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Changing Patients, Changing Times

By: Merge magazine's editorial advisory board
Posted: November 2, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of

Abstract: Keeping up with what patients are looking for is essential to a successful practice, and the members of Merge magazine’s editorial advisory board know to stay on the lookout.

Helping aesthetic practices adjust to changing patient needs, Merge magazine asked its editorial advisory board members to share how they feel the patient population has evolved since starting their practices.

Q: Do you think the aesthetic consumer has changed since you began your practice? If so, how?

The shift in the consumer philosophy has transitioned to an even more savvy patient seeking top quality outcomes. The patients want natural results and good value for their investment, and they want assistance in determining their best options to achieve their goals. That may be surgery, volume restoration using injectable fillers, skin treatments, or a custom combination of all three.
Ben Bassichis, MD, FACS
Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery Center Dallas

I feel there is more mainstream acceptance of aesthetic procedures than there was in the early 1990s when I began practicing. I also feel consumers are taking a greater interest in educating themselves about various aesthetic treatment options.
Brian Biesman, MD
Nashville Centre for Laser and Facial Surgery, Nashville, TN

There has been a tremendous change in the aesthetic consumer during the past 21 years, mostly due to the plethora of nonsurgical and medical aesthetic options the consumer now has to choose from. In addition, because of the incredible media attention to this topic, there are many resources the consumer has to obtain information. The Internet is now the consumers’ main source of information, which has its advantages but also creates myths. Managing patient expectations is very challenging because the information is not vetted and is often sensationalized. Anything can be posted on the Internet, so the consumer has no real way to separate scientifically sound procedures versus procedures that are based on anecdotal information that is driven by marketing.
Laurie Casas, MD, FACS
Casas Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Glenview, IL