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Is it better to buy cheap?

12th July 2012

The pull of cheap deals gets everyone excited, £12 for shellac on a well known discount website when it should cost at least £45… bargain price all round but what is the quality like? If it takes up to 2 hours to do this treatment is the treatment giver going to want to spend the same amount of time and care when only earning around £6, £3 an hour is less than minimum wage and you have to even take the cost of the products out of that.

So how is this related to botox? Consumers generally love a bargain, I know I do, but we should always have quality of service in mind at all times. I get many calls asking if I will price match… £165 for 3 areas… there’s two of us will you do it for £200… can I have filler and botox for £x. Whilst there are rare occasions that I might price match it always is based on the same conditions, the injector needs over 8 years of experience, be a prescriber and above all be of a price/ service that screams “quality that is second to none”.

Shopping on price alone is not recommended as the old saying goes “if it’s too good to be true…” Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, such as being a model on a training course where the training company cannot charge full price as the model is being a guinea pig for trainees or someone offering cost price treatments for their family. The perils of shopping on price is about to told here WARNING: PHOTOGRAPHS OF A NAKED FEMALE TORSO ARE FOUND BELOW. DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU ARE LIKELY TO BE OFFENDED BY THESE PICTURES.

Patient M had a breast augmentation at a well known surgical group in 1997, the surgeon was researched, photographs of his work perused, registration with GMC and the surgical bodies undertaken, price haggled down from £3,300 to £3000. Over the following year a capsular contraction became worse; causing severe pain and restricted movement of the left arm. Numerous visits to the surgeon eventually highlighted the need for further surgery, fortunately the surgeon agreed to do the work free of charge but the surgical group wanted to charge £2000 to use their theatre. Feeling this fee was excessive patient M waited a few more years and decided to shop around and visited other surgical groups, when the contraction was identified as a baker grade IV. Patient M was given her options:

1. do nothing
2. remove and replace implants
3. remove, replace implants and do uplift
4. remove implants and do uplift

A written quote was received (2 = £5,000, 3 = £6,400, 4 = £2500)

Surely that figure had to be wrong, after a quick telephone call to the hospital confirmed the quote was correct so without fail the patient booked and paid for quote number 4, removal of implants and mastopexy (a good old breast uplift). The checking in on the day of the hospital was effortless and surely nothing would go wrong. Alarm bells should have rang when the surgeon decided to see the patient in the anaesthetic room, no marking up or measurements were undertaken prior to the procedure either. Roll on the bandage removal which revealed an areola that was placed too lateral and sat proudly on the side of the patient’s breast, whilst the other sat it its normal position. A number of corrective procedures were undertaken which quite frankly failed to improve the result and one could argue left it looking even worse. Luckily the botched surgery was easy to hide but left the patient searching over a number of years for a surgeon who would agree to correct the appalling result. Even though the surgeon was qualified, it transpired that they specialised in hand surgery and were not that experienced in breast work, hence the rock bottom quote.

In 2010 after a successful medical negligence complaint patient M finally found a surgeon who not only could undertake corrective surgery, but one who thought it was fairly easy to do. Welcome Mr Douglas McGeorge, surgeon who corrected two botched boob jobs from The Ugly Face of Beauty. The price of the surgery wasn’t cheap, just under £9,000 but it was money well spent when you compare the before and after results.

The importance of this blog is to highlight that the price you pay shouldn’t be the main priority, check your botox injectors credentials. Are they registered with either the NMC, GMC or GDC. Have they got medical negligence and treatment liability insurance, what is their aftercare policy, what if you are not happy with the results, how long have they been doing the treatments, have they got any pictures you can see?

Trust your instincts, go for experience and quality rather than the cheapest price you can pay, as patient M found out: