Seeking Cosmetic Treatments From Medical Spas and Non Plastic Surgeons: Often Not a Wise Choice

Many of the well known axioms of life can also be quite relevant when it comes to plastic surgery. Like:

“You get what you pay for.”

“If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.”

And, of course:

“Pay now or pay later”

Over the years, I have seen countless patients who wanted and needed second opinions following treatments that they had received at spas and clinics staffed either only by paraprofessionals (I’m using this term quite loosely) or also with poorly trained, skill challenged non-plastic surgeons. Many of these had suffered poor and even nightmarish results. They want me, as a plastic surgeon, now to fix their disaster.

Then there are others who were more fortunate – they paid a lot of money, having gotten sucked into the system, and ended up with either little or no results at all. At least, they didn’t have complications with long term problems.

So why didn’t they see me (or another plastic surgeon) initially?

Good question!

Some of their answers were:

“Well, they were cheaper and I didn’t want to spend too much”

“They had a Groupon and I’ve actually been considering _________ (fill in the blank – Botox®, Juvederm®, Smartlipo™, CoolLipo™, etc.) for a while – and the deal sounded really good.”

“My family doctor offered to do it for me so I just trusted him/her to do it.”

“My friend had some stuff done there and convinced me to come to her next treatment.”

“I don’t know. I guess that I shouldn’t have!”

The patient whose photo you see here (below) was seeking treatment for her facial wrinkles and creases at a medical spa. In her case, the person doing the injections was not a doctor and actually injected Restylane and Perlane into an artery resulting in necrosis (death) of tissue in the area as well as substantial pain. Adding insult to injury, the same injector initially attempted to treat this disaster for a period of time before she was even referred to a doctor for recommendations.

Accidental injection of Juvederm into a facial artery resulting in skin breakdown and compromise of blood flow to the cheek and nose

Accidental injection of dermal filler into a facial artery resulting in skin breakdown and compromise of blood flow to the cheek and nose

I know that you don’t want your face looking like this after dermal filler injections nor would you find it acceptable to have such substandard post-treatment care.

Then there was the one where the general surgeon, who had essentially taken a weekend course on Smartlipo™, burned off much of the skin of a patient’s abdomen that required skin grafting and will require multiple reconstructive treatments in the future to improve the scarring and deformities. Much of this will always be significant and permanent.

The total cost of the multiple surgical treatments needed to improve the outcome for this patient will dwarf what she would have paid had she sought treatment from a plastic surgeon. Then there is the mental anguish to which no price tag can be assigned.

I can go on with a litany of examples but you get the idea. I hope!

So, if you are seeking improvements in your appearance, whether it involves non-surgical options such as Botox®, Juvederm® or Restylane® (also may be done by some dermatologists) or surgery such as liposuction or breast augmentation, seek an opinion from a reputable board certified plastic surgeon.

Otherwise, you may pay big time later on!

You also may be happy to know that unlike most other plastic surgeons in the Scottsdale and Phoenix metropolitan area, I do ALL the injections for my patients whether they are for Botox®, Juvederm®, Restylane® or any other filler. Always have! I feel that this is just  too important to entrust to a technician or other non-physician personnel.

To obtain additional information on any cosmetic plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule your complimentary cosmetic consultation, you can call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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