Despite of the emergence of noninvasive treatments, Dr. George Sanders keeps himself abreast with the current trends.
Name: George Sanders, M.D.
Location: Encino, CA
That's interesting: Dr. Sanders is named annually as one of America's Top Plastic Surgeons by the Consumer's Research Council.
You're using Erbium laser and Fraxel laser. What do you think about these technologies?
The Sciton Erbium laser was purchased several years ago and remains a stellar performer for full face laser ablative therapy when the patient has 9 days to recover to the point that they can wear makeup and go out and look very good. I do many facelifts and this recovery time frame makes sense in that the remainder of the face is recovering at about the same pace. When I purchased the Sciton, other erbium lasers were available, but the dual head configuration and other factors made it more appealing. It has paid for itself many times over and remains a very reliable piece of equipment that provides a consistently excellent result with minimal complications.
The Fraxel laser is used by my nurse in those patients who do not need as much of a result as the Sciton produces and who do not have as much time for recovery. These patients have at most one or two days of downtime.
Eventually we will need to replace our Sciton, and it may be that a fractionated CO2 laser may be the answer. I am also looking with interest at the nonsurgical fat sculpting devices as well as the nonsurgical skin tightening devices. Reliability, cost effectiveness, efficacy, and a usefulness that will last years are all things that I look at when deciding upon what to purchase. I am also not interested in a device that requires multiple patient visits to accomplish the desired result because of inherent limitations in office space and personnel time.
Which technologies do you see being developed that might impact a plastic surgeon in the next ten years? Do you see these as a boon or threat for plastic surgeons?
Nonsurgical skin tightening, nonsurgical fat removal, enhanced imaging techniques, and effective cellulite treatment are all areas of great patient demand and for which developing technologies are available. These will help cosmetic service providers meet the needs of our patients. As such, they are a boon for plastic surgeons.
Where do you spend money on advertising? How successful are you marketing efforts?
New Beauty Magazine has been a very successful part of our advertising efforts. On the other hand, I have not found pay per click advertising to be cost effective.
What do you think of physicians who are moving into cosmetic medicine utilizing technology solutions rather than surgery?
There is a place for nonsurgical solutions. Every patient would prefer to avoid surgery if possible, but the nonsurgical solutions often involve multiple treatment sessions over a prolonged period of time and with significant financial outlay, and with the final result being less excellent than that offered by surgery. This is not a formula for success for many patients. Some people prefer to buy, not to rent, which translates into some patients would prefer to make a one-time investment of time and money and be done with the matter as opposed to stringing things along.
On the other hand, other nonsurgical solutions offer clear-cut advantages over surgery in that the final result is equivalent or even better, and that the road to that result is relatively easy. These technologies are ones that I embrace.
Although I may lose business to a provider of a nonsurgical solution, I could always choose to provide the service myself. I also firmly believe that the better the overall offering of surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic services that medicine provides, the more interest there will be in having cosmetic services. This drives an overall increase in my business.
What is the most difficult challenge you are facing as a 'business' right now and how are you addressing it?
The most difficult challenge is the lack of affordable consumer credit and the low level of consumer confidence in the future of the U.S. economy. I address it by elevating the level of the services we offer and how we offer them.
What is the best advice you've ever received as a physician?
“High tech with a high touch,” meaning offer excellent results with advanced technologies and techniques, but offer these with a great deal of concern for the patient as a person.
About: Dr. Sanders graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rice University. He attended Harvard Medical School where he was elected to the Aesculapian Club for excellence in scholarship and leadership. He then completed his general surgery training as the Chief Resident at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he earned the Leo Rigler Award for excellence in surgery. His plastic surgery residency was completed at UCLA where he studied with a number of well-known cosmetic and reconstructive surgeons. He is active in church and community affairs. Dr. Sanders is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Surgery. He also earned the Certificate for Advanced Education in Cosmetic Surgery by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
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.