Thursday, 6 February 2014

Mole Removal & Botox @ Astique The Aesthetic Clinic - Part 1

Made an appointment with Astique for consultation on mole removal and botox.  Since Dr. Yap was on leave, I went with Dr. Sng.

Arrived about 15mins ahead of schedule and was told to fill up some forms.  They also requested for my IC for registration.

tea and biscuit was served
Dr. was out for lunch but it was not long after when she came back, so I did not have to wait for long.  I was led to the consultation room by a lady who kept on asking if I am doing laser or sorts on my face.  While in the consultation room, I told the doctor about thinking of removing all 3 moles on my face.  1 tiny mole below each of my eye and a slightly larger one on my upper lip.

Dr. advised that the 2 tiny ones can be done with the laser but the larger one on my upper lip has to be cut and stitch up.  No matter how the mole removal is done, there will be scarring so I was told to be prepared that if I removed the one on my upper lip which was near the fold on the right side, I may not have that nice 2 folds on my upper lips after it is done but she would do the stitching along the right fold to minimize the scarring look.

Was then told to consider if I want the mole or risk getting scarred without the mole.  I was thinking really hard about this when the Dr. mention that if it is bothering me, than get it removed. To be honest, it wasn't exactly bothering me especially the smaller ones beneath the eyes but when I take pictures, the prominent mole on my upper lip isn't exactly nice. (thinking back, maybe I should have left the 2 tiny moles there and do just the big one on my upper lips)

I asked them if I could like do 2 first (tiny ones) and then do the 3rd (larger one) next time and the Dr. mention that they lack of some equipment or material of sorts to do the bigger mole removal so I was told that they can't do it today.

I then asked about the price.  Apparently its not 3 moles for $350 but $350 for the first mole, and subsequently $150 for each additional moles.  In my mind, its not what I had imagine when I got their reply through email when I asked about removal of 3 moles.  I was quoted $350 (well the clinic did not specify $350 for how many moles, even when my email specifically said removing 3, so I thought 3 moles were for $350).

We proceeded to discuss about the payment  whereby I was told that if I do the two tiny moles first, its $350 for the first tiny one and $150 for the other tiny one.  The next time I went back for the bigger mole will be counted as first mole again @ $350.  So what the assistant meant was for me to pay upfront to take the price advantage. 

Ok, in terms of pricing wise its better to pay upfront for all 3 moles, that I agree but its just the one short of paying so much and possible scarring after that which made me think twice about removing the bigger mole.  So I was thinking of getting the 2 tiny ones done first then see how and about the 3rd one.

Its like I pay $500 first, then if I got back again can't they like charge $150 as subsequent mole?  I am like a returning customer am I not?  Its pretty ridiculous to charged the 3rd mole as first mole again, like I am the first time going for their treatment.

Probably sensing my worries on the pricing, the Dr. momentarily left the room to speak to the manager to see I could get a better quote.  The lady who escorted me into the room then kept on edging me to take the botox together even after I said I will come back again when Dr. Yap is back.  She also kept on edging me to pay for all 3 moles instead of doing it separately as the moles will be counted separately the next time I went back.  I get the idea of price advantage but I am still worried for the scarring.

Adding onto the botox issue, when I left the room I say I come back again for it but when making payment for the mole removal, that same lady kept on asking me to take the botox now coz there was promotion and she don't know if the next time I come back it would be the same price.

Sigh~ I should have stand firm on my decision to come back the next time!  I think she could sense I wanted it so she kept on edging me.  Honestly, I was quite irritated with her but I kind of half heartedly agreed to go for the botox and paid upfront for all 3 moles.  Pretty sianed at this point.

So, I was told to pay $1,337.50 (including GST) and I did so with masters but some problem arise (don't think she knows how to use the machine) and end up I used nets.  While waiting to be led into the treatment room,  I was told again that the amount just now did not include consultation fees so I had to pay another $53.50, this time by cash.

I thought that was it... or so I thought....

