Summary: When you picture cosmetic surgery in your head, it’s likely you’re thinking about the Hollywood celeb and the one-off Los Angeles Botox treatment. But that’s not the way things work across the country. Indeed, a plastic surgeon in New York is changing things dynamically by offering a subscription service. It’s true that this service won’t be for everyone, but the thinking is that the more often patients come in, the better results they’ll get in the end. Cosmetic surgery, to many, is something that must be maintained quite diligently, otherwise the end results may not live up to your desires—at least, not for long.

The Singular vs. The Plural

We’re used to thinking about cosmetic surgery as a singular event. You go in, you get your botox, and you come out looking more youthful and more vibrant. And then, maybe, in a couple months (as many as six with Botox), you go back in and repeat the process. If you ever decide you’re done with it, then that’s basically the end of the whole thing (until, of course, you decide to restart everything—which you can do at any point). Under this traditional model, you pay per procedure, so the more work you want or need done, the steeper your bill. This model works for a few reasons, but perhaps mainly because the injectables most cosmetic surgeons are quite expensive, so most medical spas and clinics need to cover their costs.

But there’s a new model, and one of the places that it’s making that debut is in Greenwich Village in New York. The plastic surgeon in this case, Dr. Sonita Sadio, charges her patients on a monthly basis rather than a per-procedure basis. According to an article posted in DNAInfo, she charges her patients $600.00 a month—and that generally includes all of the injectables or other treatments they receive during their monthly visit (obviously, this does not include surgical procedures such as facelifts or tummy tucks or breast augmentations).

How Often Do You Get Cosmetic Surgery?

There are some merits to this subscription system, Sadio argues in the article. She mentions that this way, her practice can take a more holistic approach, not only injecting Botox but also recommending skincare practices and exercise regiments. This holistic approach, according to Sadio’s arguments, lead to better results—that is, to more natural looking results. It means that the injectables can be used less often, for example, as there is no incentive for the cosmetic surgeon to suggest more procedures (in fact, the incentive with this model is just the opposite). While this model certainly has strengths, it’s not really for me to tell anybody whether it’s a better model than any of those currently out there.

Instead, that choice is ultimately up to the patient. Sometimes, a quick fix is precisely what’s called for. Maybe all you really need is one Botox procedure before a big event and you’ll be covered. Indeed, that kind of thing happens all the time. And while it’s easy to chalk up less-than-perfect results to this one-off approach, I suspect sub-par results are really more an artifact of overly-aggressive patients and cosmetic surgeons who aren’t yet comfortable pushing back on those demands. This is not to say that more familiarity with patients will not give cosmetic surgeons a better sense of just how much Botox that wrinkle needs to disappear. That’s probably true.

How Often Do You Get Cosmetic Surgery?

But—unless RealSelf releases another survey that states otherwise—I’m not sure that most cosmetic surgery patients are looking for that kind of ongoing treatment. Or, let me put that another way: the subscription model might be great for some people, but it’s not for everybody. And, of course, every patient should feel free to do what he or she feels is best for his or her own body. While this subscription model is new and exciting, and it certainly opens some interesting avenues for some patients, I’m not entirely sure it’s going to take off and become the next big thing.

Of course, I could be wrong about that. This subscription model, from a business standpoint, certainly offers a good bit of stability. Today’s cosmetic surgery landscape is growing quickly, but it can also be quite fickle. This can be especially true in the medical spa field, where a new bankruptcy (usually in a nationwide chain) every month is not necessarily unheard of. In that regard, and when it comes to the results of the patients, it’s true that a subscription model can offer a certain amount of stability. The results will likely be good for quite some time.

All That Matters is Your Happiness

I think what this really showcases is the ability of cosmetic surgery to innovate, to give patients something new and different. Because while my main argument is that the subscription model is nice, but it’s not for everybody, I have to admit that for those people who it does work for—this model is going to be wonderful. It will be a godsend. And I don’t want to take anything away from that. So let’s be thankful that cosmetic surgery continues to innovate, it continues to find new ways to reach patients and deliver results. Because in the end, that’s what we’re all after—maximum results with the least amount of effort. Thankfully, there are many roads to that destination, and you have the power to choose your own.

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