I got this great question today: “how much is the unit” of Botox?
I guess I get this question every day. For some reason – I have trouble answering it with just one sentence. Maybe I could say that the unit of Botox is free! Wow! But we charge a certain price to have the units injected by our Surgeons, etc. Thus we charge a certain price per injected-unit. So I really think the question is how much does it cost per unit to have the Botox injected. I guess it’s obvious that the Botox by itself doesn’t do anything except take up space in my refrigerator.
Here’s the answer I gave today:
Hi! Thank you for asking! I always wonder how to best answer that question of “how much is the unit.” I guess it’s a question on price! But I need to explain that the price per unit and the price-per-unit-which-is-injected are different. I get my Botox from Allergan USA directly. They charge me about $6 per unit. It is shipped to me on dry ice in 100 unit vials which is stored in my strictly monitored refrigerator. I could also get it from an official Botox medical supplier such as McKesson Medical or Moore Medical and they charge about $7 per unit. There is also a 50 Unit vial which is available and I believe that it costs more per unit.
These vials of 50U or 100U Botox is only at maximal strength for a few hours once reconstituted. After that, I feel that it weakens in power. When injected at full strength, we charge $12/unit when injected by me as of the writing of this blog. I try to be as efficient as possible with my injection; I like to use the freshest Botox and the least amount possible for maximum effect and duration. Precision placement helps in achieving this goal. Prices vary, even in our office, depending on who’s injecting it. Each practitioner has a different reason for their injection charges. But I’m the main injector at Surgical Artistry. I hope this answer helps! Please contact us for more info or current info: www.InjectionArtistry.com
To confuse issue even more:
I have received ugly looking faxes – almost every week in fact – which advertise illegal black market Botox from foreign countries which offer Botox at less than $3.50 per unit for “Botox”-injectors to buy. And to confuse issues even more, there’s Dysport and Xeomin in the USA with Botox-like effects. And one needs about 3 times the amount of Dysport Units for a similar (not same) result.
Botox is my Violin!
Dr. Calvin Lee as Guest Concertmaster in Taipei, Taiwan
I allude to my post about Dysport vs. Botox. In the end, I conclude that the injector makes the biggest difference – not the product itself. Botox is like my violin. I paraphrase the last part of that link here:
The injector plays the biggest role in the outcome.
It’s the violinist that makes the sound, not the violin. Just like it’s the surgeon that makes the surgery, not the scalpel. Thus we can debate on and on regarding which violin to use or which scalpel to use. As long as the violin is of high quality and the scalpel is too, then the results lay on the shoulders of the artist or surgeon.
Here’s a quote from master violinist, Jascha Heifetz:
After a concert, a member of the audience went up to Jascha Heifetz. He said, “Wow, your violin sounds really great.” Heifetz then held the violin up close to his ear and replied, “Funny, I don’t hear anything.”
I wrote this email to a Botox patient of mine asking some general questions regarding vein treatment. I thought I’d share the email here
This is Dr. Calvin Lee responding to your email.
Thank you so much for writing to me. I can’t remember your capillary on the cheek. But I do know that my prices haven’t changed since 2006. Most patients do get away with $50-100 per facial vein lasering visit. I charge $1 per pulse of the laser – per “zap” so to speak. My laser is a 940nm wavelength diode laser and is made by Dornier, based in Germany.
Regarding your question about sunscreen: The sunscreen should have zinc in it. The SPF doesn’t matter as much. But I do care about the zinc. Our office has my approved zinc based sunblocks which cost about $35-50 for a bottle/tube of the sunscreen.
I would like about 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the facial vein lasering for diligent sun-protection with the zinc based sunscreen and perhaps as much sun avoidance as reasonably possible. But the sun – specifically UV-A light is what causes much of the aging and capillaries on the face – thus sunscreen with zinc could be considered all the time.
Of course, it’s my preference that the patient gets the sunscreen from our office so that I can be sure we have the right formulation for adequate UV-A coverage. But there are Zinc based sunblocks in the stores for about $12 per tube/bottle. These tend to be on the thicker/grimy feeling side than the $50 sunblocks. Life guards seem to like the really thick white paste which is available also in the stores – but most of our patients aren’t into that pasty look – but that’s still acceptable.
As for number of visits, most patients need about 3-5 visits for facial capillaries spaced about 2 weeks apart. However, there are some lucky patients who only need one visit.
I hope this info helps and I hope to see you soon!