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Steven J. Pearlman, MD, FACS Dual Board Certified in Facial Plastic Surgery

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Looking Gorgeous:, Botox, Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse

This was the title of an article from that I was quoted in: Looking Gorgeous: What Women Won’t Give Up. I have been lucky to have had very good media exposure in the past, including recent mentions in Vogue, More and New York Magazines. However, all I’m asked lately is how the economy has affected business.  Cosmetic surgery and other aesthetic treatments such as Botox and Facial fillers (Restylane, Juvederm, Radiesse, Cosmoderm,  Perlane, Sculptra, Evolence) really can be categorized as luxury items. Given the state of the economy, people are becoming more choosey about what they do and should be more choosey about who they go to.  I did send discount cards to many of my recent Botox and Filler patients. I apologize if we missed you; my lists aren’t totally up to date. If you were left out, just mention this blog when you come in for treatment and we will honor the same discount for the next 6 months.

My offering a discount was quoted in Crain’s in the February 16-22 issue. Or should I say misquoted. I did say that “I sent out discount cards to my loyal patients.” However, during the interview I also qualified that by stating that this discount was JUST for Botox and fillers. Surgery is a more personal issue. It should not be about negotiating fees. I feel that once you find the surgeon who you trust, it should be more about getting the right result from a specialist instead of discount surgery. If you go elsewhere and get discount surgery, will you also be getting a discount result?  

I feel the same about fillers and Botox. Any doctor can purchase Botox legally, even dentists! The physicians with the most experience using Botox and Facial fillers are termed “core specialists.” These include Plastic Surgeons, Facial Plastic Surgeons, Cosmetic Dermatologists and Oculoplastic Surgeons.  There is a website with information called the Physician Coalition for Injectable Safety. Treatments are now offered by Family Physicians, OB-GYN’s and many other specialists. And yes, dentists too. Don’t get me wrong, I know a few primary care and GYN docs who are excellent practioners of facial injections. They have advanced training and perform many of these treatments. It’s the doctors who only perform these treatments occasionally and learned at a one day for profit course you should steer clear of.

So first and foremost, it’s your face. Do you really want to skimp? Make sure your physician has the proper training and experience. If they give you a nice discount, GREAT. If not, is it really worth saving money to have a less than ideal result?

New York Times: To discount or not to discount, that is the question

Many of us, consumers and businesses alike, have been riding high on the last two decades of rapid growth in income and therefore consumer spending. And now the bottom is dropping out. This affects us all: clothing stores, car sales, home sales, restaurants, education, and yes, even cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is unlike surgery for medical conditions. If you have a hernia, for example, surgery can be put off for only so long. However, surgery is still surgery and therefore should not be taken lightly. Some patients who may have been thinking about a facelift or blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) know that putting that off is not going to affect their overall health, but it certainly is going to affect their sense of well-being, self confidence and outlook on life .  So where is the balance between personal desires and personal finance?

I have found for my own practice and that of a number of my colleagues that all surgeries are down. However, this has affected the number of rhinoplasties a little less than other procedures, especially revision surgery. I feel that this is because when people are unhappy with the appearance of their noses, especially if they can’t breathe well, it is more than just a cosmetic issue. An unsightly nose is a feature that has been with them for life and can affect personal growth as well as acceptance by their peers. For these people, rhinoplasty is more than a cosmetic procedure. A nose that doesn’t fit one’s face may supersede what might be considered more frivolous aesthetic procedures designed to combat facial aging.

In The New York Times last thursday, there was an article by the renowned medical reporter, Natasha Singer, discussing which physicians discount surgery and other treatments such as Botox and facial fillers. This is a very personal issue. Personally, I had discount courtesy cards made up as gifts for my patients that we never got around to mailing. Well, we mailed them today. I think these are great pick-me-ups for looking better fast and I want to share that with my patients. According to a recent survey of patients by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [AAFPRS], when it comes to surgery feeling secure with their choice of surgeon is more important than price.

To quote Dr. John Conely, one of the greatest teachers of both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head and neck of the past 50 years: “I have never seen anyone die from a wrinkle, but some thought that they might.” 

In closing I would like to reassure you that my practice is still thriving and that, as always, I am plugged into the zeitgeist. To show my sensitivity to these more austere times in which we presently live, I am offering you a 20%-off Botox, Juvederm and Restylane through the end of 2008. 


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