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Advancing toward tomorrow's medical spa

Article-Advancing toward tomorrow's medical spa

Orlando, Fla. — Combining traditional medicine and healing, the medspa is becoming one of the country's fastest-growing trends, with well over 400 established medspas on track to generate $1 billion in revenues by 2007, according to the International Medical Spa Association (IMSA).

Yet for all of the serenity and promises of beauty-enhancement a spa can offer, those in the industry admit that it's a focus on medicine that ensures success.

This could not be truer than for La Jolla Spa MD. An established medical day spa in southern California with seven physicians, two nurse practitioners, one physician assistant, 16 nurses, and 19 estheticians and massage therapists, La Jolla Spa MD sees an average of 537 new patients each month, and of these, more than 300 are seen in the medical area.

With the No. 1 surgical procedure being liposculpture and the top noninvasive procedure being intense pulsed light (IPL) treatments, the ability to offer these through a skilled physician is key for the spa, which was named "Best Medical Spa in the United States" by American Spa magazine.

"It is crucial to have an incredibly experienced staff — you can have the most beautiful building, but if you don't have the expertise under that roof, you're lacking what it takes to make it successful," Dianne York-Goldman, president and CEO of La Jolla Spa MD, tells Cosmetic Surgery Times.

Preferential treatment

Since its opening four years ago, La Jolla Spa MD has focused on offering a plethora of choices to patients, and currently, the newest advances in cellulite treatments are leveraging the spa above its competitors. Among its four anti-cellulite treatments — which also include Endermologie (LPG Systems), ionithermie and VelaSmooth (Syneron) — the Tri-Active (Cynosure) laser is proving the most beneficial for both the patient and the spa.

"Tri-Active is one of the most impressive latest advances because the results are seen and felt by the patient, and it is one of our biggest income-producing services. All 19 of our estheticians and massage therapists are trained (in how to use Tri-Active). We have two lasers to meet the popular demand," said Ms. York-Goldman at the 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS). "This is the one service that we sell in a series, which brings patients in two to three times a week. These patients are very loyal to using Tri-Active, and when they come in this often they start looking at other treatments."

A complementary treatment to Tri-Active is the intense pulsed light (IPL) and laser treatments. Just as other medical spas have enjoyed the benefits of offering IPL, La Jolla Spa MD has realized this tool to be invaluable for its business.

"Outside of cellulite advances, IPL is a must," Ms. York-Goldman says. "We have four IPLs, in addition to offering seven different types of laser hair removal systems to meet the needs of different skin types."

In addition to offering advanced anti-cellulite treatments, which have garnered La Jolla Spa's newest distinction as "The Center of Cellulite," the spa is also the largest user of Botox (botulinum toxin type A, Allergan) in Southern California. The physicians at La Jolla Spa MD, led by medical director Mitchel P. Goldman, M.D., have earned the facility a "Center of Excellence" award from Allergan, and also from Restylane's distributor, Medicis, due to the extensive training spa physicians offer their colleagues about injection of these fillers and the results their patients experience.

While offering the latest medical procedures along with the most advanced rejuvenation techniques is its trademark, La Jolla Spa MD is also becoming known for specialized day spa products. Recent additions include anti-cellulite creams and bioceramic shorts, a DYG mineral makeup line, Cool Clenz acne therapy system, You Glow Girl products, and many books authored by the Goldmans, including Fun in the Sun Safely, winner of the American Academy of Dermatology's 2005 Gold Triangle Award. The spa also offers an extensive on-site boutique.

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