As businesses slowly begin to open back up, demand for post-quarantine Botox has been skyrocketing, with one cosmetic surgery clinic even going so far as to offer drive-thru Botox! The experts, however, warn that current deals that seem too good to be true, likely are. Dr. Thomas Buonassisi, facial plastic surgeon at 8 West Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Clinic in Vancouver, shares some of the red flags to watch for. —Vita Daily
What are some of the "too good to be true" trends we're seeing post-pandemic as aestheticians and medical aesthetics providers get back to business?
We’re seeing a lot of deep discounts on pre-purchased gift cards and rock-bottom pricing on injectables right now. These clinics may be trying to muster up cash to continue operations. Running a medical practice is expensive and deep discounting removes the profit margin that makes it possible for clinics to survive in the long run or reinvest in critical things like treatment provider training. I’d caution consumers to think carefully before being tempted by these deals. If these clinics can't stay open in the long run, you won't be getting your treatments or getting your money back.
What are some "red flags" to watch for when booking such services?
Protecting yourself from booking a service that could risk you losing money, or worse, can be as simple as being able to properly identify the red flags. Some common red flags include websites that don't declare who the licensed medical director is, or where they are licensed; "on paper" medical directors who don't frequent the practice often (or at all) to oversee patients; and websites that make it impossible to tell what type of medical professional works there. For example, using terms like "cosmetic physicians" rather than specifying that they’re a dentist or naturopathic doctor or using terms like "board certified" without mentioning what their board certification is. Always look for providers whose board certification is related to the aesthetic medicine services they offer.
What can we do as consumers to protect ourselves?
The best way to protect yourself is to choose a clinic that is well established, has been in business for a minimum of five years, and offers a well-known medical doctor who is known to focus all of their time on aesthetics. Be sure to ask lots of questions: questions about the medical director, the follow-up care you will receive and the frequency of follow-up appointments as well as what would happen if you had a complication. Any reputable, experienced clinic will be able to answer all these questions with ease.
What types of precautions have reputable aestheticians and medical aesthetics providers put in place to keep us all healthy and safe?
Great question. Now, more than ever, maintaining health and safety protocols is so important. Reputable clinics are implementing a lot of heightened protocols right now including: redesigning their waiting areas to maintain social distancing; reducing the volume of patients coming in on any given day; reducing the amount of staff working in the clinic, opting to have some support staff working from home to ensure the clinic has an appropriate number of people in it at all times; conducting consultation and follow-up appointments over a secure video conferencing platform; conducting temperature checks and extra consent forms signed in advance of appointments to ensure patients have not been out of the county and do not have any symptoms; and buffering extra time in-between appointments to sterilize all equipment and spaces.
In terms of post-quarantine cosmetic procedures, what are some of the most popular ones you're seeing being booked at 8 West, and why?
We’re seeing a lot of minimally invasive surgical procedures such as mini facelifts and eyelid lifts lately. We've also had a huge wave of patients wanting to have surgery so they can recover while they are working from home. A lot of people have been desperate to have their regular Botox treatments or lip injections that they couldn't get during COVID. Fillers are a great way to get an immediate boost and walk out looking and feeling great with a spring in your step.