About 95% of the success of your filler treatment depends on who is behind the needle. Results can be vastly different depending on the injector’s experience, aseptic technique, and artistic eye. Because of this, anyone considering a filler procedure should evaluate all options carefully. Whether you’ve never gone under the needle before, or you’re looking to switch to a new injector, here are 5 things to consider before settling upon a new filler injector:
1. Does this injector’s clinic specialize in filler? In other words, is filler the passion of this practice? Log-on to the injector’s website and count how many services are listed on their treatment menu. Does their clinic offer 30 or more procedures? If so, considering there are only 40 hours in a work week, how many hours are they truly able to dedicate to filler? The more items listed on the treatment menu, the more “spread thin” the practitioner becomes. Filler is a game of practice, and one must perform a lot of filler treatments, frequently, to perfect the art.
Additionally, while you are taking a look at the injector’s website, use your intuition to gain a sense of where the staff really focus their energy. If you sense that the practice spends most of its efforts on something like breast augmentation surgery or mole removals, perhaps you may want to continue searching for a practice with a greater emphasis on filler and facial rejuvenation.
2. Are they a “master injector”? Does the injector have “master injector” written on their Instagram profile or website? This title may sound appealing but this is actually a “made-up” term that some clinicians self-label themselves as. In truth, there are no classes or certifications that any doctor or nurse can take to certify themselves as a “master injector.” Anyone can choose to write this on their website since it is not a legally-regulated term. So be careful of this marketing tactic. Instead, look for valid credentials such as the injector’s schooling, board-certifications, and state licenses. What schools did they attend? Where did they complete their clinical rotations or residency? How many years have they been licensed? Although you may have to do a little bit of Googling to find the answers to most of these questions, most states allow the public to look up a nurse or doctor’s license status on the state website. In Tennessee you can view the license history of any doctor or nurse here: Tennessee Department of Health License Verification.
3. A clinician with prescriptive privileges. A major mistake some filler patients make is choosing to receive filler in an office that doesn’t have a provider who can prescribe treatments in case a complication from filler arises. Dermal filler is an FDA Class III medical device implant, meaning the FDA considers filler to fall into the category of the top 5% riskiest of all medical devices that exist in the USA. Although rare, complications of filler can range from infections, to abnormal growths requiring surgery, to vision loss. Some of these complications occur immediately, but some don’t appear until 2-6 months after the injection. If a complication occurs and there is not a nurse practitioner or doctor immediately available, treatment can be incorrect or delayed, resulting in long-term, unsightly side-effects. (Emergency rooms are notoriously inadequate at recognizing and treating filler complications.) To ensure your best chances of being properly taken care of both during and after your filler treatment, you should ensure that you have met with the office NP/PA or MD to establish a patient-provider relationship with them.
FDA Classification of Medical Devices
4. Does the injector practice in a clinic? Would you trust going to see a dentist in a nail salon? Well, if you wouldn’t trust other medical professionals in places like a salon or massage spa, you may want to reconsider receiving something as specialized as filler injections there either. When filler is placed as deep as the bone, fat, or muscle, this is the practice of medicine. And if any nursing school or medical school would lose accreditation if they had their students train in places like a hotel room, hair salon, or massage spa; this should be a message to us all that we should question any nursing or medical graduate who consciously chooses to perform medical procedures outside of the clinical setting.
A treatment room at SLK Nashville.
5. Do you and your injector share a similar sense of beauty? Only you can decide if you and your injector are an aesthetic “match.” Most injectors say their results are natural, but everyone has a different definition of “natural.” Look at the injector’s face and the faces of other staff in the office. If you think they look over-filled, out of proportion, or frozen, chances are they will treat you in that same manner. Feel free to schedule consults at several different skincare clinics before you make your final decision. A trustworthy skincare clinic should be accommodating and respectful of the fact that you want to do your research.
Before and after chin augmentation using filler.
Summary. Although the end-goal of dermal filler injections is cosmetic, don’t forget that they are medical procedures with lasting effects. And while price is one obvious factor you should consider, I encourage you to evaluate price in proper context. You often get what you pay for when it comes to dermal filler injections. Keep in mind that only a portion of your money is used to pay for the syringe of filler. The other portion is paying for a team of providers that will take care of you, the best trainings, a safe and clean environment, and the most up-to-date tools and techniques. Although your filler appointment is only 45 minutes, your filler and it’s impact on your skin lasts much longer. A price variation of $100 may signify a significant difference in your final outcome.