Take Better Before/After Pictures

endymed photographerNo matter how effective your medical aesthetic treatments, you must have pictures that accurately depict the results in order to market to new patients.

Take pictures of every patient at every step of their treatment plan in order to best tell the story of their results.   Think of the pictures as just as important as proper procedure technique!

Patient Positioning: Seat the patient on a stool which is adjusted to a comfortable height and placed in front of the camera. The patient should sit up straight. When turning for angled and side views, the patient should rotate the entire body, including shoulders and feet.

Framing Your Subject: Center the ears vertically in all views. For front and angled views, center the entire head horizontally. For lateral views, place the front of the face 1/4 frame from edge.

Standardizing Your Photography:  In general, photographs should be taken without makeup, at standardized distances, using standard camera height, position and lighting:

1. To provide an accurate record, the relative positions of patient and camera must be kept constant.

2. Maintain constant lighting every time you photograph. Use the same lighting (overhead or side lamps) and have patients stand in the same position relative to the lighting to maintain similar shadows from photo to photo.

3. If possible, always take the photographs using the same background. A dark wall or a dark (blue or black) cloth background will bring greater attention to the body you are photographing.

4. Remove all distracting items from the photo area, such as office furniture, body jewelry, and clothing (other than undergarments). Also, if not taking pictures of the face, have patients stand with their hands on their heads to reduce distraction from the arms, and to ensure the position can be redone easily for the “after” shots.

5. Ideally, draw a circle on the floor for patient positioning. It should be divided into eight 45° angles. From the circle, draw a straight line on the floor to the position of the camera. This is the axis of the camera. The patient should rotate on the outer edge of each of the 45° axes, while the camera move forwards and backwards, instead of side to side, to get the best shots at distances and angles relevant to the body area of interest.

6. While holding the camera, sit, stand, or kneel at one of the positions marked
 along the camera axis. For greater stability, the camera may be mounted on a tripod. Camera height is adjusted to match the height of the target area, with the lens barrel always parallel to the floor. It is important not to tilt the camera up or down.

Endyed Intensif RF Micro NeedlingBottom line:

It is essential to have good pictures that don’t appear to be exaggerated. By keeping the photo setup the same for every picture, it is possible to bring more consistency and accuracy to the photographs.

See the photo array taken during a series of EndyMed RF Micro Needling treatments. You can see more treatment images at http://www.endymedtraining.com/rf-microneedling.html

PRP Used to Treat Hair Loss in Women

PRP use in female hair loss

“When you hear people complain about having a bad hair day, you almost can’t bear it.  You’re like, ‘Honey, you have no idea.’ ”  — Lina Telford to the NYTimes

Per a recent NYTimes article, Linda has battled hair loss for quite some time.  The article says, “After 20 years of trying every drug, supplement, diet and procedure for hair loss — including driving four hours twice a week for laser therapy — Lina Telford, a graphic artist, gave up on her “comb over” (her description) and shaved her head. From then on, she alternated between a $1,500 wig and a $4,000 wig.

In February, though, Ms. Telford, 46, flew from her home in London, Ontario, to Sarasota, Fla., for a new $1,400 hourlong treatment known as platelet rich plasma (P.R.P.), which is said to stimulate dormant hair follicles. The procedure involves drawing blood, spinning it in a centrifuge to extract the plasma, adding various nutrients (like more protein), then injecting the resulting mixture in one-inch intervals in a grid on the top of the scalp, which has been numbed with a local anesthetic.

Like the long-suffering friend who inspired her to undergo the procedure, Ms. Telford quickly saw an improvement in her hair. New hair growth usually take at least four months, but at the two-month mark, she has already spotted some baby hairs. “Not a gazillion,” she said, “but it’s a start.” She’s planning to return for follow-up treatments every six months, and has high hopes of ditching the wigs and wearing her hair in a pixie.” Read the entire article here.

Your practice may have lots of patients like Linda who are suffering with the emotional and social impacts of hair loss or thinning hair.  Visit the TotalBodyContouring.com website to read more about PRP and contact us if you would like to learn more about offering it in to your patients.

