Part 1 of 2
Building a cash-based cosmetic injectable practice is daunting at first because there is so much competition. This three-part series will give you a roadmap for preparing yourself and your practice to be a successful top-tier cosmetic practice. Keep in mind that consistency and patience are crucial for success. Most de novo practices take about five years to develop into thriving cosmetic practices. Building a strong infrastructure is the key component to building a resilient practice that can withstand the challenges of competition and a changing economy. The first part of this series will discuss how to prepare your practice for introducing injectables, the second part focuses on educating both your staff and patients, and the third part will discuss how to market your practice.
Prepare Your Practice for Offering Injectables
In order to have a successful injectable practice, you must first develop both your procedural and artistic skills. Using injectables properly goes beyond what angle to hold the needle at, and how much volume to inject. My textbook, Cosmetic Dermatology: Principles and Practice (McGraw Hill), contains detailed chapters outlining the different types of dermal fillers and toxins and how to choose which to use. However, there is no substitute for getting a syringe in your hand and developing a feel for what the products can do. My advice is to start slowly and inject less product than you think the patient needs at first. For example, inject half of a syringe of hyaluronic acid filler instead of an entire syringe and have them come back in two weeks for a touch up.
Find subjects such as family members and friends who will be patient with you if you need to inject them in two or three different sittings to achieve the desired results. Don’t make the mistake of going to training courses without having tried to inject the product first. You will learn much faster using the product than you will watching someone else inject. When using dermal fillers, always have hyaluronidase on hand to adjust hyaluronic acid filler placement and treat signs of vascular compromise.
Each company offers training courses both online and live. Talk to your local sales representative to see what videos and lecture series are offered. When you are starting out, injecting the product on label is the safest route to follow. Choose one brand of toxin, filler, or fat-dissolving product and stick with it until you have mastered it before moving to a second brand. Get familiar with how far the toxin diffuses with the dilution dose and brand that you have chosen to use. Learn how much swelling and lift the hyaluronic acid filler products provide and how much fat loss occurs after a particular volume of deoxycholic acid.
Once you learn the injection technique and become familiar with the properties of the products you have chosen to use, you can begin to explore the artistic side of injectables. The first step is to look at men and women’s faces in public and begin to notice what shapes and contours are most attractive. Observe the differences between feminine and masculine faces. Experiment with small amounts of hyaluronic acid filler in different areas and always have a bottle of hyaluronidase on hand in case you are not pleased with the result.
Purchase the Product
Unless you join a group that helps you get the various brands at cheaper pricing (such as the Skin Type Solutions Franchise System), stick with one company. Using toxins and fillers from the same company will help you reach discounted levels more quickly.