If you’re considering an aesthetic procedure like breast implants, or a facial aesthetic procedure such as dermal fillers, you owe it to yourself to be informed. Before making a decision, consult with a medical expert who is specialised and highly trained in aesthetic treatments. Your plastic surgeon, dermatologist or aesthetic practitioner can provide the answers you are looking for.
Which brands of products do you use, and why?
When it comes to quality, not all aesthetic products are the same. Understanding how they may differ is important and something to discuss with your practitioner.
What makes a product a ‘quality product?’
In Europe, all medical devices (which includes aesthetic products such as fillers and breast implants) must follow the ‘Medical Devices Directive’ which ensures manufacturer’s products and processes meet relevant standards of quality assurance. Assuming these standards have been met, the product gets CE mark approval, which allows the manufacturer to legally put the product on the market.
When it comes to international standards are there any additional reassurances to look for? Some products will also have met the requirements of the...More >
What makes a product a ‘quality product?’ (Cont.)
...Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States body that is responsible for protecting and promoting public health through the regulation and supervision of pharmaceutical drugs and medical devices (among other things). Because the standards required for FDA approval are so stringent, it can give an additional level of reassurance about the quality of certain products.
Quality should be part of the manufacturing process.
It’s also a good idea to find out more about how an aesthetic product is manufactured. Find out where it’s made and ask your practitioner if he or she has any information about the manufacturing or quality control process. While most companies keep their manufacturing processes a closely guarded secret, they may publish some useful information to help you make a more informed choice – such as how a product is tested or how long it takes to make. The more information like this you can get, the more clues you have about the quality of the product or treatment you're considering.
Has the product been extensively tested and researched?
Aesthetic products should be backed by science and have a proven track record, so make certain you ask about the information available that supports the product’s safety and effectiveness.
Safety and effectiveness must be proven.
All medical devices (which includes aesthetic products) must have undergone a scientific evaluation to see if the product is safe and effective for use in people.
You should also ask your practitioner what other clinical evidence he or she is aware of that supports the safety and effectiveness of the product or treatment. For instance, are there any published clinical studies? The more clinical evidence that has been gathered, the more informed you can be about its safety record and its effectiveness.
Ask how long the manufacturer has been making this type of product. Companies that have been manufacturing a product or device for many years will have gained extensive knowledge and experience in developing quality products consistently.
Find out about reported issues or problems
Ask your practitioner if he or she knows of any issues or problems that have been reported with the product or treatment. The practitioner will not only be able to inform you about his or her own experience, but will also know the side effects (adverse events) that have been reported with a product. Under the law, adverse events or product complaints must be reported by both manufacturers and healthcare professionals.
Research and development
Continuous product improvements are only possible when a manufacturer is willing to invest significantly in research and development. Manufacturers will often publicly declare how much they invest in research and development on an annual basis – the information can usually be found on their website or in annual reports.
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Is the manufacturer one you trust, and why?
You only want the best for your body. Learn more about the heritage, quality and reputation of the company who makes the product.
Look for the leaders in the medical aesthetic field.
Does the manufacturer have a long track record of producing medical aesthetic products? Since the demand for aesthetic procedures is growing rapidly, many companies, both small and large, are starting to promote their products. Your practitioner should look for a manufacturer with a strong heritage and decades of experience in developing and producing aesthetic products.
Companies that are acknowledged as leaders in their field by medical experts will have demonstrated their commitment to quality and patient safety over many years, giving both practitioner and patient further reassurance on their choice of treatment or product.
How widely is the product
used around the world?
Confidence comes with knowledge and experience. Find out more about the product’s use by patients and practitioners around the world.
Consider an aesthetic product that is
well known and widely used.
As popular as aesthetic procedures are, your practitioner should consider an aesthetic product that’s been well researched and known by other practitioners and experts, so be sure to ask how widely it’s used around the world. Widespread use suggests that the product may be well tolerated by patients and that practitioners are confident in using it. The more patients and practitioners who have used a product, the more data there is available regarding its safety and effectiveness.
Consider an aesthetic product that is
well known and widely used. (Cont.)
Your practitioner will also want to look for products that are used by leading practitioners and experts in the field of medical aesthetics. If a product is the choice of experts in the medical field, it can give an additional level of reassurance about its quality and and how well it works.
How satisfied are your patients with the results?
To receive the product that best meets your needs, explain the result you want to achieve and ask to see other patients’ outcomes.
Seeing and hearing about others’ results
may help you decide.
It’s your body, and it’s your right to know all you can about what is involved before you decide if a procedure is right for you. For example, does the manufacturer have information on how well liked the product is by other patients or how satisfied they were with their results? You can also ask to see before and after photos of patients who have used the product. Seeing actual results in real patients may help you in your decision.
Using a quality product with good results and patient feedback will go a long way toward achieving the results you are looking for.
Decide with confidence. Talk with your practitioner today.
Download the Practitioner Discussion Guide.