Makeover Your Practice OB/GYN or Family Practice

plastic_surgery cartoonMakeover Your OB/GYN or Family Practice by Incorporating Medical Aesthetics

These days, a woman is no longer content with the idea that the unsightly changes to her body that remain after pregnancy are just badges of motherhood. However, few have the time or resources, or perhaps the courage, for drastic tummy-tucks or other cosmetic surgery. As her doctor and primary consultant on the medical issues surrounding her feminine health, you are in a unique position to provide the trustworthy care and advice she needs when it comes to “mommy makeover” treatments.

The Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America Continuing Medical Education program, in its effort to make sure physicians remain current with OB/GYN clinical procedures, published a white paper in 2010 called Cosmetic Procedures in Gynecology. The report is centered on the growing need for OB/GYN’s to cater to their patients who are interested in non-invasive body contouring, skin tightening, stretch mark and other scar treatments, hair removal, and the like.  According to the program, Americans spent $11.7 billion on aesthetic procedures in 2008, a 162% increase from a decade prior. Women make up roughly 92% of the total aesthetic services market, the paper informs. Among mothers, the popularity of such treatments continues to rise.

Many women are more comfortable consulting with their OB/GYN about holistic approaches to their well-being. William F. Rayburn, MD, MBA, writes in the foreword,

“Aesthetic services provided by the obstetrician-gynecologist fill a need not adequately met by other medical offices, provide safer or more efficacious treatments than those available in nonmedical settings, or may [simply] be more convenient.”

Patients typically have high levels of trust in their OB/GYN providers, due to the level of confidentiality inherent in the service, and physicians benefit from increased revenue and first party payments.

Adding or growing your aesthetics practice is a compelling business case, but how do you get started?  You might start with an informal poll of your patients, taking a sampling of all demographics and pre- and post-partum, and get an idea of what kinds of treatments they are considering or would like to know more about.  Use that insight to then learn how the proper devices can help you can tap into the immensely popular medical aesthetics market.  Many patients will be interested in anti-aging and skin improvement treatments such as can be offered with our MD Pen skin needling, and the non-invasive EndyMed RF body contouring and skin tightening systems. Some may want a more dramatic treatment such as our GPSLipo laser lipo procedure.  Join our “Medical Aesthetics for OB/GYN and Family Practice” group on LinkedIn or connect with us and let us help you design your aesthetic offerings to fit your practice.

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Top Aesthetic Medicine Trends for 2013: Stem Cells for Skin Rejuvenation

According to the International Association for Physcians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM), “…with the Affordable Healthcare Act now moving forward, successful physicians will need to incorporate synergistic non-insurance based modalities into their practices, from advanced acne treatments to hCG for weight loss. Also, price will be a factor in 2013.  While the economy is improving, more and more patients are using social media to seek out aesthetic services in their area, at the best price.”  

Introduction

As our population ages and more Baby Boomers find themselves working past traditional retirement age, more professionals are turning to aesthetic medicine to help them be more comfortable as they try to stay competitive.  The IAPAM published an article listing the treatments it sees as increasing in popularity for 2013, as driven by this baby-boomer market.  In a short blog series, we will look at IAPAM’s list of the top treatments.

Stem Cells for Skin Rejuvenation

We start our blog series on the top trends by looking at Stem Cells used for Skin Rejuvenation.  According to the IAPAM article,

“Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy and stem cells enriched treatments are evolving.  In 2013, PRP therapy will become more mainstream as: its popularity grows, physicians become more aware of this therapy as being used by competitors and colleagues, and the cost of the therapy declines so that it is comparable to botox and dermal filler treatments.

PRP therapy has been widely used in sports medicine and wound management since the late 1990’s.  However, in the early 2000’s, it was found that the topical application of the growth factors contained in PRP “stimulated the rejuvenation of photoaged facial skin, improving its clinical appearance and inducing new collagen synthesis.” Further, the injection of PRP has gained popularity in the last decade, “since it secretes various growth factors with roles in skin regeneration and may induce the synthesis of collagen and other matrix components by stimulating the activation of fibroblasts, thus, rejuvenating the skin.” (Source:  Dae Hun Kim MD et al. Annals of Dermatology. 2011 November; 23(4): 424–431.)”

