I had Juvederm previously by a reputable plastic surgeon and loved it. He is in Beverly Hills though and I wanted to go somewhere local.Today I had my lips injected at a Med spa by a nurse. Everything was great, she took her time and they look fantastic. I am worried because it only cost $299. This seems REALLY cheap! Is there any way this could be a fake product? I didn't ask to see the syringe. I am worried about the long term effects if this is not real Juvederm. Do fake products exist?
Is It Possible I Had Fake Juvederm Injected into my Lips?
Doctor Answers 16
Fake fillers do exist
While I would never claim and believe that a medical professional would inject a non-FDA approved product into a fellow human being, It seems beyond belief that someone would loose money injecting Juvederm which costs more than $300/syringe to the physician into your lips. Yes, there are over 50 different fillers available worldwide and yes they can be illegally obtained in the USA. Therefore, when getting ANY medical procedure, make sure you are going to a licensed medical doctor who you trust. You have only one face and it should last forever. Injecting unknown or non-FDA approved products into your face can have severe and dire consequences.
Let's home there was a billing error.
Juvederm too inexpensive?
They may be offering it as marketing to get new customers through the door. Are they reusing a syringe that was partially used? Even if a new needle is placed, that should never be done!!! Are they using a product they obtained from overseas and even though it is Juvederm, it is not the FDA approved Juvederm? Yes there are different fillers, some not approved and probably some fake, so only use FDA approved products in the U.S. As you are happy with their treatment and may consider going again, ask them to show you the filler before it's injected and make sure it's sealed and read the label for American Juvederm.
First of all, I'm glad you had a good experience both times and are happy with your results. If you are worried, I'd recommend you just have a conversation with the nurse who injected you. $299 is very inexpensive but before you start worrying, there may be a reasonable explanation. You should always feel comfortable having an open and honest conversation with any health care provider you work with.
Dr. Cat Begovic M.D.
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Fake Juvederm? It is possible!
The possibility does exist that you had a product that was not made by Allergan, the manufacturer of Juvederm. Juvederm can also be purchased in a 0.4cc syringe, which is less expensive and can be used for lips. You want to make sure you look at the unopened packaging before you have treatment to verify the manufacturer.
You cannot be too careful. That is a very inexpensive treatment and the nurse cannot possibly sustain a practice charging less than the product costs. You can certainly ask if that would make you feel better. There are serial numbers on all syringes and the number for the one you had injected would be in your records.
There is no way for us to know if "fake" Juvederm was injected or if you were injected with another product. However, the price you paid is less that the cost of Juvederm from Allergan. So, I am suspicious. It is very important for patients to be proactive in their care and to make sure you ask the appropriate questions before being injected. You should make sure that you are being injected by a board certified and qualified injector. In my practice, I inject all my patients myself. Additionally, while I end up not making as much money per patient, I open a new vial of Botox for each patient and reconstitute it right in front of the patient so they can be sure they are getting what they pay for and that they are getting fresh product. For Juvederm and other injectables, I open a new box for each patient and show them exactly what is being injected before performing the treatment. If your doctor / injector will not do this for you, then I would be very suspicious.
Anythings possible but...
Anything is possible but do not let worry ruin the results that you sound like you like. Firstly, next time do not go to a spa because you really don't know who will be injecting you and should go to someone that you know is well trained. That being already done, you are lucky that you like the result but don't test your luck again. Bad things can happen. As far as the price goes, some fillers can be had for a good price when bought in bulk or from out of country and if this is a chain or a place with huge turnover they can still make some profit. They might even be willing to make little or nothing if they can get you in the door for something else. There are other products and might be that you did not get juvederm but that is less likely and not worth worrying about if you had a good result. However, next time go to someone that you trust a little more.
It is sad that we have to worry about counterfeit medications. I have heard of "black market" product being sold on the internet so it does seem to exist. I must admit I have had concerns when spas offer such outrageously low prices. You can protect yourself by going to legitimate licensed medical professionals. Ask for the credentials of those you allow to treat you before you are treated.
At this point, after being treated, you may be able to quiet your concerns by researching the credentials and reputation of the spa and the person who injected you.
Fake Juvederm or perhaps a small syringe
You could have had a bootleg Juvederm syringe (0.8 cc), usually purchased from outside the U.S. and probably not really Juvederm OR you may have received a 0.4 cc syringe of Juvederm, which does sell for less. In Orange County dermatologists and plastic surgeons who use these small syringes usually charge $300-400 for them, so $299 at a med spa would not be surprising. In the future however I would seek out a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon/facial plastic surgeon for your filler treatment. You never know who or what you will be getting at a med spa.