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Vocal Point Survey

The results are in! Here's what you had to say about our question from February 2011.

The Vocal Point responses have not been edited, and are posted as they were originally submitted. The opinions expressed in these responses are not necessarily those of or Skin Inc. magazine.

How do you advise clients who are interested in cosmetic surgery?

This month's Vocal Point Survey winner!Since we live in a small town, we don't have plastic surgeons or cosmetic dermatologist to network with, but we have quite a few clients who have had some type of procedure that we don't offer. So we follow their treatments and how happy they are with them and the doctor, and then we use their doctor's names as referrals for our clients. We discuss the importance of preparing the skin before surgery and maintaining their investment by good continued skin care treatments after surgery, as well as using quality home care products. We stay informed of new treatments and products, as well as the doctors who are doing them in our outlaying area. Our clients appreciate our involvement in their desired procedures and, because of our integrity and advanced skin care training and confidentiality, they trust and seek out our opinions.
- Sandra Donovan, Owner, Donovan's Serenity & Wellness Spa, Alpena, MI
My advice would be to research for the right doctor who has the proper credentials and who has had a lot of experience. Talk to clients or friends, family and more to see who they saw and how they feel about their treatments. Make sure the cosmetic surgery is done at a hospital or proper clinic. Prepare yourself for healing and pain. When having or considering cosmetic surgery, you must do it for yourself, not anyone else. To please your husband or friends is not a reason to have cosmetic surgery. If it makes you feel better about yourself and increases your self-esteem, that is the right reason to do it.
- Laura Schaeffer, esthetician and massage therapist, Serenity Spa, Madison, WI
Cosmetic surgery is a serious decision and needs to be thoroughly thought out before proceeding. I like to ask clients what they want to achieve and what led them to the decision to explore cosmetic surgery. It is important not to come across as being judgmental. I will offer suggestions about doctors I have seen produce excellent work and let the client know about the importance of followup skin care with an esthetician.
- Jessica Campbell, Owner, Spa Scotta, Seattle, WA
I advise clients to be realistic in their expectations of the procedure and to follow up with intensive preventive measures to ensure the procedure results last. I advise them to do thorough research on the surgeon that they are considering using. I advise about downtime from work depending on the nature of the procedure, and to follow the post-surgery instructions given by their physician. Most importantly, I tell them to take it easy on themselves, to give themselves time to heal fully before returning to normal activities.
- Renee Price, Owner/Esthetician, R, Lili Skincare, Goodlettsville, TN
When I first opened my practice 16 years ago, I made it a point to meet with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. She has been a wonderful source to my clients as well as to myself. We also make sure we are well informed, to better guide them in the best direction that fits both their financial and personal needs. This require us to read the wonderful information in trade magazines.
- Bernadette Flanagan, Owner, Bernadette's Day Spa, Newburyport, MA
I work with a local plastic surgeon. I meet with patients for skin care procedures and if they are interested in stepping up to surgery, I have them meet with the doctor. Having the information for the clients is extremely helpful and I can advise my clients on skin care treatments and products that will compliment their plastic surgery procedure(s). For those undertaking facial surgery, I recommend them to see me for manual lymphatic drainage before and after surgery. I also recommend home care products with ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E and arnica to help their skin heal and ease them through the healing process. For those doing injectables like Botox and fillers, I can recommend peels and/or products to help extend the benefits of the treatments. I also tell my clients that if they don't wish to see the doctor I work with, to find a board-certified plastic (or facial plastic) surgeon. There are so many doctors out there who are doing cosmetic procedures with hardly any training or know-how and there can be undesirable results that ultimately the client will have to pay for to correct. It is better to be safe and find a board-certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon who is trained and experienced with plastic surgery procedures. I also encourage my patients to find a surgeon they are comfortable with and trust and to not let the cost be the driving factor in their decision. I tell them to make sure they like their staff and the doctor because they will be seeing them quite a bit after surgery.
- Jennifer Jackolin, Esthetician , Jennifer Jackolin Esthetics , Cedar Lake, IN
I recommend alternatives, but if they insist, I have a doctor who works in the area.
- Beatrice Beckers, Manager/Owner, Indigo Studio Day Spa, Delray Beach, FL
I do a skin analysis and discuss their concerns first. I then review the best treatment that will meet their needs. Sometimes they need more than what I can provide. If they are a candidate for a cosmetic surgery, I advise them to look for a clinic and doctor that they can get a referral from his or her family physician or friends and family. After this, I advise the client to do their homework and research on the Internet to try to find some more about the facility and doctor's experience. They should ask the doctor about how many procedures he or she has already performed and how often they perform the procedures. They should also ask for some referrals from the doctor and verify the references. Never go to just one doctor before you decide. You need to compare and see what doctor you trust and feel the most comfortable with to do the surgery.
