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Tuesday
Jan262016

Survey: Protecting Your Medical Spas Reputation Online

Your clinic's reputation online is a crutial part of your business, and it's easily attacked.

Responses to this survey will be part of our new report on protecting your reputation online and include everything we've learned about managing, controling, and protecting your professional reputation.

Wednesday
Jan062016

Optimizing Your Clinics Email Marketing 

Email marketing is a good way for businesses to engage both potential and existing customers. In 2015, email users are nearly around 2.6 billion and this is expected to exponentially increase to over 2.9 billion in the year 2019.

medical spa email marketing

Emails are very useful in the business world and as well as consumers - mainly due to its use for notification consisting of online sales.

Further, survey says that 91% of consumers check their email at least daily and 55% of companies surveyed say they generate more than 10% of sales from email.

Data from the Direct Marketing Association reveal that 66% of online consumers made transactions out of an email marketing message.

Email marketing allows you to be efficient. You can save a lot of your precious time after optimizing your autoresponder sequence or your sales funnel. Automation takes over and does most of the work for you.

But first, you have to plan about the results you want to achieve when hatching plans to grow your list. Map out how email marketing can be incorporated in your overall marketing scheme.

So, how do you improve your patient interaction through email marketing?

Start with what you write as a keyword in your subject line. A study shows that those with keywords confirm, features, upgrade, magic and raffle are likely to be reported as spam so it is best to avoid them unless you were able to built up a list that really trusts you and your brand.

Make a great first impression on your new subscriber through the welcome email or the autoresponder sequence.

When do you send them?

Try sending them on days other than Tuesday and Thursday and email your customers between the hours of 2 PM and 5 PM.

MailChimp’s Email Genome Project reveals that more mails are sent on Tuesday and Thursday than any other day of the week so you might want to test sending emails on other days so you will have less competition. This will pave the way for increased inbox space and click through rates.

People are more likely to open their email between 2 PM to 5 PM, regardless of time zone, according to the Email Genome Project.

Where do you link your email?

Try sending your email traffic to a dedicated landing page because this is usually the one that has a higher conversion rate. Also, you might want to include social share buttons in your emails as this can also generate higher click through rates.

Got other email marketing advices? Share them by posting your comments below. =)

Monday
Dec212015

2016 Trends: Classic and Elegant Beauty

The year 2016 is predicted to be a time for putting forward a classy, elegant, and modern yet effortless look.

Beauty experts reveal that  the trend is leaning more on the "natural" look as complexions are expected to be taking a softer turn with a subtle quality.

Glowing and luminous skin will be a trend. According to Vogue, the recent call to natural beauty was given a windswept polish this season, with healthy washes of sun-kissed blush at Gucci and Michael Kors Collection meeting the breeze-tousled waves of Versace, Alexander McQueen.

Its all about bright and pouty lips this 2016, with classic reds and browns as "in" lip colors as they balance against a backdrop of a bare skin.

Hairstyles are expected to be going back to basics as natural and effortless look will be in style and buns and ponytails will be given a fresh twist. As they say, less is more.

With these trends, minimally invasive aesthetic procedures are expected to be popular among medspa patients to achieve a more enhanced yet effortless and youthful look.

Non-surgical facelifts, use of autologous fat grafting, botox injections, and fillers are among the procedures that are expected to be a trend in 2016.

Non-invasive procedures which offer less pain and quick recovery are also seen to be popular among patients. 

For more beauty trends in 2016, you may browse: http://www.vogue.com/13359453/top-beauty-trends-spring-2016-fashion-week/.

Friday
Dec182015

Timebridge Simplifies Scheduling

Schedule a meeting in seconds. (It's actually magic.)

From the good-to-know folder: If you're scheduling a lot of meetings, or if you want to let others request meetings with you, make your life easier and get a free Timebridge account.  

Once you create a free account and sync your calender, creating a new meeting (even complicated ones with multiple people) is simple and fast. Just enter the emails of your attendees, select a few times that work for you, and enter where or how you want to meet. That's it. You're done. Timebridge will contact all of the attendees, gather their meeting preferences, find the best time, send out all of the invites and reminders. The next interaction you have is the actual meeting.

Timebridge already has 250,000+ business users and has also launched the ability to share your calendar and let other people request meetings with you.

(Timebridge syncs with either Microsoft Outlook or Google Calender so you'll need to be using one of those for this to work.)

It already comes built out with a host of integrations and capabilities like free conference calling, notifications and reminders, etc., but one of the most exciting features is the "Meet With Me" ability to make a calendar public and let others request meetings. This ability to allow others to request meetings isn't completely built out yet, but more is promised shortly that may allow you to use it as an automated scheduling system for your clinic. If you're using an installed system that you're paying hundreds a month for this single feature should be music to your ears.

