As an active participant on numerous facial injectable panels across North America, I have seen an alarming trend develop and grow which has significant impact on the field of Cosmetic Surgery and facial injectables. Because of declining insurance reimbursement and the desire for a more controlled work environment, many practitioners have entered the field of facial injectables. And while some of them receive adequate training in the use of Botox®, Juvederm®, Sculptra®, and other available injectables many simply do not.
So how do you go about choosing a qualified injector? The answer is simple. Ignoring the potential turf battle between physician and nurse injectors, there are a few simple questions that you should ask your injector before moving forward:
- What is their background?
- Where did they get their training?
- How many years have they been injecting for?
- How do they stay up on current injection techniques?
- What is their revision policy?
These five simple questions can potentially save you time, money, and a ton of frustration. Keep in mind that this is your face that is being injected and sub-optimal results may not be able to be fixed until the product eventually wears off. And that is not a good thing!
So, let’s look more closely at these five questions:
1. What is their background?
This question is important because it can give you an idea of why this person is injecting and if they really have a vision for what they want to accomplish. Most physicians and nurses who go into the core aesthetic fields (Plastic Surgery, Facial Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, and Oculoplastic Surgery) do so because they have a passion for beauty. Unfortunately, many others simply enter the field because of the almighty dollar. They may or may not have any idea about what they want to accomplish with the injectables; they simply see the potential for greater practice revenue.
2. Where did they get their training?
While I participate as a trainer in many evening or weekend courses, I emphasize to all of the participants that a single event does not make them a qualified injector. Like any other field, expertise is gained through years of experience and hundreds of patients. And while we all had to start somewhere, make sure that your injector let’s you know how much experience they really have. There is nothing wrong with entering a field but we all need to be transparent about the amount of experience, background, and training we really have.
3. How many years have they been injecting?
Good injectors are not born, they are created over time. And while a laundry list of patients does not necessarily mean that someone is a top notch injector, it does mean that they have probably encountered many different faces and many different effects and are more able to individualize your treatment because they simply have more experience.
4. How do they stay up on current injection techniques?
This question is REALLY important! The field of facial injectables is changing all the time and continuing education is essential in assuring that your injector knows the pearls of pitfalls of each product and technique. What was cutting edge two years ago (or even two weeks ago)
5. What is their revision policy?
This is also critical. Most expert injectors never talk about a “touch-up” because they realize that everyone responds a little differently to the injectables and so everyone must be individualized in their treatment. That being said, even the best injectors often tweak their results to assure that you are achieving the best result. Good injectors will generally work with you but will often not do it for free. Make sure that you understand exactly what you can expect before they inject!
The field of non-surgical facial rejuvenation is exciting because it is changing so rapidly and because we are gaining more and more information on how to combine treatment options to achieve best results. Top injectors are qualified, educated, and experienced and can afford you the opportunity to achieve results that are often dramatic but very natural. When used in the right combination for the right patient, facial injectables can be an excellent way to erase the changes of time and look your very best.
*Photo Courtesy of Ambro