- Jaqueline Zacharko, Medical Esthetician/Owner, Jackie Z Medi Spa, Canton, GA
I first ask why they're considering the surgery and make sure they've considered the risk that all surgery can have and if there are alternative options. If its more than a whim, I'd advise them to seek consultations from at least three board-certified plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic procedures, especially the one they're interested in, and list their questions before the visit. View before-and-after pictures, and get confirmation that they're a good candidate for the surgery. Ask to read the consent forms ahead of time with all the risks. Ask to talk with three patients who've had the surgery to understand the healing experience. Check with their family doctor for health concerns. Try to engage the support of a family member or friend. Make sure emotionally they feel absolutely positive about the surgery. Once this is done, I lend my full support to whatever their choice is.
- Mildred Bell, Owner, Skin Health Solutions, Downingtown, PA
First, I listen to them and evaluate why they are seeking cosmetic surgery. I don't tell them they should or shouldn't go for it. When they hear themselves talk, they become more aware about why they are interested. Some even say "all my friends had it," others have partners that either want them to or don't care either way. I then tell them it's important to know who is doing the surgery and knowing someone who had it done by that doctor would be the best reference. I let them know that there are always risks, even though that doctor may be the best. If the benefits outweigh the risks, then that should be the deciding factor.
- Theresa Kisielewski, Owner, Fountain Of Youth Day Spa, Hendersonville, NC
When my clients ask me a question, it is knowing I will explain pros and cons. For instance, a brow lift, I will suggest to do it after they have their lasic eyes done. I have had clients ask about liposuction. We discuss diet and exercise with a timeline then I will have done research on who they should see. Then there are those who really just need to talk. I'll explain why they should wait until they really need it and give them other tips on how to be happy with themselves.
- Jillian Bergeron, Owner, Spa Ambiance Inc., Stratham, NH
Well, I try and educate them of all the ways that estheticians and medical estheticians can help with their concerns. You talk about the technology available to estheticians that is nonsurgical such as imicrocurrent, LED, intense pulsed light, advanced peels and microdermabrasion. A lot of times you can educate them and they will give these treatments a try first given the fact that they are significantly less expensive. I believe it really depends how advanced the aging process is. There is only so much we can do without surgery when it comes to sagging and flaccid neck and facial muscles. I think there are a lot of treatments available for hyperpigmentation that provide great results.
- Doretta Brown, Esthetician, Pamper Me Please!, Castro Valley, CA
I advise my clients to talk to the doctor about things I can do to help make the surgery a success. I also advise them about precautions such as permanent makeup will turn bright blue if they have a glycolic acid peel if the glycolic acid gets on the permanent makeup area. I find out as much information as I can about the type of surgery the client is having and suggest treatments that will help.
- Monica Crisp, Esthetician, Signori Mani Salon & Day Spa, Summerville, SC
I have worked in an office with a plastic surgeon for 15 years (doing skin care) and have learned the following. Cosmetic surgery is a subjective and highly personal decision. It is not my place to persuade or dissuade any client one way or another, or to make comments on their personal appearance. The best advice is to tell clients to be as informed as possible about risks, complications, recovery and the skill and reputation of the surgeon. I will play a supportive role in preconditioning their skin prior to surgery and continuing to give them the flawless skin to go with their new look should they decide to have a procedure. When we look at someone and try to guess their age it is more likely to be the condition of the skin that determines our answer, due to amount of sun damage. I always advise a skin care regimen that is corrective and preventive that gives a more youthful appearance regardless of the structure of the face.
- Susan Perry , Medical Esthetician, Susan Perry Medical Skin Care, San Francisco, CA
The main thing i stress is go to a plastic surgeon who only does faces if you want facial plastic surgery. No one is good at everything, so pick your perfectionist ... one that specializes in the area you want perfected. I went to a facial plastic surgeon to correct my pixie ears and he had me come back every year for four years before he would do the surgery because he said the outcome would not turn out well until my skin had enough elasticity. When he finally did it, it was perfect. There were several other doctors who would have done it earlier, but I trusted the guy that only did faces.
- Carole Goodpastor, Owner, A Healthier Complexion, The Woodlands, TX
I ask them their goals, ask them to get a photo of what they want to look like again, being realistic of course, and then I advise them to begin a skin care regimen to get the skin in good condition and maintain good skin health. I recommend a plastic surgeon that has a subtle approach, doing noninvasive treatments to begin with, which consists of laser treatments and some fillers, and remind them to keep smiling.
- Ellen Delaney, Owner/Esthetician, A New Spirit Aesthetics, Oswego, NY
I advise them to try some of the latest anti-aging technology first.
- Cheryl Stephens, Esthetician, Spa of Tranquility, Troy, IL
I inform them of costs and educate them on the risks of a surgical procedure. Dr. Matthews is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon who offers a free consultation. I also recommend getting a second opinion from other board-certified plastic surgeons because different people get along differently with certain doctors. You want to be as comfortable as possible and go to a doctor that you feel has your best interest at heart and is able to put your mind at ease when necessary. Although cosmetic procedures are not medically necessary, they are still surgery. They must be as educated as possible.