Of course the main use right now is scheduling meetings with other people.

Here's how easy it is to schedule a meeting:

 

Since it's free, I'd suggest creating an account and staying abreast of updates even if you don't use it every day. If they get the Meet With Me functionality built out to where you can use it to schedule appointments it could save you a wallet full of cash as well as save you time.

You can sign up for a free account or learn more at http://Timebridge.com

Wednesday
Dec162015

Botox Business For The Holidays

It's the time of the year where your patients are confronted with family parties and get-togethers... and it's a reminder that they're another year older. You could be the Santa they're looking for.

Christmas Botox

Look, you're probably already doing the basics with things like gift certificates and perhaps an email offer, but you might want to take stalk about what you could do to really boost your sales here.

For day spas it's common to do 50% of their yearly sales in December as gift certificates, leading to some very lean months in spring when they have to redeem them all. This can cause serious cash flow problems as clients fill your treatment rooms with no sales. There are a couple of tricks I've seen to deal with this that can mitigate the effects. 

  • Selling your gift certificates with some restrictions at a discount. You can stagger your gift certificates so that you push treatments or sessions into the summer or fall. On way is to sell your gift certificates by 'quarter' (spring, summer, fall, winter) with specific dates, then discount the ones farther out. By keeping track of purchases you can see what the discount should be to give you some control over when redemptions come in. Spring would certainly be full price but you might try scaling from 10% to 30% discounts for summer, fall and next winter. The fact that you're giving a 30% discount for a gift certificate that you sell for next winter is more than mad up for by getting payment up front, and the occational "breakage" that goes will all gift certificates.
  • Bundling treatments and services. Purse strings generally loosen over the holidays and, if you're not greedy, you can take advantage of this by bundling services that effectively boost your revenues. Tying your normall laser hair removal bundles along with an introductory Botox or filler treatment at a discount can give your patients a sense that they're lessening the cost and risk by getting a deal. (Don't do this all the time lest you fall into the trap of becomong a discounter where that's always expected.)
  • Memberships. One of the big moves that can give you regular recurring revenue (what eveyone wants) is to begin offering memberships. I'll go into that in a different post but you should be aware that memberships, while tricky to implement and get right, can dramatically change your clinic into a real business. Memberships allow you to tier your services, create some scarcity, engender a feeling of exclusivity with your high-revenue patients, and give you some vision into your future income. Yep. I'm definately going to have to deal more with memberships.

Create a relationship with your clients this holiday season and use that relationship to keep them coming back. Looking for new customers is more tedious and costly than maintaining regular customers. Gifts have always cemented relationships.  Use this time honored tradition to create some of your own!

Thursday
Oct222015

What's The Best Music For Face Lifts?

The next time you're performing a face lift, consider what music you're listening to.

A survey of surgeons in the UK revealed that a whooping 90% listen to music while they are operating on their patients; with half of respondents favoring up-tempo rock, 17% pop music and 11% classical.

In fact, an article written by Henley J, “Music for surgery,” published in The Guardian (2011) revealed that plastic surgeons play the most music. When asked, the surgeons revealed that music contributed to creating a "harmonious and calm atmosphere."

According to a 1994 publication of the Journal of the American Medical Association,

Surgeon-selected music was associated with reduced autonomic reactivity and improved performance of a stressful nonsurgical laboratory task in study participants.

Further, researchers from the psychology department at the State University of New York at Buffalo, found that listening to Pachelbel was better than not listening to any music at all. There was a decreased stress and increased performance after surgeons listened to music, especially when it was their own choice.

A recent study reveals that listening to music may reduce the time spent on surgical closures. The study was conducted with 15 residents performing layered closures on a simulated wound model on a pig's feet. These were done with and without their preferred music.

Twelve residents (five lower level and seven upper level residents) completed both sessions, performing 48 repairs. Blinded faculty completed 144 repair ratings.

These were the results of the pig's feet study:

  • There was an 8% overall reduction of operative time among all residents.
  •  There was a 10% decrease in the operative time of surgical closure for upper-level residents who were listening to their music of choice.
  •  A resident took an average of 11.5 minutes to complete the surgery without music. On the other hand, it only took 10.6 minutes to complete the repairs with music. 

The study further revealed that there was also an improved efficiency and repair quality for those who listened to music.

For patients, music reduces anxiety before surgery. A research done by Yale University anaesthetist Zeev Kain reveals that music decreases the amount of pain or the patient's needs for anxiety medication. A study by the department of anaesthesia at Glasgow's Western Infirmary surveyed 200 anaesthetists; it found 72% worked in theatres where music was played regularly, and around 63% generally enjoyed it.

