How to shop for a cosmetic laser procedure on Long Island
Looking for a non-surgical nip or tuck without a bite out of your wallet?
Cosmetic laser enhancement procedures are typically not covered by insurance, which means you'll be paying out of pocket and may be inclined to shop around for the best price.
But if you're looking for a bargain, look elsewhere. This is one type of procedure where you shouldn't make decisions exclusively by price.
"The laser you pay the least for may ultimately cost you the most," said Stephen Probst MD., a Board Certified, Chief Anesthesiologist and Director at Perfect Body Laser in Bay Shore, NY.
Errors, complications, and contraindications in cosmetic laser services can be dangerous and cause irreversible damage to our most visible features. "If you have a problem, it could be a problem that no money can fix," Probst said. People considering a cosmetic procedure should choose a facility based on reputation, experience, and specialty, he said. But finding the right provider can be challenging.
Americans spend nearly $17 billion annually on voluntary cosmetic procedures.
Surgeons charged an average of $7,448 for a face-lift, $5,992 for a tummy tuck, and $5,125 for nose shaping. And that doesn't include fees charged by the facility and other providers, such as an anesthesiologist. Cosmetic laser services can also vary greatly in price.
It's a lucrative business that can attract some unsavory characters, since providers do not need to go through insurance companies to get paid. That can leave patients and clients vulnerable to under-qualified providers, said Dr. Probst. "The consumer has to be vigilant — we've all heard the horror stories," Probst said.
In 2015, a Philadelphia musical artist known as "Black Madam" was convicted of third-degree murder after the illegal silicone butt injections she advertised online killed a Londoner. And a few years ago, a Miami woman who had posed as a doctor was sentenced to 10 years in prison for injecting cement, Fix-a-Flat tire repair sealant, and other hazardous materials into patients seeking buttocks enhancements.
Sometimes patients take a cavalier approach to cosmetic surgery and or laser services, wrongly thinking that because it is an elective procedure it's lower risk, but it's important to thoroughly vet any doctor or laser facility before getting cosmetic treatments done, Probst said.
"Every time a person picks up a laser it is a real procedure and there could be real risks," he said.
Here are some tips for finding the right provider:
- Educate yourself. Laser and Aesthetic services fall under a big umbrella that includes various cosmetic procedures, such as non-surgical laser face-lifts and body contouring, as well as laser fat removal, skin tightening, and tattoo removal for mistake tattoos and even for cancer survivors. Narrow your search to facilities that specialize in cosmetic lasers and who have experience performing the procedure(s) you want.
- Ask for a recommendation. Online reviews may not be an accurate reflection of the facilities’ work. If you don't have a friend or colleague who can recommend someone, consult another doctor you trust, such as your gynecologist, primary care doctor, or dermatologist. Many of Perfect Body Lasers Clientele have been referred by Board Certified Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons alike. Perfect Body Laser has an impeccable record of safety, efficacy and holds the most awards out of any other laser center nation-wide.