- Jennifer Plaza, Office Manager, AJM Laser & Aesthetics, Gilroy, CA
First I ask them why. I want to determine if there are treatments that can offer results that they are looking for without being so drastic. A lot of clients feel they have no other choice, and I want to educate them about all their options. Next, I make sure they know that with esthetic services and good home regimen, we can work closely together so they get great results with whatever doctor they decide on and whatever procedure they decide on. Lastly, I make sure they get multiple opinions and I tell them that just because they have one visit with one doctor doesn't mean you are committed to that particular medical office and they should shop around first to be completely confident in their decision.
- Rebekah McCabe, Owner, Essentials Skin & Wellness Center, Moses Lake, WA
I have not had any ask as of yet. I would advise they educate themselves on all of the options and weigh the risks before having any surgery, and to always try the most noninvasive option first.
- Amy Hackett, Owner, Indulgence Delivered Day Spa, Wellsville, NY
I first listen to their concerns and try to understand if they are just not happy or just a little down due to some unlikely circumstances like divorce, death or just pure loneliness. Then I will usually recommend something that's not permanent and not too invasive, like Botox and fillers and see if they like that look first. Then, I go from there ...a simpler approach is always best at first. My treatments are usually hydrating, firming and lifting and usually at the end of our session, my clients are feeling better about themselves and more educated with different choices they can make.
- Marjorie Ahern, Owner/Esthetician, About Face Skin Care Salon, Chatham, MA
When I know a client is set on surgery, I give them the name of the best doctor and let them go from there. I explain that I will be there for them after for their skin care needs and skin care products.
- Rhonda Bareford, Owner, V.I.P. Day Spa, Aylett, VA
I like to understand what the client is looking at first and why she wants something fixed or changed. Then I like to start her out with a series of microdermabrasions first and see what effect that has on her skin. If that worked for her and she was liking what it is doing, then I will suggest a two-week rest of treatment and then start a series of chemical peels. If she is still liking the results and not thinking so much she needs surgery, then we will continue along these lines for awhile, before going into plastic surgery. If she likes her skin but still wants more, then I will work with her and a plastic surgeon to take that next step. I find that this process for me works best, and seems my clients are happier with their results.
- Norma Cheney, Instructor, Paroba Beauty College, Bothell, WA
When clients ask me about cosmetic surgery, I always ask about the top three important areas of their life. How are you sleeping, eating and pooping? Much like childhood, we should always examine what is going in and out of our bodies and how much time we allow our bodies to rest. The client usually admits that they have not paid much attention to the three categories listed above and decide to start with mindful choices to increase colorful food choices, eat less dairy, sugar and get more rest. Cosmetic surgery, I believe, should not be used as a mend-all fix-all without positive change to the inside. The client will usually decide to re-evaluate their bodies and come for a cleansing facial.
- Brenda Goebel Denesowicz, Owner/Esthetician, The Bee Hive, Wilmington, DE
Having worked in a plastic surgeons office, I try to explain as best I can about expectations, post-surgical down time and discomfort. There are so many treatments that are much less invasive today, and I recommend that they start there first and work their way to surgery if that's what they feel that they really want and need. I have seen some great surgery and some that clients have regretted their surgical decision, so I like to educate on the less invasive route first. I feel that that is a huge part of my job and loyalty to my clients. I sign up for every bit of education that I can so that I feel confident offering the advice that I do.
- Tina Kirch, Owner/Esthetician, Pure Skin, Stony Brook, NY
I'm an esthetician so I cannot advice them to the full extent But I can refer them to a cosmetic surgeon, and also give them information on services they offer.
- Jamie Godard, Owner, PSR, Tucson, AZ
Go to three doctors that are board-certified. Make sure they answer all your questions and when you leave, you feel sure that's the one. Also, you can get a referral from someone who has had work done and is happy with the results. Make sure this is very important to you and finally, do your homework.
- Susan Markle, Facialist, Sue Spa, Shelby Twp., MI
That is pretty simple. We are owned and run by William J. Vasileff, MD, FACS, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Birmingham, MI. Each and every one of our technicians are well versed in all aspect of plastic surgery. We can answer questions about procedures, fees, recovery, the doctor and staff. Dr. Vasileff sends client who are not quite ready for the procedure they have inquired about to us and all post-operative patients receive two free services in our spa. Likewise, all clients know about Dr Vasileff and we send all clients looking for results beyond us to Dr. Vasileff and answer any questions a client may have at each visit. It also is a great benefit when the physician, staff and estheticians have respect for each other and the services provided. Clients pick up on the positive vibe in our office and know that they are always in good hands with whatever they are doing.
- Charlene Steward, Spa Director/Esthetician, William J. Vasileff MD, and Orchid Day Med Spa, Birmingham, MI
I have spent the last 15 years working for plastic surgeon as a medical esthetician. Each of those years were with medical practices that had several surgeons. As a result, I have seen a great deal of each of the physician's work and have a good idea of their specialties. When a client comes to me for advise or a referral regarding a surgeon or a specific procedure, I feel very confident in making a referral, based on a working knowledge. Never on word of mouth. Typically, if I make a referral to a physician, I do so with the utmost confidence and respect of that physician's work and reputation. And, I am so confident in the physician that I would go the physician myself, if needed. Also, as I have a working knowledge of many physicians in my area, I tend to refer clients to physicians that specialize in the specific area of expertise that the client is seeking. I do not and will not make referrals randomly. I want the client to be happy with my referral, the physician and more importantly, the outcome of the surgery or procedure performed.
