I met with a woman for the first time yesterday for a consultation about CoolSculpting. I’ll call her Jane. After we had gone through everything, she shared that she had had a consultation at a different clinic and that it had been a completely different experience. In fact, it was so different that I feel compelled to let people know what should be included in a consultation.
Here is what Jane experienced at the other place:
She was given something to read about CoolSculpting. She mentioned that she had watched a video about it on the internet at home. She was ushered into the office and the person meeting with her (a nurse? a doctor? a salesperson? we don’t know) took one look at her (clothed) and said “I see you have a fair amount of fat to be removed so you should have the package of 10 treatments. You have to buy that package today to get the sale price.”
Hmmm, no pressure there, eh?
Here is what should happen in a consultation:
- You meet with a healthcare professional. We review your health history and discuss anything that may be pertinent to your ability to tolerate the treatments and get excellent results.
- You receive a thorough explanation of how CoolSculpting works, including how the treatment is administered, the common and rare side effects and the sort of results you can expect. All of your questions should be answered to your satisfaction.
- The area the you want treated is properly assessed, including manually feeling the thickness of the fat. The CoolSculpting templates are applied to the area to plan the treatment.
- You review the planned treatments and the cost of the treatments. You might ask about different options such as proceeding with only part of the plan.
At Advanced Rejuvenation, planning the treatment includes making markings on the skin (with washable marker) to show where the templates would go and then we take a photo of the markings so we have a record of what was planned. We give you a copy of the plan.
It is unacceptable to tell someone how many treatments they need without examining them unclothed. A big belly could be due to fat under the skin but it could also be due to excess fat in the body cavity, under the abdominal wall. CoolSculpting only treats the fat under the skin so you need to feel the skin and the fat to be certain that the treatment will be effective.
It is not uncommon for me to meet with someone who is interested in CoolSculpting and determine that another treatment is much better suited to the problem that they want to address. For instance, if the person is actually more concerned about skin laxity than fat, I am going to recommend skin tightening instead.
In medicine, informed consent means that the patient is advised about the treatment, how it works, how it will be administered, the expected benefits, the expected side effects, the possible complications and the alternatives available. When you sign the consent form for the treatment, you are indicating that all of this has been explained to your satisfaction and all of your questions have been answered.
Clearly none of this occurred with Jane in her first consultation.
You shouldn’t accept anything less than a thorough consultation. You should feel that all of your questions were answered before you decide to proceed with the treatment. Your consultant should be assessing the whole you before determining that the treatment is appropriate for you.
And don’t let yourself fall for the whole pressure sales thing. If you are not ready to purchase, hold off and address whatever needs to be addressed. It is better to pay a little more and be in a safe, caring and professional environment than to commit to a rock-bottom price in the wrong environment.