Some 26%, though, said they thought music, especially music they didn't know and like, could at times "reduce vigilance and impair communication".

On the other side...

It's a distraction. Junior surgeons who are performing new tasks may be distracted by operating room music. This was reported in a November 2008 issue of Surgical Endoscopy.

For patients, it may also be a cause for discord and anxiety, especially when the music is not to their liking. The results are ultimately related to the surgeon's preferences as to the kind of music and its volume.

It is important that both create a harmony in the operating room between and among the surgeons and the patients. The reduction in the amount of time to perform a surgery finds a positive welcome in the healthcare environment.

The September 2015 issue of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal says that

In the current health care environment, where cost reduction is center stage and operative time is money, every second counts.

Read more on:

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2011/sep/26/music-for-surgery http://cosmeticsurgerytimes.modernmedicine.com/cosmetic-surgery-times/news/music-improves-surgical-closures

Thursday
Oct152015

Viability of Autologous Fat Calf Grafting

Research shows that autologous calf fat grafting is a viable alternative to traditional implant-based calf augmentation for congenital calf discrepancies and aesthetic pseudo-varus deformity.

According to the study published in the official publication of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), Aesthetic Surgery Journal, fat grafting for slender calves provides results that are comparable to those obtainable via traditional methods. 

Some patients who want to undergo calf implants are concerned with the risks associated with the surgery and the possibility that strenuous exercise may cause the implant to move. Some plastic surgeons use silicone implants that is selected based on the patient's anatomy. These implants are placed under the fascia of the original calf muscle that is strong enough to withstand physical sporting activities.

Researchers Gerhard S. Mundinger and James E. Vogel pointed out in the research that there are few studies published regarding the advantages of fat grafting for calf augmentation and re-shaping compared with the traditional silicone calf implants.

According to Dr. James E. Vogel,

Autologous fat augmentation offers a number of advantages over calf implants, including liposuction in adjacent areas to improve calf contour, smaller incisions, additional augmentation through subsequent fat grafting, durable results, lack of foreign body reaction, and precise patient-specific adjustments not possible with off-the-shelf implants.

Medial and lateral calf augmentation was accomplished with injection of prepared autologous lipoaspirate intramuscularly and subcutaneously.

Thirteen patients underwent calf augmentation and reshaping with autologous fat grafting over a period of five years. Ten patients underwent bilateral calf augmentation, and three cases were performed for congenital leg discrepancies.

Prior to the fat transfer, local anesthesia was injected to utilize the smallest amount of effective anesthetic volume. This was also done to precisely place it into the muscle resulting in less sedation and more rapid postoperative recovery.

Fat was harvested from the abdomen, lateral thigh, medial thigh, waistline, flanks, axilla, upper back, and hips. Irrespective of the fat harvest site, liposuction was also performed at the knee to improve contour.

A mean of 157 cc of separated fat was transferred per leg, with roughly 60% and 40% transferred into the medial and lateral calf, respectively. Injections were first performed directly into the calf muscles and then into the subcutaneous calf tissue.

Four patients underwent a second round of autologous fat injection for further calf augmentation because they desired additional volume. Fat volume was judged to be sufficient when the calf was minimally firm but not tense. At a mean of 19.6 months of follow-up, durable augmentation in calf contour was documented by comparison of standardized preoperative and postoperative photographs.

The research concluded that the use of autologous fat transfer is a viable option compared to the use of traditional silicone implants.

Read more on: http://asj.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/09/01/asj.sjv166

Tuesday
Oct132015

Search for the Best Hyaluronic Acid Filler

The October issue of the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports a new and validated method for providing standard cohesivity ratings for hyaluronic acid dermal fillers.

The search for the best hyaluronic filler comes after the surge of interest in the use of dermal fillers to enhance shallow contours, soften facial creases and wrinkles and improve the appearance of recessed scars.

Dermal fillers can be very helpful in those with early signs of aging, or as a value-added part of facial rejuvenation surgery. These fillers are often injected in medspas or a surgeon's office and are predictable, with relatively minimal risks and side effects.

In 2014, ASPS data revealed that around 2.3 million dermal filler injections were done. Statistics from the Cosmetic Surgery National Data Bank and other market research show that dermal filler market in the United States is valued at a whooping $1 billion.

Hyaluronic acid dermal fillers are natural, gel-based products which are highly compatible with the body, making them the most commonly used dermal filler in the industry. Plastic surgeons are now looking for evidences that will aid them in selecting the product that will give the best result for their patients.