- Robin Townsend, Owner/Medical Esthetician, Faces by Robin, Maineville, OH
I tell my clients who ask my advice on cosmetic surgery is first to consider the pros and cons on the surgery they are interested in. How long it is going to take to recover? How bad is the problem they are concerned about? And can we fix the problem a natural way? I always see if we can fix the problem naturally because, although it make take a longer time to fix, it will be worth it in the long run and be healthier for the body. To me, a quick fix unless absolutely necessary, is not always best.
- Karrie Shinko, Esthetician, Asha Salon and Spa, Lombard, IL
I would talk to a client about cosmetic surgery by advising them to check out the credentials of the cosmetic physician they are considering. After having that done, the next step would be an initial visit with the surgeon. Usually there is no fee for the first visit and most surgeries are done in an outpatient schedule. Have planned time to rest and don't underestimate the recovery period. Leave enough time to do some rest and relaxation, which leads to better final results from the surgery. Follow up with a facial with your esthetician.
- Noreen Wells, Owner, About Face & Reflexology, Lake Geneva, WI
Cosmetic surgery has become quite popular due to the media and reality television shows, however, the decision to undergo cosmetic surgery should be a serious, well thought-out decision. It's always best to set up a personal consultation before you make your ultimate decision.
- Gina Virgilio, Marketing Director, Ritacca Laser Center, Vernon Hills, IL
Fortunately, I worked with a cosmetic ophthalmologist for five years prior to opening my esthetic practice. As a result, I am very comfortable in making a referral. My philosophy regarding cosmetic procedures is this: if it bothers you and you can afford to fix it, then do so.
- Marci Delaney, Esthetician, m.d. Skin llc, West Columbia, SC
I've worked for four plastic surgeons in my past, and have seen a lot of people come and go. I myself was interested at one point, but made my decision not to. There are many procedures out there and some are pretty costly. I would have to suggest that someone think long and hard if its only for cosmetic reasons. Breast enhancements can be both good and bad. The good part is for someone who may not have fully developed and also for those who have had breast cancer. However, I have seen so many with complications, but now with technology, the implant is safer than before where as others had saline leaks and so on. Also, some good points are young children who may suffer with a cleft palate. Another good point is to operate on a patient who has overcome there battle with obesity and has lots of excess skin, which at times might be able to be used on a burn victim. So I guess all in all, I do support cosmetic reasons to allow others to fit in and feel better for themselve and to live normal lifes. However this is a opinion of a esthetician and not a doctor.
- Tiffany Roy, Esthetician, Kathy & Company Salon and Spa, Abbeville, LA
It really depends on the client. Do they use the right products, follow the directions I give them, eat right for their skin type, exercise regularly and find good stress-relievers? By doing all the right things, you can totally change your skin or keep it looking great. If my client can't do all the things they really should and are really unhappy, I do recommend trusted sources. It really depends on my client. Some are willing to go the extra mile and do the work. Those clients I help see how they can do major improvements by changing products, using sunscreen, eating healthy, using supplements, monitoring stress and exercising regularly. Amazing results happen with the right formula. That's what I explain to each new client. You really have to understand your client and see what is best for them.
- Karla DeLisle, Owner, Tranquil Facials, Vancouver, WA
I always worry about the client having realistic expectations. So often I find that they have the surgery and the results don't come out the way they way they expected and they also don't realize how much more important home care is after surgery. I think helping them understand what is involved with the surgery and how to take care of themselves is the most important thing that you can do. I try to provide them with as much education as I can and I advise them to talk to their doctor about the after-care that I recommend.
- Marguerite Holland, Esthetician/Makeup Artist, Xentrik Beauty Lounge, Itasca, IL
I advise my clients to get at least two consultations with plastic surgeons who are board-certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery. During the consultation, ask to see before-and-after pictures of surgeries that have been performed. Also, if possible, talk with one or two of his patients.
- Carolyn Clary, Owner/Medical Esthetician, Aesthetic Alternatives, Houston, TX
I think we are excellent ambassadors to clients interested in cosmetic surgery. We as estheticians can help with the pre-post op preparation and the healing time. The best direction is to have a relationship with a plastic surgeon and refer your client to discuss and review her options. Many times, we are the first person she confides in that she is interested in a cosmetic service.
- Elizabeth Paner, Owner/Esthetician, Midtown Medi-Spa, Inc., Raleigh, NC
First and foremost, I make sure they are seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon. They should be able to look at examples of the doctor's work and should not be pressured to make any kind of decision about any kind of treatment. Then, I just try to be a support for them, helping to answer any questions about the different types of treatments that are available. I also like to help them determine a treatment plan post-surgery to assist in the healing process and to get the most out of their cosmetic procedures.
