The cosmetic consultation has become a lost art. In its truest form, the consultation should be a learning experience for everyone involved. For the client it is an opportunity to voice your concerns and be educated about the proper treatments to address those concerns. It is a chance to have your questions answered and to give you the confidence that you are placing your face and body in the hands of someone who you trust is going to help you look your best. For providers, the consultation session gives us a chance to understand your desires and address any anxieties you may have about your proposed treatment or results. Along with taking a detailed medical history and performing a physical exam this will help us develop a personalized treatment plan that is ideal for your needs.
Somewhere along the line, as the number of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatment providers has increased, the consultation process has turned into a pushy sales pitch. This not only puts you on the defensive, it also leaves you misinformed and is a set-up for a less than ideal experience.
To help you as you search for your next Botox, Dermal Filler, Ultherapy, CoolSculpting, or Laser Hair Removal provider we have listed some important things to look for and what to avoid when scheduling your consultation.
1. The Consultation Fee
You will see during your search that some places will charge you a “consultation fee” while others offer a “free consultation”. I am a firm believer in the saying You Get What You Pay For, and if a price seems too good to be true then it probably is as the quality of the service will also be lower. For example, your family doctor would never offer you a free consultation when you visit him/her when you are sick. So why would a physician not charge a fee for a cosmetic treatment consultation? If you pay nothing, then you get nothing of value in return. Any doctor who values your time as well as their own time and reputation will charge you a consultation fee. The amount of this fee will vary and often it is applied towards the cost of your treatment.
Don’t let the amount of the initial consultation fee influence your decision on who you choose for your cosmetic treatments. If you are serious about getting your treatment then you will most likely be paying a significant amount of money anyway. If your treatment is not done right the first time then you could end up spending thousands of dollars more on getting it corrected somewhere else.
Be careful of places that offer “Free Consultations”. This is usually a sales tactic to attract clients. You will find that your consultation will be brief without enough information or time to answer all of your questions. Often, neither the consultation or treatment is performed by the physician. This often leads to complications, unpleasant cosmetic results, and most importantly client dissatisfaction.
2. Ask Who Will Be Performing Your Consultation
Make sure that the person who will be meeting with you for the consultation is also the person who will be providing your treatment. This may be the nurse or the doctor.
Many types of physicians, nurses, and aestheticians perform cosmetic treatments. Board certified surgeons have an extensive knowledge of anatomy and will give you the best results. If you are going to research your physician the best source is your State Medical Board’s website.
3. Get Involved
The cosmetic consultation should be an interactive process. Make sure you get to ask all the questions you have and that you receive all the answers to those questions. Make a list of questions before your consultation if you think you will have trouble remembering all of them.
You deserve to know all the treatment options available to you as well as their alternatives. Every treatment has risks. Find out what the risks of your treatment are, how long side effects last if they occur, and whether there is anything you can do to lower the risks of an unwanted outcome. At the same time, be totally honest with your physician about any medical conditions you may have; medications you are on; prior surgeries; smoking habits, etc. It is impossible to achieve the results you want if your physician does not know your entire medical history.
4. Be Realistic
Our duty is to create a treatment plan that will fulfill your desires and have you looking your best. The information you receive during your consultation should help set realistic expectations for the goals of your treatment. Do not expect perfection and understand that you will not see results overnight. Accept the possibility that you may experience adverse effects, that you may need more than one treatment, and that you may not look exactly like the before and after pictures the doctor showed you. Sometimes the initial treatment you wanted may not be right for you. Never insist on receiving less than the recommended treatment–you won’t be happy with your results. Never let anyone force you into something you’re not fully comfortable with. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
At the end of your cosmetic consultation you should feel confident that you and your provider have agreed on a treatment plan that will give you the most positive outcome in a safe and enjoyable way. More importantly, you trust that your provider is committed to your satisfaction and will work to resolve any problems should they occur.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about the consultation process. We are always happy to help!