetic, Dysport and Xeomin (also called neuromodulators) are taken from a powder form to a liquid by adding a recommended amount of saline solution. However, some injectors prefer to use a little more or a little less depending on what they are using the product for. If you are injecting large foreheads that day then you might want the product to spread outwards a little more than usual. To do this you would add a little more saline to the vial. However, you would also use more of the product so that you have the right amount of units for that treatment.
Sadly, there are injectors who use more saline solution without using more product which shorts a patient of units. Here are a few ways to protect yourself and your wallet from that happening.
You get what you pay for. These products are expensive for clinics to purchase. Yes, there are certain occasions when reputable clinics reduce the price of these products. However, if it is drastically discounted all the time then something is fishy.
Don’t dictate how many units to use for a treatment. This happens more than I’d like. A patient will come in and only have $100 to spend on a treatment. If Botox Cosmetic costs $10-15 per unit and the area requires 20 units then the patient is not going to receive the proper treatment. In the end, they will be unhappy with the outcome (and the injector). I prefer not to treat these patients right then, but rather recommend they come back when they can afford the proper amount of units for their treatment. I also recommend that everyone sign up for one of the reward programs offered by either Allergan or Galderma so they can earn points which can be used to offset the cost of future treatments.
Follow up with your injector 2-3 weeks post treatment if unhappy. Two to 3 weeks after a treatment is about when you should know what the final outcome will be. I ALWAYS ask my patients to call if they have any questions or concerns regarding their treatment and will see them asap if needed – no matter how busy I am. So do the other injectors that I know and respect. It’s rare when an injector won’t follow up if a patient is unhappy or wants to charge full price for a ‘correction’, but it happens. Unless this is a one time thing, I would recommend you go elsewhere.
Until next time….