- Gretchen Wilson, Owner/Esthetician, Day Spa Central, Hammond, IN
We are associated with several of our well-known cosmetic surgery doctors. After a consultation with the client, we recommend they talk to at least two, sometimes three, depending on how unsure they are, and always offer our assistance with helping them make the right decision.
- Suzanne Olsen, Owner, Fountains Day Spa, Alexandria, VA
We offer a complimentary consultation to address their specific goals and expectations. At the time of the consult, we collect their contact information to follow up with a letter outlining what was discussed. Depending on their area of concern, we individualize a treatment plan, and review the contraindications, recovery and cost. Most importantly, we thoroughly explain what can be achieved, setting realistic goals. We also show the client before-and-after pictures.
- Nikki Rasmussen, Owner, Yolo Med Spa & Laser Center, Guilford, CT
Make sure they are board-certified and check out their reputation. Also, it is very important to properly take care of your skin before and after the procedure. Do your homework!
- Barbara Wicklund, Sales, Colorlab Cosmetics, Rockford, IL
Wellness is major for my clients. When somebody is interested in cosmetic surgery, we work together and discuss the details. 1. We set up a plan: to find a good surgeon, get free consultation, find out the options and results. 2. If the decision is made, we start a two-month preparation of the skin, daily home-care routine targeted to soothe and hydrate the skin, plus we schedule two or three facials to nourish, hydrate and relax. Three days before the surgery we perform a detoxifying body wrap for wellness and relaxation. 3. We discuss the post-surgery daily routine with products to help the skin heal and protect, and post-surgery treatments to bring skin back to the normal. I am very proud for my clients following our plan and having the best results. Works great, great results, surgeons are usually surprised and everybody is happy!
- Liliya Eckelbarger, Esthetician, Spiece Day Spa, Fort Wayne, IN
I think its a great idea! We're in the beauty business to help keep our clients happy and beautiful. It's best to be honest about how they look; if they ask for my advice, I will recommend cosmetic surgery. I've had it and I'm very happy.
- Kristine Akob Aminian, Owner, Kristine's Day Spa, Granada Hills, CA
There have been clients that open up to me about their desire to change their physical appearance by enhancing or altering certain features. I have tried to train my ear to catch their emotions on why they desire to go under the knife to get those results. The beauty about being an esthetician is that we are able to encourage woman to look and feel beautiful without surgery. We are trained to apply makeup in ways that can camouflage or accentuate features to obtain a certain look, or educate women on what colors look best on them. Of course, being able to recommend skin care and noninvasive procedures are also appropriate to suggest to the client. If they are still wanting a more drastic and permanent result, I have built a relationship with a local trusted cosmetic surgeon that I refer to the client. I try to use the full spectrum of disciplines in esthetics to serve my client base, but ultimately, if the client wants to nip/tuck ... I know who to send them to.
- Mary Toukan, Lead Esthetician, M.N. Day Spa, Magnolia , TX
Depending on what they want done, I would give them the pros and cons of surgery.
- Judy Becerra, Esthetician/Massage Therapist, Judy's Blooms, Duarte, CA
When asked by clients who are interested in obtaining plastic surgery, I usually direct them to try alternative methods first before making a decision that could affect there overall appearance permanently. As a master esthetician who also performs permanent makeup procedures, I like to direct clients to always try temporary alternatives, such as lash or brow tinting, so they can get an idea of how a permanent cosmetic procedure would look on there lash line or brow prior to making that decision of permanent. Finding the right doctor to perform any procedure requires shopping around and getting as many opinions as needed for the final OK. Both client and doctor must have the confidence to ensure a prospective patient that she is in his superior care and can be trusted.
- E. Dawson, Master Esthetician/Owner, SkinFit Esthetics, Salem, VA
Just say no! It's my job to keep them away from the knife!
- Tonya Atkinson, Esthetician, impres salon spa, Traverse City, MI
Cosmetic surgery is a serious procedure with risks involved. I would let my client know all the risks associated with the type of surgery they are interested in and try to steer them toward other procedures with less risk involved first. I believe it is always best to educate your clients on all the procedures available to treat their specific needs, and then let them decide which treatment is best for them and their lifestyle once they have all the facts. This is the best way to earn your clients trust and build a good relationship that will last!
- Erin Creasman, Esthetician, Equilibrium MedSpa, Murfreesboro, TN
By offering noninvasive alternatives, if appropriate. Not all people can achieve what they want without cosmetic surgery, and some are just not educated enough to know about noninvasive procedures. It's our job as estheticians to make them aware of all options
- Jackie Schmidt, Manager, It's a Wrap Body Solutions, Cumming, GA
Since we live in a small town, we don't have plastic surgeons or cosmetic dermatologist to network with, but we have quite a few clients who have had some type of procedure that we don't offer. So we follow their treatments and how happy they are with them and the doctor, and then we use their doctor's names as referrals for our clients. We discuss the importance of preparing the skin before surgery and maintaining their investment by good continued skin care treatments after surgery, as well as using quality home care products. We stay informed of new treatments and products, as well as the doctors who are doing them in our outlaying area. Our clients appreciate our involvement in their desired procedures and, because of our integrity and advanced skin care training and confidentiality, they trust and seek out our opinions.
