NYC is one of the most expensive locales in the country, and people pay more here for food, housing, and yes, Botox and cosmetic surgery. I see a wide range of Botox price offerings among my colleagues and competitors in Manhattan and the surrounding burroughs of NYC. Below, I describe the NYC Botox (and Dysport) price landscape and how doctors use different pricing structures for these wildly popular anti-wrinkle injections.
Before and after Botox for furrows between eyebrows
Botox pricing by unit vs. by area
There are 2 main ways that doctors price Botox and Dysport:
1. A fee per unit (a unit is the universal measurement of Botox strength). For example, if your doctor determines you need 20 units of Botox to achieve the desired effect and he or she charges $15 per unit, you will pay $300. If you need 40 units you will pay $600. Some doctors will lower the unit fee after an initial number of units (e.g. $15 per unit for the first 10 units and then $13 per unit thereafter).
2. A fee per area. For example, your doctor may charge $500 for the first area treated and then $300 for subsequent areas. Typical areas include the glabella (to soften the vertical frown wrinkles between the eyebrows), the crow’s feet (the smile lines that radiate from the outer corners of the eyes), and the forehead (consisting of the horizontal wrinkles between your eyebrows and your hairline).
A third but less common pricing structure is to charge a flat botox fee where the doctor charges every patient for the entire botox bottle (either 50 or 100 units). The flat fee may be used if Botox is included in a treatment bundle (such as filler injections + botox + laser skin treatment).
What does Botox cost in NYC
Botox by the unit in NYC
The common range of unit pricing is $8 – $25. This would equate to a total cost ranging from $160 to $1500, estimating that the average person having Botox receives 20 – 60 units.
Botox by area in NYC
The most quoted range of area pricing is $200 to $800.
Is it better to pay by unit or by area?
This is debatable, and the overall cost will likely be similar, unless you get less than average amounts of Botox. Doctors decide on pricing based on the economics of their medical practice, the volume of Botox or Dysport patients they treat, and suggestions from their peers or sales reps.
You’re not just paying for a product
Getting a procedure like Botox or Dysport is not like buying a purse. Yes you are paying for the product buy this is not a straight commodity purchase- you are also paying for a specialist and their experience and time. In most cases, it’s not worth going for the cheapest option- an experienced and qualified injector is a better value.
You’ll see plenty of discount Botox pricing in NY and as with many things in life, you get what you pay for. Budget pricing can be a promotional tool to expose new clients to a cosmetic practice and the doctor may initially break-even or take a loss by offering a deep discount but can benefit in the long run by building a clientele.
With discount pricing for any cosmetic service you should know who is performing the treatment (is it a nurse, a physician assistant, or the doctor) and what experience and training that injector has. You should also learn if there is a unit limit and ask if that limit is enough to sufficiently address your concerns. Someone with strong frown muscles and deep furrows between the brows would not be sufficiently treated with 20 units of Botox. You should also ask what the policy is on revisions or “touch-ups” and if what are the associated costs.
In NYC, a majority of the highly skilled injectors charge a premium for their services because the quality of their care and expertise is valuable (and can reduce the chance of adverse effects including a droopy eyelid, bruising, and the dreaded “spock brow“). High level Botox providers include fellowship-trained oculoplastic surgeons, cosmetic dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and facial plastic surgeons.
Finding a Botox doctor in NYC
You should trust your provider and a good place to start is to ask friends who are happy with a doctor that did their Botox (I often find myself treating friends and family members of my existing clients) . You can ask your primary care doctor if they have a recommendation and you can search online for one of the specialties I listed above. If you’re interested in how Botox is priced in their office, call and ask about the pricing structure and ask what their average client pays for Botox (or Dysport).
Brett Kotlus, M.D.
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