The Vampire Facelift

Step into 2013 by offering your patients the very best in PRP procedures:  The Vampire Facelift developed by  Dr. Charles Runels.   The Non-surgical Vampire Facelift® Procedure using Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) from RegenLab has been found, in recent studies, to be effective in the rejuvenation of photo-aged skin and wrinkle reduction when used as a dermal filler.  In his comments about the Vampire Facelift, Dr. Alan Gondinet is quoted as commenting, “This treatment, which has also been titled in the press as ‘Dracula therapy,’ is designed for patients that are looking for a natural treatment without the risk of allergic reactions or rejections like there is with (other filler substances like botox) .  The patient acceptance is superior to most other aesthetic treatments and it is facinating to see what results our own biological material can achieve…”  

The Vampire Facilift can expect to grow in popularity as the trend towards “organic” treatments continue, as expected by the IAPAM.  Learn more about Vampire Facelift.

Vampire Facelift featured on The Doctors.

Billion-dollar Nonsurgical Market Fuels Growth of Physician-directed Spas

The following excerpt from an article originally published in “Medical Economics” offers some great food for thought on how to expand your current practice to include high-demand aesthetic treatments and procedures:

  • “Offering cosmetic services could help you be part of a growing market.
  • Many PCPs are starting with onabotulinumtoxinA, temporary fillers, dermabrasion, chemical peels, and photorejuvenation. You might consider the Vampire Facelift or the EndyMed PRO for non-invasive skin rejuvenation, skin tightening and anti-aging treatments.
  • Consider all the costs including equipment, office space, scheduling, and patient demand.”
“Americans spent $4.1 billion on nearly 8 million nonsurgical cosmetic procedures 2 years ago, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Not only is the market believed to be growing, it’s doing so outside traditional dermatology and plastic surgery specialty areas.
In fact, an increasing number of physician-directed spas are opening in an effort to reshape practice profitability and expand the service mix.Consider that about 5 million nonsurgical cosmetic procedures were performed by aestheticians last year, frequently in a spa setting, says Jeff Russell, executive director of the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic Medicine (IAPAM), based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Many primary care physicians (PCPs) have decided to meet demand for these services by actively controlling the “med” part of these “medspas.” According to Russell, internists, family physicians, and obstetrician/gynecologists dominate the IAPAM’s training classes.Their interest in the field makes sense when you consider that the bulk of cosmetic procedure clients

are the very people who dominate the patient panels of internists and family physicians. Women aged 35 to 50 years have 44% of these procedures, whereas women between the ages of 51 and 65 have an additional 20%.

As Houston, Texas-based consultant Reed Tinsley, CPA, says, “If you have a fairly young patient base, why let patients go to a dermatologist for basic cosmetic work?” Keith Borglum, CHBC, of Professional Management and Marketing in Santa Rosa, California, adds that PCPs are simply responding to patient demand, especially in areas underserved by dermatologists.

Both consultants agree that having a physician’s credentials tied to a medspa’s service mix adds credibility even if the procedures are not required to be performed by a physician.

Interestingly enough, an IAPAM survey found that 78% of women aged 21 to 60 consider medical credentials important when choosing an aesthetic treatment provider, and most of them would prefer to receive injections and fillers in a medical environment. Although all spas offer these treatments, most of them are not owned by doctors, and physicians often do not provide most treatments themselves.
How can you determine whether adding aesthetic procedures will work for you? Start slowly.

“We recommend that physicians gradually integrate these services into their practices, perhaps seeing aesthetic patients from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays to start,” Russell says. “They can leverage their existing overhead that way and see if they enjoy it.”

The beauty, Russell adds, is that you could start offering these procedures with relatively little upfront capital and potentially reap the benefits of a new cash-based service.”

If you do not have a big enough facility to separate Aesthetic patients from sick patients, adapt the schedule, says Alberto Carro, MD (left). By keeping costs down, he was able to make a profit his first year offering cosmetic services.”

Thanks to Medical Economics for this helpful article.  Read more in Medical Economics about a few considerations to help you evaluate how you might expand your practice.