- Sandra Donovan, Owner, Donovan's Serenity & Wellness Spa, Alpena, MI
I ask them if they have been thinking about it for a long time. Then, I advise them they should ask their friends for referrals, and to get a couple of consultations. One is not enough.
- Pam Garnett, Owner/Esthetician, Uptown Salon, Mt. Shasta, CA
I tell them there is risk with any surgery that they should consider. They should know their doctor and his track record. If money is no object and they see the surgery as a life improvement, then go ahead with it. Be sure to research the surgeon and be realistic about the result.
- Val Seymour, Owner/Skin Care Specialist, Bay Beauty Spa, Morro Bay, CA
I am not opposed to cosmetic surgery, but you must do your homework first. When choosing a plastic surgeon, check his credentials thoroughly, talk to other clients he has worked on, and talk to him and see if you are comfortable with him. Do not enter into this major surgery without two opinions. Check online and gather all the information you can. Be an informed consumer.
- Sherry Parker, Owner, The Wrinkle Shed LLC, Fort Atkinson, WI
We try to keep a working relationship with a couple of cosmetic surgeons. In doing so, when a client shows an interest in a procedure, we suggest she get at least a couple of opinions and interview the doctors. We offer her the name and number of the doctors we know. Of course, we have vetted them and know the quality of their work.
- Angelaq Quadagno, Owner, Essencia Salon, North Palm Beach, FL
I do have a particular client who is in desperate need of it after losing 200 pounds. The excess is causing her pain in the lower extremities. I have made the suggestion for the most reputable doctors, but she does realize the downtime and I do explain the precautions. And of course I do explain that one should not go overboard, and that the results will last an average of 10 years.
- Jennifer Morsch, Owner/Esthetician, Mind~Body~Soul Day Spa, Avon, NY
When clients speak to me about cosmetic surgery, I always, without hesitation, say: 'Have you researched whoever you are thinking of going to?' Be sure to ask 'What is the minimal amount of surgery they would suggest' as well as 'Why do you want the surgery?' We all talk about how wonderful it would be to look younger, but keeping it in line with the rest of your body is equally important. A little tweak around the eyes, and a little shot here and there is so much more natural than a full face lift. However, in certain cases, either from extreme weight loss or very extreme sun damage, it can certainly bring their faces back inline with the rest of them. How people view themselves is so often worse in our own eyes ... keeping it simple and natural is best.
- Dee Bowman, Esthetician/LMT, Studio 210, Brandon, FL
Since I worked for plastic surgeons for six years, I saw exactly what patients go through. I try to find out from my client what results they want to achieve. I inform them of all the nonsurgical advances that have been made. We discuss nonsurgical methods and how long nonsurgical methods may last and cost so they can compare this to the cost of surgery and recovery time. I inform them if they have surgery, more than likely they will have to have more within 10 years. I also explain to them what they will experience if they have surgery. We talk about recovery time. Sometimes the doctors sugar-coat the recovery. Clients needs to know it is major surgery. Sometimes surgery may be the best option, but sometimes there are nonsurgical options that will give them the results they are looking for with less recovery time and cost.
- Jana Focarino, Owner/Esthetician, Great Skin For You, Flat Rock, NC
I tell them to go to two top plastic surgeons in their area and have a consult. Then find out the time you will need and the cost. Ask questions about the least to do or the most. Least is always better. Whenever you have surgery, there is a good and a bad. Find out what both things are, then base your choice on what you can live with.
- Phyllis Rinaldi, Owner, Rinaldi Corp, Cincinnati, OH
Having a medical spa background, we always encourage prepping the skin with a proper home care regimen, chemical peels and microdermabrasion treatments. This helps the client not only to maintain great results, but also to start healthy skin habits for the future. Client are encouraged to see several different surgeons before scheduling surgeries, and are educated on all options for making improvements to the face and neck through microcurrent, chemical peels, laser treatments, microdermabrasion, oxygen and LED light therapies.
- Karen Felix, Lead Esthetician, The Club at Carlton Woods, The Woodlands, TX
The first point I make is that I am not a physician, but that my 20 years of experience in this business has allowed me to research and develop a trust with those who have the proper credentials to perform cosmetic surgery. I give three solid surgeon recommendations. I stress that only a board-certified plastic surgeon has achieved the ultimate accredetation. My approach is to ask my client what their realistic goal is during our time together. I then ask them what their long-range plan may be that perhaps requires medical attention and cannot be accomplished at the spa. If they open up, I talk to the client about their followup treatments, and that it would be our pleasure to provide the after-care services. When the client reveals what situation bothers them, I lend credibility to the surgeon, give them literature, show them pre- and post-op photos and encourage them to research the surgeon themselves. I present the options, the client chooses to go forward and based on their research, makes an appointment and a decision with the surgeon of their liking. If I see an obvious medical necessity for a client to see a physician, I am professionally bound to point out that I am not a physician but that I see a situation that may warrant some medical attention. This is a very delicate situation, so it has to be handled very carefully. Some clients may be offended and others are appreciative. It is all about the approach and the expertise that follows.