Though there is a wide range of available products, there still exists a lack of scientific data to support the rheologic or the flow-related properties of the available dermal fillers in the market.

Dr. Hema Sundaram, a dermatologist in Rockville, MD, Samuel Gavard Molliard, a scientist in Geneva, Switzerland, and colleagues used the ratings of cohesivity and other biophysical properties to identify the dermal filler that is suited to each procedure being done.

The biophysical characteristics of hyaluronic acid gel fillers reflect individual manufacturing processes. They confer rheologic properties that provide scientific rationale with Evidence Level II clinical correlation for selection of appropriate fillers for specific clinical applications.

Cohesivity measures the capacity of a material to "stick together" and not dissociate. It is a key property that maintains gel integrity, contributes to tissue support with natural contours, and diminishes surface irregularities.

Researchers point out that products with higher cohesivity scores are not always the best. The ranking system aims to ‘provide a scientific rationale for the intuitive selection of different products for specific clinical objectives.’

According to Dr. Sundaram and colleagues, fillers with higher cohesivity may be better used for more superficial placement, or placement in mobile areas such as around the mouth or eyes while products with lower cohesivity may be effective for use as ‘deep volumizers’.

The researchers developed a standard test for comparing the cohesivity of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers. Samples of each filler gel were dyed, then squeezed into water and stirred using automated technology.

A panel of plastic surgeon and dermatologist specialists experienced in using HA fillers then rated each sample’s cohesivity on an original five-point scale, known as the Gavard-Sundaram scale.

Cohesivity scores of the FDA-approved fillers varied across the full range of the scale: from ‘fully dispersed’ to ‘fully cohesive’. Cohesivity was rated high for one product, medium to high for three, low to medium for one, and low for one.

Aside from the data on cohesivity, researchers believe that comparative data on other rheologic properties (such as elasticity and viscosity) can make dermal filler procedures more sophisticated and successful.

----

Results of the study "Cohesivity of Hyaluronic Acid Fillers: Development and Clinical Implications of a Novel Assay, Pilot Validation with a Five-Point Grading Scale, and Evaluation of Six U.S. Food and Drug Administration–Approved Fillers" may be read on: http://journals.lww.com/plasreconsurg/Fulltext/2015/10000/Cohesivity_of_Hyaluronic_Acid_Fillers__.11.aspx

Monday
Oct122015

Finally – A Non-Invasive Machine That Delivers on the Promise

We are all used to the myriad of vendors who scurry up to us at every conference or torment our office staff for a 10 minute appointment to discuss the next GREAT non-invasive cosmetic surgical miracle machine.  Everybody promises everything….and seldom is the technological “punch” anywhere near the nirvana alluded to in the glitzy ad brochures. How many of you have $100,000 dollar machines in a back room with dust covers over them?  They are expensive doorstops!!  So typical of this industry.

As you can surmise, I have a jaundiced view of the whole “gadget” biz in cosmetic medicine. I like using cold steel, but appreciate the demand for non-surgical alternatives in this market. I have NEVER purchased a laser box (the economics just don’t make sense to me).  I dodged the Smart Lipo frenzy………..whew.  So, as a certified Negative Nellie, I have finally crossed over to the other side and am totally thrilled with the results a new minimally invasive technology is delivering.  In my mind, they deliver EXACTLY what was promised  in the hype.

ThermiAesthetics is a relatively new company employing temperature controlled radio frequency technology for multiple applications that really work.  Basically, ThermiRF delivers radiofrequency energy in a multitude of platforms – the common denominator being using thermal energy to safely shrink tissue.

In my mind the ‘home run’ for this technology can be found in two applications: ThermiTight is a minimally invasive procedure where a micro-probe in passed under the skin and withdrawn in a controlled fashion, heating the dermis underneath.  This results in significant skin shrinkage and is best used in the lower face and neck (great for jowls).  It also shrinks skin in the arms, abdomen and above the knees. ThermiVa is a topical application, designed to shrink labia, tighten vaginal mucosa, increase vaginal moisture and sensitivity and even cure mild to moderate stress incontinence. Really!

Ya sure, you may quip…………..but it delivers as promised.  My staff, my wife, my patients are all raving about it.  Easy, cheap and relatively painless.  Who can ask for anything more? Sure, the technology is relatively new and the longevity of the procedures is still being figured out.  But so far, I think this technology is a refreshing home run – delivering as promised – even for a cynic like me. Check them out.

Wednesday
Oct072015

Domino Effect of Weight Loss Aesthetic Surgeries

New data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) revealed that US weight loss surgeries have spurred the number other procedures such as tummy tucks, breast lifts and upper arm lifts over the last four years.

