Summary: Should you use a plastic surgery groupon or other discount? This question comes up quite often, in large part because plastic surgery can indeed be quite expensive. So a discount seems like a great way to make these procedures more accessible. But does there come a point where these discounts become too good to be true?
Should You Use a Plastic Surgery Groupon?
Groupon began as an internet sensation. If you and enough of your friends and peers “purchased” a possible coupon, you coupon would be approved and you’d all get a substantial discount. The vendor would benefit by getting a certain amount of business (enough to justify the coupon in the first place). It seemed like a win-win for everybody.
Groupon has evolved since then. It certainly continues to be a coupon service, giving customers access to all kinds of interesting coupons, even some for plastic and cosmetic surgery. But should you use a plastic surgery groupon?
The reason that question comes up is because of a news story out of Florida, in which authorities suspect a cosmetic surgeon was giving his Groupon patients injections of saline instead of the Botox they were expecting. Clearly, this is a serious breach of medical ethics (in addition to being criminal). And, clearly, that’s not the kind of thing you should expect from your cosmetic or plastic surgeon. But you’d be forgiven for sudden doubts about cosmetic and plastic surgery discounts.
Make Sure You Know What to Expect
With any plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure, it’s vital that you have a significant amount of communication. You should always talk to your surgeon about your procedure–even if it’s something as simple as a Botox injection–so you know precisely what to expect. And if you’re concerned about discounts or coupons affecting the level of treatment you receive, it’s okay to ask those questions during your consultation.
That said, discounts and coupons aren’t all that uncommon when it comes to plastic and cosmetic surgery. Many clinics will offer their patients exclusive “clubs,” in which they’ll receive special discounts or coupons for certain procedures.
Additionally, many surgeons will promote various new procedures–or simply try to attract new patients–by using various coupons and discount methods. There are countless reasons why a coupon might be a great business move for a clinic, so there’s no reason to dismiss them out of hand. In nearly all cases, a discounted procedure doesn’t mean you’re getting lesser service or treatment, especially if you’re going to a clinic that you know and trust.
So, Coupons Are Okay?
Yes, in most cases, coupons are going to be okay. But the same general rules that apply to any cosmetic surgeon will still apply. You want to make sure you do your research and find a surgeon who you trust. It’s always worth putting in the work to build a professional relationship with your surgeon or the clinic where you’re undergoing treatments.
You should also remember: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. So if the discount is so deep that you find yourself becoming suspicious, it’s probably a good idea to listen to your instincts.
But that’s true of any medical interaction, in which you’re likely to be on the lookout for red flags. When researching a surgeon, you should:
- Check to ensure your surgeon is board certified, when possible
- Look at your surgeon’s previous patients (often in the form of before and after photos)
- Ask for references
- Look at online reviews. If you see any negative reviews, it’s okay to ask the surgeon or the clinic for a little bit of clarification.
Florida is Somewhat Unique
One of the primary issues with this clinic in Florida, where patients weren’t receiving the Botox injections they thought they were, is that Florida has historically had very lax laws governing cosmetic surgery. That has lead to some severe issues over the years, and Florida legislators finally seem to be tightening regulations in the state.
Whether those tighter regulations could have prevented this particular Botox swap is difficult to say, especially as the surgeon’s medical ethics should have done that work in the first place. It’s fair to say that, should these allegations hold true, the surgeon in question will face significant penalties (and likely will not be allowed to practice ever again).
Trust Your Judgment
In almost all cases, coupons and discounts are going to be a great deal for you and for your plastic or cosmetic surgeon. If a surgeon feels as though a coupon will devalue or compromise his or her work, they simply won’t offer one!
But, as always, you’ll want to go in with your eyes wide open. Ask a lot of questions, and if something feels like it’s too good to be true, trust your instincts.
About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about cosmetic and plastic surgery for over four years. He’s constantly in touch with surgeons to ensure he’s writing with the latest and most accurate information possible.