- Charlotte Hurd, Owner, Renaissance Day Spa Inc., Cranberry Township, PA
First, we do their consult and find out what their goals are; we try to give them all the education they need to make a informed decision. If we fell that we cannot help the with a nonsurgical approach, we would then refer them to one of the best cosmetic surgeons. Always encourage them to do as many consults as they can and to have all the information to make the right choice.
- Wendy Sanford, Director, The Medi~Spa at Sw, Tigard, OR
I keep the names of a couple of dermatologists and plastic surgeon on hand. I would suggest that they should get an opinion from an expert in that field. I know I am an expert at what I do and the treatments that I am applying are giving them the best benefits. I would let them know that they are beautiful as they are.
- Annie Hamilton, Owner, Hamilton Enterprise, Chicago, IL
I make sure it's something they truly want and there's nothing that I can do to help them out. I also advise them to take the time to research plastic surgeons and not settle on the first one they see.
- Michelle Duncan, Esthetician, Class Act Salon & Day Spa , Anderson, IN
I send clients to an American board plastic surgeon on the spot if they want a consultation. I make the call and schedule it for them. I have his business card and brochure on my countertop.They are not charged for a consultation fee. Customer service is key.
- Ana Maria Robles, Owner, Bella Medical Skin Care, Hayward, CA
I explain that there are other options available that are not as harmful to the body as surgery. I talk about fillers, Botox and also treatments that I do that really significantly change the muscles of the face, such as oxygen treatments, that plump the skin and give fillerlike results.
- Juanita Young, President, Bel Esprit, Inc., Ketchum, ID
Advise them to research their doctor thoroughly and have realistic expectations.
- Colleen Knippel, Owner, Aqua Spa, Mokena, IL
Go over the pros and cons. Offer suggestions of less-invasive options that are available, such as facials, peels and IPL. The last resort should be referring them to reputable doctor.
- Lisa Holtham, Owner, Skin Benefit & Nail Solution, New Braunfels, TX
I advise them to really do their homework, including getting references from those who have received procedures, references from physicians they are thinking about going to, delving into the psychological issues surrounding their desire to have a procedure and being realistic about the desired outcome and the longevity of the results.
- Brenda Griffin, Owner/Operator, Faces Plus, Tucson, AZ
I would evaluate the client and question their expectations. If the expectation is something beyond the realm of superficial treatments, I would steer them to the right place to get cosmetic surgery. For example: deep lines that require a filler, I would advise they get a filler and that topical treatments are too superficial for the type of lines they want to combat. This happens often and they will be happier with you if they get results and you are honest.
- Mary Partee, Medical Assistant/Skin Technician, Fort Wayne Dermatology Consultants, Roanoke, IN
I have always made it a point to get to know plastic surgeons or cosmetic dermatologists in my area to be an active networking stream for us all to share what we do with each other. If I feel that the patient/client has a valid concern or question I cannot answer, I always know the specialist that she can be directed to. This is a excellent method of referral and if a big network is developed, the referrals will go both ways. Not all of us should be everything to all clients. Refer to a specialist. I do a few things very well and become a resource for all.
- Caren Wilson, Appearance Enhancement Specialist, Serenity Med Arts L.L.C, Culpeper, VA
I believe that cosmetic surgery has it's place in esthetics. Some people simply need more advanced treatments to achieve the results they are seeking. I am very fortunate to have found plastic surgeons in the two cities that I work. I feel comfortable referring to these doctors based on the work that I have seen. I think having a good relationship with a plastic surgeon's office is a very valuable tool as an esthetician.
- Kym Padgett, Esthetician, Skin by Kym @ Essentials Salon-Reno, Reno, NV
I would advise her to first look for a well-known plastic surgeon; one who has been in business for a long time and that is known to have successful results. Then have a good consultation with the doctor, find out what are the risks and the recovery time from the procedure, and be sure that this is what they want.
- Cladeth Powell, Cosmetologist, Beauty R Us, Columbia, MD
In my practice, if someone is truly set on having cosmetic surgery, I refer them to one of a couple of plastic surgeons that I know and trust. These days, it seems many different types of physicians have jumped on the medical spa and skin bandwagon, and I do no trust just anyone. I prefer, to send them to a physician who not only is board-certified in plastic surgery, but one that takes a conservative approach to augmenting the body. The physicians that I refer to actually will turn the client away if they think there is no need, or they don't think that the client is a good candidate for the surgery. When my clients trust me enough to ask my opinion about plastic surgeons, I make sure I've done my homework when I point them in the direction of the best physician in our area. After all, my reputation is at stake, too.
- Emma Bains, Esthetician, Coast Massage Therapy Group, Gautier, MS
When advising a client who is interested in having cosmetic surgery, I advise them to get three opinions from doctors I recommend or recommendations they get from friends.I advise them to make sure it is someone they feel comfortable working with and to ask questions and to look at their portfolio of before-and-after pictures. I talk to them about prepping for surgery, and the things that they should be aware of for after. On one occasion, I did go with a client for her surgery. She had been a heavy smoker and had quit for six months before attempting to have the surgery. We are able to maintain her results with the treatments that she receives from me. I make sure I have done all that I can to help my clients before they seek other options. Microcurrent and light therapy are successful in a lot of cases. I also suggest that they make sure their nutrition needs and vitamin supplementation are up to par. Each situation is unique to that individual, so I take it on a case-by-case basis. Most of my clients (95%) are happy with the results they are getting from the services that I provide.