GPSLipo: Step-by-Step look at the Technology

The GPSLipo procedure utilizes the unique fat mapping feature of the LipoControl laser.  Watch on the video below to see how the on-screen mapping provides essential feedback to the surgeon throughout the procedure.

 

On the video we see the surgeon using the cannula to outline the  area to be treated and see that a map of the area appears on the monitor.

Then the doctor inserts the cannula and begins moving the laser in the treatment area.  The doctor watches on the monitor to see the energy delivery and to insure laser is contained to the target area.

We can see the heat map on the screen begins to change color:  blue to yellow to indicate increasing energy delivery, and finally changing to red/purple to indicate completion of treatment.

Photo of GPSLipo and LipoControl fat mapping imageThis screen shot image shows how the energy mapping helps to insure complete treatment while minimizing over-treatment.The GPSLipo procedure gives the doctor real feedback during the surgery, rather than depending on manual clues to determine when an area has been completely treated. Even experienced plastic surgeons have commented that it is impossible to “beat the (GPSLipo) machine” in knowing when an area has been optimally treated.Only the GPSLipo procedure with the LipoControl laser utilizes this on-board GPS technology.  Use the comment section below to let us know if you have any questions about this unique device and procedure.  You may also use the links below to learn more.

  attend-a-gpslipo-observation        read-clinical-papers

 

How Important is it to Grow Your Aesthetics Practice?

social media for aestheticsThere are literally tens of thousands of people searching Google every day doing their own research on the aesthetic procedures they want, like laser lipo, hair removal or cellulite treatments.   There were 12,100 global monthly searches for the term “laser lipo” alone. (source: Hubspot keyword analytics)  Patients, including your current patients, are actively using Google and social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp looking for reviews on you, your practice, and outcomes of the aesthetic procedures you’ve performed.

No longer are patients waiting for marketing and advertising to tell them what they need and where to find it.  Today, your success depends on you placing useful, educational information about yourself, your practice, and your services in front of patients in the places where they hang out on the internet.

Too often your best patient candidates are left feeling frustrated because their search results aren’t yielding enough social proof and meaningful information to help them feel prepared to make a decision.   What patients want to find is sound medical information from a doctor they can trust with their health.  What they really want to find is YOU. 

aesthetic blog imageBlogging is one of the best ways to build trust, rapport, and credibility with your target audience. A study from HubSpot shows that business blogging leads to 55% more website visitors.

5 Reasons You Should Start Blogging Today

  1. Get Found on Google – Blogging is one of the best ways to get more visitors to your website. For the low, low price of a few minutes of your time each week, you can add your voice of reason and experience to all the web chatter, become a though leader in the eyes of Google, and raise your website ranking all at once!  (Be sure to include a keyword strategy to optimize your ranking)
  2. Patients Want to Get Educational Information from Their Doctor – Concerned that your blog will look like a self-serving marketing ploy?  In her book “Your Aesthetic Practice,” Catherine Maley sites that patients  “were interested in hearing from their physician periodically…. They saw this more as education than as marketing when the correspondence was informative.”  Provide quality educational content, and your readers will thank you!
  3. Patients Want to Hear from Other Patients – On his blog about social media and healthcare, Dr. Howard J. Luks sited that “80% of consumers trust the recommendation of a friend or colleague.” Can you afford to ignore a number like that? Invite your happy patients to comment on your blog and recognize them when they do.  Send a note thanking them for their input, and perhaps include a gift card they can apply to try a new service… thereby inviting them to continue being a happy patient!
  4. Patients Want to Know You Can Help Them – Write a few articles using anecdotes of aesthetic procedures and treatments from your practice.  Did your lipo procedure change someone’s life?  Did a vein treatment make someone feel more confident?  The goal is to help patients to see themselves in the stories.  Let patients know that you understand how they feel, that many of your patients felt the same way, but that most happy with their decision to have a procedure. (Refer to HIPPA regulations; keep it anonymous and change personal information.)
  5. Patients Want to Know More about You and Your Practice – Did you just attend a really cool conference?  Planning an event in your office?  Add a new person to your team?  You can write about events in the life of your practice in a way that helps patients to feel connected to you.  This is good for attracting new patients, but also is a great retention tool for your current patients.

