Botox, Dysport and Choosing a Doc

Donna Rich, MD

Article by
Houston Plastic Surgeon

Thinking about trying Botox or Dysport for the first time? Or are you a long-time user of Botox or Dysport looking for a better deal? Either way, there are some factors to consider in choosing where you go for your injections, and price may not be the most important.

Botox Cosmetic and Dysport are medications used to treat frown lines, squint and smile lines, nasal scrunch lines and horizontal forehead lines by relaxing the underlying muscles that create these wrinkles. With a 20-year track record for safety, Botox has been used to treat thousands of patients medically and cosmetically. Newer on the market is a related formula known as Dysport, which produces the same effect. We offer both brands of wrinkle-relaxing injectable in our Bayview Plastic Surgery offices, allowing patients a choice.

Notice I said “medications” above. This is the first key to deciding where to go for your injections. Botox and Dysport are both prescription medications available only to physicians. Injection of either Botox or Dysport is a medical procedure and should be treated as such. Legally, these injections should only be provided in a medical setting by an appropriate medical provider. Be wary of spas and salons offering these injections by a Certified Medical Assistant, as is often the case. There are a variety of legal reasons CMAs should not be performing Botox and Dysport injections, and their training and certification were never intended to include cosmetic medical procedures.

While a registered nurse, nurse practitioner or physician assistant may perform Botox or Dysport injections under the direction of a physician, it is important to ask a few questions before undergoing such a procedure with any medical professional. For a good list, try the Botox Website. This site will also provide a list of physician’s offices that provide Botox injections. You may also find a physician at the Dysport Website.

When you log on, you’ll note Botox suggests finding a physician’s office that specializes in aesthetic facial procedures. Why? Because these physicians know the anatomy of the face, and this is vitally important in getting not only a safe injection, but also the best possible result. An inexperienced injector may leave his or her patient with unnecessary side effects. The difference between a good result and a bad result is an injector who knows how to customize Botox or Dysport to your individual face, taking into account facial muscles you use the most, your facial muscle balance from side to side and the look you want. A great result requires not only steady hands and the eye of an artist, but a passion to get it just right.

Beyond questioning who will inject the medications, your next query should be about the injectables themselves. You want to be sure not only that you are receiving true Botox, for instance, but also that you are getting a full dose. Some locations dilute their medications in order to offer them at a lower price. The result is Botox or Dysport that lasts less than the usual three to six months. This means you return more often for injections and end up paying more in the long run.

What you want is someone who will inject the proper medication in the proper ratio into the proper areas. It’s an important combination that may be harder to find than you think, especially if you are basing your search on price. I suggest you do your homework before having any cosmetic procedure performed. Start by asking your friends. If you like the way they look, chances are you’ll like their physician. But don’t stop there, ask the important questions and make sure you trust any physician you choose.