After signing off some documents for photo taking consent, a very nice and friendly lady brought me to have my photos taken (for their reference purpose and maybe as advert after blocking my eyes which was indicated on the form they would) and then into the room to do the mole removal first.  The lady, which I think the name was Jannet, was sweet looking and quite friendly and nice.  She helped to apply the numbing cream for my jaws and told me that while waiting for it to take effect, the Dr will remove the moles.

in preparation for mole removal
in the meanwhile, numbing the jaw for botox later
lying down while waiting for Dr. to come and do the mole removal
The Dr. came in shortly after all the prep work was done.  She then proceeded to inject 1 shot of LA on each side beneath the eyes, near the area where my tiny moles was.  After a few minutes, she did a poking test to see if the LA had taken effect and then proceeded with the laser.

the red dot near my eye is the LA injected site
Honestly, it did not hurt at all.  Just kind of tingling sensation and occasional burnt smell (from the laser burning the skin).  The procedure was quite fast and the Dr. was quite gentle and patient.  We even chatted a bit during the procedure so I felt very comfortable through out.  I even asked the Dr. if I could get a picture of the machine zapping my face but she explained she was not comfortable with that idea as the manager was worried about other competitors knowing what machine they used etc. but she agreed for me to take that pointed end of the machine near my face as a show I did the procedure. =)

about to zap and burn off the mole. thanks Dr. for posing for me.
After it was done..... (right, left)

Then, the Dr. left for a short while and the assistant helped to remove the numbing cream on my jaw and brought me to the next room for botox. 

getting ready for botox
hope that dark mark on both sides will go off soon
After preparing, the doctor came in.

She proceeded to feel my jaw areas and asked which side I chew more.  I said the right side but she and the assistant think that my left side was slightly larger than the right (I thought it was weird coz if I chew more on my right side, my right side should be larger than the left ma, so maybe subconsciously I chewed more on the left?).  So, I left it to the Dr's professional judgement.

Dr. said she will inject more botox on the left compared to the right and then proceeded with the marking on my jaws while feeling it and telling me to bite from time to time.  She also mentioned that with botox on both sides of the jaw, there could be problems of asymmetry which they will try to reduce it to the best they could.

I know, this kind of things are quite unpredictable so I was ok with it.  After all, botox is just a temporary thing and it will fade off in about 6months or so.  If talking about asymmetry, if its that bad, after 6months when the effect wears off, its back to normal.  So I was not too worried on this.

Before proceeding with the injection, the Dr. said that while she is doing the injection, the assistant will keep tapping my forehead (with what I thought looked like a pebble) to distract me and she said it works all the time (with that as-a-matter-of-fact tone which I found rather amusing, the whole theory so I laughed). HAHA!  So, while the Dr. injects, the assistant kept tapping onto my forehead.

real botox used. thanks jannet for posing for me.
Actually, I could not feel any needle pricking me, so I suppose the numbing cream worked very well.  There were 3 shots on each side of my jaws with the left jaw being injected more botox than the right due to it being slightly bigger (was told by Dr that according to some Korean aesthetic whatever that 3 shots of botox on both side of the jaws would give the best result as compared to other clinics who do 1 shot.  well, I don't know if other clinic does 1 or 3 shots since I've not done it before so I just listened with a pinch of salt).
It was done in 10-15mins which was quite fast.  Dr. told me to buy the numbing cream to apply and it cost over about $10?  I did not really catch what she was saying but in my mind, I thought numbing cream was usually included in the treatments.  So I did not bother asking her again.

I was then escorted out by the assistant and when I was at the counter, I saw another lady there which was the manager.  She told me that the price I was quoted earlier was for moles not more than 0.2mm or was it 0.5mm (or was it 2mm or 5mm, I can't remember).  The mole on my upper lip was quite large so it would not be $350 for the first mole but $450 instead.  I had to pay additional $107 (including GST) for the 3rd mole which I will be doing the next time. 

