Dr. Persky considers his work to be as much an art form rather as a medical procedure.
Name: Dr. Michael A. Persky
Clinic: Persky Sunder Facial Plastic Surgery
Location: Encino, CA
How is your clinic structured?
Our office clinic sees about 15 to 20 patients per day. I see patients 4 days a week. Surgeries are performed in the morning one to two days a week. We offer all aspects of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery with emphasis on aesthetic treatments. The most popular surgeries include rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, facelifts, chin augmentation, and otoplasty. The most popular non-invasive treatments are Ulthera (ultrasound lifting and tightening of the face, neck, and brows), Fraxel laser skin rejuvenation, Dual laser, and CoolSculpting (the only treatment we offer below the neck, as it is totally non-invasive, safe, and effective).
What have you learned about staffing and compensation?
The best lesson learned in hiring and firing staff is the old adage, “Hire slowly, fire quickly!” Take your time hiring the best person for the job. Our staff is compensated with above normal salaries, office manager on salary, rest of staff on hourly rate. Staff is incentivized with commission compensation for sale of skin care products, and other retail items.
What IPL or laser technologies are you using? What technologies do you like? Which do you dislike and why?
We have used the complete line of Fraxel lasers since their inception. Initially, many colleagues were skeptical about the results we were seeing, now Fraxel lasers have become the gold standard for laser skin rejuvenation and resurfacing. We do not use IPL in our practice, but feel that our Fraxel Dual laser treats brown spots like “an IPL on steroids”. We currently are using Ulthera to non-invasively lift and tighten the face, neck, and eyebrows as well as treating fine lines around the mouth and eyes. We find that when combined with Sculptra and other facial fillers, results are quite satisfying for both patient and physician.
Technology companies may tell the physician anything to sell them the item. Physicians must do their “due diligence”, and not believe everything that they are told. Technologies such as Thermage have not lived up to their hype, and others like Zerona are just plain “snake oil”. The latest technology that we are most excited about is Cellulaze, a minimally invasive one time treatment that effectively treats cellulite.
What marketing strategies works well in your practice?
The most effective tool for marketing our practice has been through our social media and website blogging efforts on our site at drpersky.com. We are finding that many of our patients now come from our website. We have spent some advertising dollars on local magazines, and in health clubs.
What treatments have you observed to be the most profitable? Have you dropped any treatments?
Surgical treatments are most profitable. Next come non-invasive treatments such as Ulthera, Fraxel, and CoolSculpting. Injectables are profitable as well, including Sculptra, Botox, Dysport, Juvederm, Restylane, and Radiesse. The use of cannulas for injection has revolutionized our use of Radiesse for “quick” facial volumization. We have dropped laser hair removal and radiofrequency skin tightening treatments.
What have you learned about practicing cosmetic medicine? What stories can you tell?
The most important thing that I have learned about practicing cosmetic medicine is that artistic vision is key. Without artistic vision you can have technical success yet aesthetic failure. That one sentence is my answer to those who ask about the “obvious plastic surgery” walking around our streets and populating “reality” television.
A few days ago an popular adult actress was in for Botox and fillers. After pricking her face a few times while injecting, she said, “Dr. Persky, I have a present for you.” It was a discrete lingerie glamour photo of her, likely one that she uses at signings. She asked if I’d like for her to sign it. Her signature read, “To Dr. Persky, Of all the pricks that I have had in my face, yours was the best!”
How did you become a plastic surgeon?
Training in ENT-Facial Plastic Surgery at LAC-USC exposed me to a great deal of reconstructive surgery of the face. We were fortunate to have attending physicians from Los Angeles and Beverly Hills who shared their knowledge, skills, and love for facial aesthetic surgery. When I began in private practice, I joined two facial plastic surgeons who performed the majority of rhinoplasty in our area. My post-residency training was dedicated to facial plastic surgery with emphasis on rhinoplasty.
What advice would you give to other physicians based upon your experiences?
Be honest, sincere, and truly care about your patients. Be well!
About: Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, attended UCLA, psychobiology major; Emory Medical School, ENT-Facial Plastic Surgery internship and residency at LA County-USC Medical Center. Practicing Facial Plastic Surgery in solo private practice since 1985 in Encino, CA. Practice focused on natural beauty using modalities from fillers to the latest in facial plastic surgeries. Married with two daughters and two dogs.
This interview is part of a series of interviews of physicians running medical spas, laser clinics and cosmetic surgery centers. If you'd like to be interviewed, just contact us.