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What to Expect During a Botox® Consultation

Botox® is the most popular brand of injectable botulinum toxin A. Along with competitors like Xeomin®, it was used in more than 7 million procedures in 2018, making it the most popular minimally invasive cosmetic treatment on the market.

But Botox is a prescription medication that must be used under the supervision of a board-certified plastic surgeon or other qualified medical professional. Which means the first step in an effective course of Botox treatment is a comprehensive Botox consultation with that provider.

If you’re considering Botox injections, here’s what to expect before treatment begins.

What to Expect From Your Botox Consultation — Schedule

The pre-procedure Botox consultation process is an opportunity to get to know your provider, learn more about Botox and Botox injections, and ensure you receive the best possible care during and after treatment. It should include the following steps.

Identifying and Detailing Your Complaints

First, the provider will ask you what led you to consider Botox treatments — your specific cosmetic or musculoskeletal complaints. 

On the cosmetic side, these might be fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet), “11” lines between the eyes (glabellar lines), or perhaps parallel lines on the chin (marionette lines). On the musculoskeletal side, you might struggle with chronic migraine or blepharospasm. Whatever the case, this first step sets the tone for the rest.

Assessing Possible Contraindications and Risks

Next, your provider will take a detailed medical history, looking for specific medical conditions or prescriptions that could increase your risk of side effects or long-term complications. Though these outcomes are rare, it’s important to be thorough.

Skin and Facial Anatomy Examination

Before creating your treatment plan, your provider will examine your skin and local anatomy. They’ll survey the areas of the face or body you wish to treat to create a personalized Botox map.

Determining an Appropriate Treatment Plan

Next, your provider will put together your treatment plan. This plan varies from patient to patient and covers:

  • The type of medication used (Botox Cosmetic or Botox Medical, sometimes called Botox Therapeutic)
  • The areas to be treated
  • The dosing
  • The injection pattern

Getting Your Consent to Proceed

If you wish to proceed, you’ll need to complete a consent form and probably some additional paperwork. 

Cost, Payment, and Financing Options

Before scheduling your treatment, your provider or someone in their office should discuss the expected cost of the procedure, accepted forms of payment, and financing options (if any). Many providers offer low- or no-interest financing for Botox patients.

Question and Answer Period — What to Ask During Your Botox Consultation

Your provider should give you the opportunity to pose questions during your initial consultation or a follow-up visit. These are some of the most commonly asked.

Are You a Certified Botox Injector?

Ask your provider whether they’ve completed an accredited Botox training program. To ensure you’re satisfied with the results and to reduce the risk of complications, it’s best to work with a well-trained provider.

Are You Board Certified in a Relevant Specialty?

This is a critical consideration as well. Board-certified providers are held to high standards of care, and their work reflects that.

How Long Is the Recovery Period?

Your provider should discuss the post-treatment period with you, but feel free to ask specific questions about when you can resume normal activity, how long you can expect residual swelling to linger, and how long you can expect the results to last.

What Side Effects and Complications Should I Look For?

Botox side effects are generally mild and temporary, but you should know what to watch for.

What Happens If I’m Not Happy With the Results?

Botox treatment is quick and easy in comparison to plastic surgery, but there’s always a chance you won’t be satisfied with the results. Your provider may offer discounted or complimentary follow-up treatments or may propose an alternate course of treatment to achieve your desired results.