I always encourage clients to do their homework, even prior to a consultation. They should decide what level of service they are comfortable with and determine the important criteria for selecting their provider. Is it price, quality of service, level of experience, safety, bedside manner, caring nature, availability, convenience of location or word-of-mouth referral from a friend that they value most?
Perhaps call and ask a few questions before you visit. Also, check their credentials online. Simply go to the College of Physicians and Surgeons in your local province and make sure the physician and/or nurse is licensed and qualified to practise.
Educate yourself on the rules and regulations of medical aesthetic services, especially for injectable treatments. For example, in Canada, injectable treatments must be done by a physician, or can be delegated to a trained person, but the physician still needs to consult directly with the patient and assess her suitability for the treatment. That physician must take responsibility for the treatment, even if someone else does the injections. Both the physician and the delegated injector have to be fully trained and able to perform the treatment, as well as deal with any potential complications. Complications can occur, and it is important that physicians discuss the risks versus benefits with patients prior to treatment.
Botox and dermal filler injections should not be seen as a commodity that is available to all and suitable for all, nor can be performed by anyone. Although widely available now in physician offices, medi spas, hair salons and day spas, clients have to decide what level of service they want and do their own due diligence.
More and more we’re seeing news stories about unlicensed practitioners being caught and criminally charged with carrying out medical procedures such as Botox injections. It happens everywhere, but only a few actually get caught and charged, so buyer beware.
We also hear about injectors going into people’s homes or hotel rooms and injecting at “Botox parties.” Keep in mind that these are medical treatments using prescription drugs and medical devices and should be conducted under the guidance of a trained physician in an appropriate professional setting.
Ask these questions before you plunk down dollars on services like injectables, lasers and general skin treatments.
• Is the provider dedicating his practice or time to cosmetic treatments or dabbling in it part-time without the required level of expertise?
• How long has he been practising?
• Does a non-physician injector have supervision or guidance from a physician?
• Does he have malpractice or liability insurance?
• What type of equipment does he carry and what level of training does he have?
• Is the provider up-to-date on new techniques, lasers, equipment, services and products?
• How thorough is the consultation?
• How thoroughly are your questions answered?
• How comfortable and safe do you feel?
• How professional is the staff?
• How long does he spend with clients?
Dr. Diane Wong is the owner and medical director of Glow Medi Spa, with locations in Toronto and Aurora, ON. You can find her at glowmedispa.ca