- Sondra YeVette, Owner/Operator, Beautiful People International, Los Angeles, CA
When discussing cosmetic surgery, I will ask what kind of change they're looking for and what their expectations are. Often, if they're not being realistic and just throwing it out there, we'll discuss other alternatives available in the industry, such as Fraxel lasers, medical-grade peels and injectables. Then, if they're determined, I encourage them to make several consult appointments with preferred plastic surgeons in the area, and I offer to accompany them, if desired. Having been a staff nurse for a plastic surgery group, I am knowledgable regarding pre- and post-care, as well as the types of surgeries available to accomplish the areas of concern, and I will carefully share a bit of this information, if asked. I educate the client regarding pre-surgical preparations and post-care, leaving the surgical discussion to the physicians. If the client has an obvious reason for interest, for example heavy upper lids or excessively puffy lower lids, I always encourage them to seek surgical advice and they leave with proper information and a physician referral. There are physiological changes that warrant surgery as the only remedy, and I remain ready to be helpful to my client in their search for the surgeon who will meet their expectations. It's important to remember that their reason for seeking surgery is a delicate one and always consult with professionalism and courtesy and above all, correct information. I do not downplay their reason, but simply remain educated and share this knowledge with them. Clients will respect your professionalism and return to you for continued treatments for facial rejuvenation. Surgical skin needs specific care and, as a esthetician, your knowledge and expertise in the field of pre- and post-treatments are invaluable, especially in lymphatic massage. Know your area plastic surgeons, attend their informational symposiums and be equipped to intelligently discuss options. Most all will willingly supply you with information relative to the types of services and surgeries available in their practice. The physicians will be grateful and your client will make her decision knowing she has your support.
- Diane Edmondson, Owner/Operator, Diane Edmondson Aesthetics, Brentwood, TN
I would advise them to get several different opinions from different doctors. They need to be sure that this is something they have truly given a lot of thought to and also educate them on options other than cosmetic surgery.
- Jennifer Browder, Esthetician, J Joseph Salon and Spa, Land o Lakes, FL
I tell them to do their research and homework. No need to rush into anything!
- Stephanie Andresen, Owner, Brilliant Bodywork, Onalaska, WI
If you do not personally know a reputable board-certified plastic surgeon, why not call a great doctor in your area and ask for a few minutes of his time. You can cross refer to one another and become educated on the procedures.
- Chris Bresky, Consultant, Surfside Dermatology, San Diego , CA
As a medically trained esthetician who is fairly new to the industry and eager to learn all I can in order to properly educate my clients, my first question would be: Why are you seeking out cosmetic surgery? Anticipating the most common answer (I want to look 10 years younger), my second question would be: What is it that concerns you most about your skin? After, I am ready to analyze and provide my client with a variety of treatment options that best suits them. As I begin to explain protocols for different treatments, I begin to recognize a pattern; many clients do not wish to look 10 years younger, they just want to have beautiful skin to match their energy. This is when I become excited to provide a wealth of knowledge and noninvasive services that can enhance their beauty hiding behind minor imperfections. I explain the importance of starting out small and working your way to effective results, and then educate them on how crucial proper at-home regimens and in-office maintenance visits are. As an estheticia, it is my passion to learn excessively and strive to keep my clients’ best interests in mind. Providing them with a key to beautiful skin is an unexplainable feeling.
- Danielle Kruse, Medical Esthetician, French Med Spa, Elgin, Illinois
I would advise my client to first check the background of the doctor they are considering. Do research on the procedure they are considering. For an example, wrinkles around the eyes; crow's-feet. I would have my client look into invasive procedures and then noninvasive procedures and the pros and cons.
- Christine Bey, Esthetician, NYIE, Buffalo, NY
I try to give interested clients the facts regarding each concern, being completely upfront with her about the ability or inability of a professional product to achieve a comparable to surgical result. I would always devote extra emotional understanding and work out a outline/short-term and long-term regimen with the most precise and effective products made to achieve the desired end result. I would ask them if they think looking in the mirror and seeing their ideal feature would make them smile and love the person they saw in that mirror. Surgery to me is what we have as an option to change something that, for all intents and purposes, can in no other way be changed. I would also ask them if they bare any resemblance to any relatives who they love and may be offending by altering the "can't live with" feature.
- Jessica Garza, Esthetician, Skin, Aurora, IL
Do your research. Go online, read everything you can, talk to any friends who may have had a procedure, especially the one you're interested in. Have more than one consultation, ask a lot of questions and take time to think about your decision before you finally commit. And most importantly, do it for the right reason ... because you feel this is something you want and something you can live with comfortably.
- Raelene Blacketer, , Skin Institute, St. Louis, MO