Guide to finding the best injector
How long has the injector been injecting full time?
The longer the better, really. We agree with Malcolm Gladwell here, that 10,000 hours is a pretty good start. Read between the lines, as so many clinics find sneaky ways of disguising the limited reality.
How long has the injector been at their current practice?
Stability is a beautiful thing in a medical service provider.
How long has their practice been established?
Again, this speaks to trustworthiness, stability and reputation. The longer the better
How many injectable treatments do they perform per year?
A great answer would be in the many thousands.
What memberships do they hold, and for how long?
Is the injector dedicated to continuing medical education? Are they a fellow of CPCA or ACAM or ACCS?
Does the doctor perform any other type of medicine/surgery?
If so, this will affect how much cosmetic medicine and injectables they perform.
A surgeon performing injectables one day per week, would take a long time to become proficient in injecting.
Ask about complications and their management
Be wary of those who claim a history of no complications. If a doctor does enough procedures, they will unfortunately come across the more rare complications. As Napoleon Bonaparte said, “He that makes war without many mistakes has not made war very long”
Assess the Injector’s aesthetic sense and make sure it matches your own:
The way to do this is to check the clinic website for before and after photos of their work on patients.
If the injector is perpetrating stock photos supplied by their injectable wholesaler, then these are completely unhelpful in helping you see if you share the doctor’s aesthetic.
Study their website with a critical eye.
Is it a good clinic if they are ranking front page on Google for injectable search terms like “dermal filler Sydney” or have a large Instagram following?
Not necessarily, being front page of google indicates that they are good at SEO, or pay a lot to someone who is good at SEO! Having a large legitimate following on Instagram means they are good at content creation or pay someone who is, or have advertised heavily.
Having a fake large following on social media platforms is possible for anyone. A good clue would be to see if there are a lot of press articles on the clinic with the large following. A clinic who has a legitimately large following will in general also have a lot of press articles referencing them, if they don’t, it is a clue that there’s something fishy going on…
Call up and have a discussion with their reception staff:
This gives you such an idea about the clinic and their focus. Do they value you as a potential client. Are they interested in helping you and sharing information? Most staff at cosmetic clinics are there for a reason, which is that THEY LOVE THE FIELD OF AESTHETICS, so they should be willing and able to share a lot of valuable information.
Check out the appearance of the staff and the clinic:
Do aesthetics matter? Are the staff overdone? Are the staff underdone? Is the clinic neat, clean, tidy and functional? Are there good systems in place? All of these clues will give you an idea about whether you are going to get the service at the level that you expect.
Check out the website of the clinic:
- Can you find the name of the supervising doctor? If you cannot, then there is a reason for that. You need to know who is responsible for your treatment. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.
- Can you find the name of the doctors/injectors who will actually be treating you? If you cannot, there is a reason for that.
- Is it all stock photos?
- Is there a landline or is it just a mobile number?
I would definitely recommend checking these out, albeit with a sophisticated approach, which acknowledges the facts that:
1. Reviews may be solicited or inauthentic and
2. The occasional negative review should be expected. Attempted extortion exists using reviews in the cosmetic medical industry unfortunately.
Ask your friends, relatives and service providers:
Your hairdresser is a great place to start! They talk all day long about such things and have access to a large number of clients. This approach still has limitations, but these professionals can be a great resource. Be wary of asking anyone with a financial interest in beauty/cosmetic as this may influence what they recommend. Eg if you are asking a beauty therapist who has a laser device, they will often not want to refer to a clinic with a lot of laser devices as they see them as a competitor.
Have a consultation or two:
Cosmetic treatments should never be hurried. Meet with a couple of doctors /clinics, get their opinions about what they think would be good for your face. Of course it is a doctor you should be seeing for the consultation rather than a nurse (this is a legal issue to start with, and of course it is best medical practice), which takes me to the next topic:
Make sure the clinic is acting within the law:
In Australia, it is law that the patient must have a consultation with a doctor before that doctor prescribes the cosmetic injectables, which may then be injected by the doctor or a nurse. If the clinic does not provide a consultation with a doctor prior to your treatment by a nurse, DO NOT GO THROUGH WITH THE PROCEDURE, as they are breaking the law, and are therefore not covered by insurance. If they are breaking the law in this way, this is an obvious sign that you should be cautious with your trust.
Onselling of S4 drugs is illegal in NSW. Onselling is where the prescribing doctor is not supervising the injector but just selling the S4 drugs to them.
A red flag in a Skyping clinics is where the doctor may well have no experience in cosmetic medicine and may also be in another state. They are often paid between $5- $40 per Skype call. It is the Skyping doctors who are legally responsible for your treatment and all complications arising from it.
Also, if you are not being treated by a doctor and there is not one available at the clinic you went to, who will be caring for you when something goes wrong, which requires assessment and treatment by a doctor? If an infection occurs with your filler, or something worse like an occlusion, who do you want on site and accessible at all times? Clinics who don’t have access to doctors are not looking after your health.
Check that the location is approved as a medical clinic with regulatory bodies.
Little / Big Clues to a clinic being dodgy or reputable:
- Is the treatment at an established cosmetic clinic or at a hair salon? Obviously a medical clinic is the correct place to be having a medical treatment
- Is the treatment at a GP clinic or a cosmetic clinic? If at a GP clinic or dentist, then this may mean that general practice, or dentistry, rather than cosmetic medicine is what the practitioner has experience in and spends more of their days on.
- Has the clinic owner had other clinics which have gone bankrupt? Total red flag.
- Is the owner deregistered, or have they been previously? This is never an ideal situation, and the details or the deregistration should be studied.
- On the injector’s website, is there a mobile number or a landline. Clearly a clinic without a landline should raise some red flags.
- Check the pricing. Be careful of the (lack of) aftercare, safety, trustworthiness of those clinics/injectors with too good to be true pricing. It is your face we are talking about here, look after it carefully.
- If the nurse/doctor has testimonials on their website, this is illegal in Australia. Any illegal activity should raise a red flag.
- If in the “about” section of a website they do not name their doctor, this is definitely a red flag. Who is the prescriber, there has to be one, why are they not named? The prescribing doctor is the person legally responsible for your treatment, you MUST be aware of their name, their experience, their AHPRA registration status, and their history.
- Call the clinic and ask which days and times the prescribing doctor is onsite at the clinic. This will give you a useful key to work out how the practice is being run, and if it is the type of practice with the acceptable level of service to you.
The proof is in the pudding:
In the end it is the whole service including the results that matter, and you won’t know this until you go through with a treatment. For safety’s sake, feel free to start slow, so that the level of trust can build and so that the doctor can get to know you.
My last hot tips to help you get the best out of your cosmetic doctor:
Educate yourself about cosmetic treatments if you are interested, get as much information as you find useful. If you’re more of an image person rather than copy, look up google images e.g. before and after images for procedures that you’re considering. Look up online what can go wrong with procedures that you’re having.
As your cosmetic doctors, we are trying to create an image out of your words, sometimes this can be difficult. This is where images are so useful. Images of photos you don’t like of yourself, images of old photos of yourself when you were happiest with your appearance.. Images of the size and shape of lips/nose/cheeks you like. These things can be really helpful to improving communication and results.
Listen to your doctor. Often a patient will be fixated on an area, that just doesn’t have a high satisfaction rate when treated, the doctor will explain this and offer great alternatives for making the patient more beautiful, but the patient cannot move on from the difficult area. Your doctor, if experienced, is trying to talk you out of certain procedures for a reason.
I hope this guide was helpful:)
xx Dr Naomi