Who doesn’t like getting a deal on a product or service? 

There is nothing wrong with discount shopping as long as you know what you’re getting, and getting it for the right reasons. But if you are being pressured into a purchase, or getting something that you haven’t really thought through, you may end up disappointed instead. 

There are a few good reasons to think before you click on a plastic surgery or cosmetic procedure deal. 

What Are You Really Getting?

Botox and other injectable products (Restylane, Juvederm, Sculptra) are expensive even at wholesale prices. So if you are offered a 50% discount, are you getting the whole product or something else. Unfortunately, there are those who dilute the products and then offer a “deal” on them. In the end, the result is compromised and the patient is frustrated. An extreme deal for a facial or a spa treatment may be reasonable, but should you trust your surgery to the lowest bidder?

Who is Providing the Treatment?

Ask questions about who will be treating you. Many “discounters” are not Board Certified specialists (Plastic Surgeons, Facial Plastic Surgeons or Dermatologists). They may simply be doctors who watched a video and decided that they can do the procedures just like a trained specialist. In some cases, the person providing the initial evaluation is not even a physician and is not trained to properly evaluate and council a patient on all the options available.

Do You Have Enough Time to Make an Informed Decision?

Deals that expire at a certain time or require a group purchase may lead to a “pressured sale” and not allow you to really weight the advantages, disadvantages and costs of a procedure. Unlike most store purchases, a procedure cannot be returned or exchanged – you will have to live with outcome.

Why is The Deal Being Offered?

In some cases, a discount may be offered to inform patients about a new product or service. At other times, it may offered as a thank you to loyal customers. But when an extreme discount is offered, one has to consider the quality and ethics of the person offering the service. Since extreme deals are frequently “loss leaders”, beware of pressure to “up sell” or get charged more for other services that you may not need.

Looking for a good deal may be harder than it seems when considering plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures. Use not only common sense but also a bit of caution when a deal seems too good to be true.

“In my practice, I take the time to meet with each patient and determine if a treatment or procedure is right for them. Sometimes, I may have to explain that surgery is not the best choice or that the patient may not have realistic expectations. Like other Board Certified plastic surgeons, I turn down patients for aesthetic procedures if I feel that it is not in their best interest or that they will not have a significant improvement afterwards. Extreme deals like Groupon, make it much harder to screen and evaluate a patient since the promise of a service has been already made. Trying to undo the process is challenging and can frustrate a patient.”

Karol A. Gutowski, M.D.