If you make blogging a weekly exercise, you can build meaningful, long-lasting relationships with your patients and at the same time, rank higher in Google search results. Increasing your rank on Google means more visitors to your website.

In the coming weeks, we will talk about how to convert those visitors into qualified leads, and then how to convert those leads into new clients.

comment on our aesthetic blogWe would love to hear how you are using social media to grow your business. What trials and tribulations, and successes can you share? Please add them, as well as any questions, in the comments section below.

Low Cost, No Cost Ways to Get More Patients!

low cost marketing for new patientsKevin Simons (@kstotal) with Total Body Contouring (@tbcontouring) recently hosted the webinar, “Low Cost, No Cost Ways to Get More Patients, NOW!” with guest speaker, Catherine Maley, author and consultant, with Cosmetic Image Marketing (@catherinemaley).  Listen now!

On the webinar, Kevin discussed the newest technology for laser lipo, the GPSLipo procedure, and then Catherine followed-up with strategies for how a practice could market any new technology they acquire.

Here are just a couple of the marketing tips  Catherine shared during the webinar:

Low cost way to get more patients

Receptionist Ad/On Hold Message:  Although you don’t want to keep your cash-paying aesthetic patients on hold, take advantage of these idle moments with your patient to tell them about your new services and procedures.  Also, your receptionist can change her welcome comments to include, “Thank you for calling, Dr. Smith’s office, now offering GPSLipo.  This is Cindy, how may I help you?”

 

Using "Ask Me About" tools to spark new patients

“Ask Me About Tools”:  Catherine suggested that practices can use “ask me about…” tools to get patients to inquire about new or featured services.  Staff can wear buttons that say, “Ask Me About… GPSLipo” or lobby collateral can invite the patient to “Ask Us About…Body Contouring” making it easier for the curious patient to feel confident in asking their question.   Staff just needs to be prepped to give a quick, informative answer designed to lead to a consult or an appointment.

Listen to the webinar recording and watch the slide show to hear all of Catherine’s suggestions and how Total Body Contouring’s multidisciplinary training and television and internet marketing programs can help your practice to not only acquire new technology, but to also successfully market your practice. Learn more about Catherine Maley’s marketing strategies and published words by visiting cosmeticimagemarketing.com.

 

Take Advantage of 2012 Tax Deductions… Before They Expire!

Enjoy a little tax contouring with Total Body ContouringDoctors, and others business owners, who acquire equipment for their business: medical devices, machinery, computers, and other tangible goods, usually prefer to deduct the cost in a single tax year, rather than a little at a time over a number of years.  This deduction is known by its section in the tax code: a Section 179 deduction.

According to www.section179.org, “both the ‘Tax Relief Act of 2010’ as well as the ‘Jobs Act of 2010’ that passed in late 2010 affected Section 179 in a positive way for this 2012 tax year.

Following are the highlights for the 2012 tax year:

2012 Deduction Limit = $139,000:  This means you are eligible to deduct $139,000 of the purchase of your equipment from your taxes.

2012 Limit on Capital Purchases = $560,000:   Section 179 Threshold for total of equipment & software that can be purchased has increased to $560,000.

2012 Bonus Depreciation = 50%:   The new law allows 50% “Bonus Depreciation” on qualified assets placed in service during 2012.”

There is still time left to purchase your GPSLipo or other aesthetic equipment and be eligible for  the dramatic 2012 tax savings!

2012 Section 179 Deduction calculationVisit the tax calculator to run a few scenarios.  Here is a quick example of an average device purchase:

With these savings available for the current tax year, now is a very good time to learn more about available new technologies, and consider investing in your practice.

Learn more about GPSLipo:  the safest, most precise procedure for removing unwanted fat, or register to attend one of our LIVE procedure observations.

Learn more about EndyMed Pro: use the power of radio frequency to reach deep levels of skin tightening and body contouring.

Contact us at Total Body Contouring to discuss creative ways to grow your practice.