In my mind, I was quite shocked coz if I had knew that earlier, I would not have paid for all 3 moles upfront.  I would have just gotten only that 2 tiny moles done.  Seriously exceeded my budget.

Fine.  I opened my wallet the 3rd time to pay using nets and then requested for the scarring cream.  So while waiting, I was told to take a seat and when the assistant (who was with me in the treatment room) brought me the numbing cream, she actually squat down (since I was seated) and told me apologetically that the numbing cream would cost additional $10.70. 

I agreed to pay coz I had not done mole removal before so I thought it would be best to get the scarring cream to apply which I can also use it when I remove my larger mole.  SO~, I opened my wallet for the 4th time to pay.

In the end, I paid close to almost my 1 month of take home pay.  Cost breakdown as follows.

Mole removal (paid upfront for all 3moles): S$750 (before GST)
Botox for Jaw Slimming: S$600 (U.P was indicated S$900) (before GST)
Scarring Cream: S$10 (before GST)
Consultation: S$50 (before GST)

Total Damage (including 7% GST): S$1,508.70

Initially I was interested in the fillers as well but after this trip, I am skipping the fillers.  Yes, even if Dr. Yap is back, I am not doing the fillers.  I just hope the results of the mole removal and the botox is good.  I had scheduled for a review 3 weeks later.  As for when I will do the 3rd mole removal, I have to wait for their phone call.  I hope they remembered coz I was not issued a receipt indicating what I had done but just given the nets slip as proof of transaction.

p.s  I was also given a slip of paper with regards to post-botox care.

After thoughts:
Treatment was ok.  I felt comfortable for both mole removals and the botox.  The Dr and the assistant Jannet was really friendly and nice.  Felt the most comfortable and at ease with them. 

I would have spend my money more willingly if one of the staff had not repeatedly ask me if I am doing laser treatments or had kept on edging me to do botox together even when I said I will return to do it when Dr. Yap is back.  She even kept on edging me to pay for all 3 moles upfront instead of splitting it into 2 trips.  I understand the price advantage if I did so but when I had decided to just do 2, she should stop asking me about paying all 3.

She also did not properly quote me on the pricing on the mole size which could have been a deciding factor for me to only do 2 moles instead of 3.  Its not exactly cheap for all 3 moles to be done based on their clinic's price. 

I get this feeling that there trying to squeeze money out of me.  Thou they kept apologizing but having to open wallet 4 times is too much.  I didn't expect it to cost so much either.  Kind of learnt a lesson.  I should have stood firm with whatever initial decision I had made and not let that first lady psycho me.

OK! so since I had decided to do botox in the end and paid for all 3 moles upfront, the least they could do is to waive off the scarring cream and/or consultation fee as an incentive like what other aesthetic clinics do right?  Well, if you are like me with that thinking and expecting that, I am sorry, you will be disappointed. (just to note: I did not ask them about it but judging from the feeling I get so far, I don't think its possible, you might want to give it a try and ask yourself)

I suppose business is still business with them.  At the moment, I have decided not to do the fillers with them (or to do it locally anyway).  Whether or not I will change my mind would probably depend on the review 3 weeks later and after the 3rd mole removal.  However, I am certain to know that I would not be building a lifelong relationship with them if this is the type of feeling I am getting from this first try out.  To be on a brighter side, apart from the mole removing, I did not experience bruising or swelling or any side effects from the botox.

p.s. Update on 19/02/14: Got a call from them yesterday to reconfirm appointment and I asked about the 3rd mole removal.  Apparently the equipment/material is coming soon.  Looks like I have to wait abit longer for it.


Maybe I am the unlucky one but if you are able to afford it and is interested to know more of their other services and/or products, refer to the following details....

Address: 350 Orchard Road, #08-00 Shaw House, Singapore 238868 (Within AsiaMedic Specialist Centre)
Tel: +65 6732 3801 Fax: +65 6235 0966 24hr SMS: +65 9857 7892


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