In 2013, 179,000 Americans underwent weight loss surgery, averaging nearly 500 procedures every day. Reports from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery reveal that it's the most since 2009 and the third highest number on record. From then on, there has also been an across the board increase of plastic surgeries related to weight loss.

ASPS President Scot Glasberg, MD thinks that there is a correlation between the two types of procedures and this trend is expected to continue. According to him, post-massive weight loss patients are the number one growth area that he has seen in his practice, and he is also sure that's the case in many doctor's offices across the country.

"You can't attribute that to anything other than the fact that there are more massive weight loss patients out there looking to take care of the problems that they now have after their weight loss surgery. On the one hand they are thrilled to have lost so much weight, but they are trading one dilemma for another."

"Going forward, we'd like to be a part of the process from the outset, when patients are first starting to consider weight loss surgery. A lot of times patients think weight loss surgery is the answer to their issues, when in reality it may only be one step in the process."

Those who experience massive weight loss are often left with excessive amounts of sagging skin, particularly in the thighs, under the arms, around the abdomen and in the breasts. The excess skin can not only be unsightly and uncomfortable, in many cases it can be painful. with these, previously obese patients opt to have a plastic surgery to remove inelastic excess skin and tissue after substantial weight loss and to reshape or recontour their bodies.

In 2014, nearly 45,000 patients who experienced massive weight loss also opted to undergo plastic surgery to reshape their bodies. While those numbers represent the biggest single-year increase in nearly a half decade, it's still only a fraction of patients who may benefit from it.

Henry Ford Hospital researchers report that aesthetic procedures following bariatric surgeries may contribute to improving their long-term results. The researchers recorded patients' Body Mass Index both before the bariatric surgery and 2.5 years after the procedure. Out of the patients who had a contouring surgery, the average decrease in BMI was 18.24 at 2.5 years. This is in comparison to statistically significant decrease in BMI of only 12.45 at 2.5 years for those who did not have further surgery.

Dr. Jason Lichten, MD, of Lancaster, Ohio says that "If plastic surgeons can get involved with patients earlier, we can not only give them a more realistic idea of what to expect from a physical standpoint, but we can help them devise a plan for any follow up procedures after their weight loss.

Read more:

http://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/2015/massive-weight-loss-fuels-surge-in-plastic-surgery.html

Friday
Oct022015

Juvederm Ultra XC: Year-Long Lip Fillers

The US FDA has approved Allergan's JUVEDERM® ULTRA XC for the injection into the lips and perioral area for lip augmentation in adults over the age of 21.

Allergan's trials show that results last up to a year in the lips, but as always, there are two sides to the coin.

Juvederm Ultra Plus XC

Since 2006, Juvederm formulations were already FDA approved for correction of moderation to severe facial wrinkles and folds such as parentheses lines around the nose and mouth. Then in 2013, the Juvederm XC for age-related mid-face volume loss was introduced.

Clinical trials for Juvederm revealed that 79% of subjects showed an improvement in lip fullness three months following the treatment. More than 78% of the subjects reported an improvement in their overall satisfaction with the smooth and natural look and feel of their lips at one year after treatment.

Executive Vice President & President, Allergan Medical Philippe Schaison said that:

As the leader in medical aesthetics, Allergan is committed to continued research and development in this area. Providing physicians and patients with premium products that allow them to achieve the aesthetic results they want is always our goal. Understanding that the desire with lip augmentation is to achieve a natural-looking and lasting result, we continued our research of JUVEDERM® ULTRA XC for the lips. With this approval, JUVEDERM®ULTRA XC is now the only filler that is approved to last up to one year in the lips while providing natural-looking results.

Juvederm Ultra XC contains a smooth gel formulation of modified form of hyaluronic acid (HA) and a small amount of lidocaine. The hyaluronic acid helps the skin to maintain its moisture and softness and the lidocaine acts as a local anesthetic to improve the comfort of the injection.

While the increase in the time between injections is going to be welcomed by patients, there are some physicians and clinics that might lose income since patients are not coming in as frequently. Additionally, these longer fillers might not be appropriate as a "first-time" filler for patients who are unsure if thy're going to love the effect. There's a big psychological difference between living with a change for a few months and an entire year. Still, the general increase in lenght is a good thing for clincs and patients who are familiar with the effects.

Friday
Sep182015

Hysterectomy & Panniculectomy Combined In One Surgery?

The September issue of the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has reported that hysterectomy and panniculectomy - the removal of hanging abdominal fat and skin - may be done at the same surgery.

Click to read more ...

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