Francis J. Collini MD, FACS - The Renaissance Center For Plastic Surgery In ShaverTown, PA

Apart from running a medical practice, Dr. Collini is committed to giving back.

Name: Dr. Francis J. Collini
Clinic: Renaissance Center for Plastic Surgery
Location: Shavertown, PA

Interesting: Dr. Collini is well-known for his humanitarian and community efforts. He is the co-founder of Community Cares for Kids which donates medical services and training to disadvantaged citizens of Third World countries. Over the past fifteen years, Dr. Collini has performed over three hundred surgeries in Ecuador on children with severe birth deformities and disfigurements caused by accidents and injuries.

You're dividing your time between your own practice and the hospital. How are you managing your time and the operations of your practice?

I own and operate the only solo owned Plastic Surgery ambulatory surgery center in Pennsylvania. I also own a medical spa located above my office where all accessory cosmetic enhancing procedures are performed such as microdermabrasion, peels, facials, endermologie, hair, nails, makeup, etc. It is a nice adjunct to my practice.

I have office hours every Tuesday from 7 A.M. to 1 P.M. and then I perform surgery at the Renaissance Center for Plastic Surgery from 1:30 P.M. until finished.

On Friday's I perform surgery at Renaissance Center for Plastic Surgery and I'm in the hospital performing surgical interventions on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

The medical technologies that my practice offers that most other plastic surgery practices do not is the ability to perform micrograft hair transplantation and microfat injections.

What kind of tactices or strategies have you focused on to grow your practice?

I was taught as a resident plastic surgeon that the best way to grow your practice is via the 5 A’s: availability, affability, ability, affordability and attentiveness. In keeping with these principles, I am on call for my patients and the emergency room at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I treat patients with respect and listen to their problems as best as I can. I then provide them with the best and most modern techniques in plastic surgery available.  

Television has been the most highly effective marketing medium for my practice. It provides the biggest bang for the buck, so to speak and reaches the most outside people. I also have an LED sign in front of my office that provides up to date information regarding my practice and has proven to be a marketing bonanza.

Where do nonsurgical technologies fit in your practice?

We do not offer laser treatments, tattoo removal or laser skin resurfacing because the expense and maintenance of the machinery cut into profitability. Instead, I offer facial peels, microdermabrasion, surgical dermabrasion, surgical removal of tattoos, and needling of the skin. Each of these techniques produces the same results as laser skin resurfacing and laser tattoo removal without the expense of the machinery.

I feel that the expense of laser machinery and the expense of the upkeep maintenance of this machinery so severely cuts into their profitability that it makes incorporating these technologies into a solo practice prohibitive. Furthermore, the circle of life for these machines is such that the moment one becomes popular, another (newer, better) machine is already out there, making yours obsolete.

In a consultation with a new patient, how do you present the difference between fillers and Botox? 

Fillers are used to plump out wrinkles and grooves on the face and thereby erase them where as injectables such as Botox and Dysport are used to paralyze muscle that, when contracted, cause facial wrinkling. Both last approximately 6 months. Both are very effective if used appropriately in the right patient. Fine lines around the mouth and the deep grooves on the inner cheek are particularly amenable to correction via fillers whereas dynamic wrinkles between the eyebrows, within the forehead and in the crow’s foot area and particularly suited for Botox treatment. The aesthetic desires of the patient will dictate the treatment prescribed.

Which technologies do you see being developed that might impact a plastic surgeon in the next ten years? 

Pills that remove fat or grow hair are on the horizon and I feel that they will negatively impact plastic surgeons.

What is the most difficult challenge you are facing as a 'business' right now and how are you addressing it?

The poor economic recovery has been a challenge for my practice over the last several years and we have addressed it by sticking to the principles that made us successful since our inception i.e., providing an excellent product with a positive, warm and friendly attitude as well as respect and empathy to those who seek our expertise.

What's the best advice you've ever received as a physician?

To remain focused in your work and compassionate toward your patients.

What's the best business advice you've ever received?

To remain humble and respectful.

About: Dr. Francis J. Collini graduated from Columbia University in 1978 with a B.A. degree and then went to medical school at SUNY-Downstate Magna Cum Laude with and M.D. degree. He then performed his internship and residency in General Surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD and was a Chief Resident in General Surgery at UMDNJ-Newark, New Jersey, finishing with a board certification in General Surgery. He then proceeded to the Mayo Clinic for his fellowship in Plastic Surgery. He completed that program in 1989 and became board certified in Plastic Surgery. He completed a 6 month fellowship in Cosmetic Surgery in 1990 at the Ellenbogen Institute for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, California. Then he came to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and joined a group practice in Plastic Surgery. He left that group in 1994 and started a solo practice in Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery in 1994 in Shavertown, Pennsylvania which is where he remains to this day.

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.