New York — Seven years ago, Stephen Krant, M.D., F. A. C. S., had some trepidation about adding a medical spa to his practice.
Today, the spa is a natural extension of the clinical practice, and the two work together very cohesively.
"When we bought the building that became the SK Sanctuary spa, we were not certain the spa would take off, because the day spa market is such a tough nut to crack," says Dr. Krant, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in La Jolla, Calif., and medical director of the SK Clinic."Although it has been a challenge, it has been worth it, because the bottom line is, patients get better care.
Evolution of spa
"When I first opened my practice about 22 years ago, we were sending patients out for post-op hair and makeup and lymphatic drainage," Dr. Krant tells Cosmetic Surgery Times.
"About 15 years ago, we decided to provide those services in-house."
Unfortunately, this decision seriously impacted the space available for his clinic, so he purchased an adjacent 7,000 square foot building that became the SK Sanctuary.
Dr. Krant feels strongly that spa services are beneficial to patients, his wife, Lyn Tisdale Krant, the president and chief operating officer of SK Sanctuary, says. When patients book a surgical procedure, they receive gift certificates that Dr. Krant purchases from the Sanctuary. For example, patients who get liposuction also receive pre- and post-op endermologie treatments and lymphatic drainage.
"The hardest part of this evolution has been integrating the thinking of the clinic staff with that of the spa staff, so that both understand our philosophy of integrated patient care," Dr. Krant says.
"Cross-training of clinic and spa staff is important, because the integration of spa and medical services makes people feel more comfortable."
The clinic and the spa have come together very nicely, Dr. Krant says. A shining example is the monthly breast cancer night.
"When we opened the spa, we felt we needed to use the space to do something for Dr. Krant's breast cancer patients," Ms. Krant says. "So in April, 2001, we started by opening up the spa to some of his patients as a sort of support group. Through word of mouth, we started getting calls from other women in the community, until we were accommodating 30 to 40 women every month.
"We wanted to offer the women a positive, nurturing experience that was also educational, so we began offering speakers such as movement specialists and lymphatic drainage specialists each time."
The SK Sanctuary now has breast cancer night on the last Tuesday of every month.
"We realized that we needed to raise money to fund these evenings, so we founded the SK Institute, a non-profit organization," says Ms. Krant, who serves as its president.
The Institute is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to provide education and support services to those living with disease.
In addition to its monthly breast cancer nights, the Institute sponsors men's cancer nights that alternate monthly with events to raise awareness of sun protection and skin cancer prevention, Ms. Krant says.
A goal of the SK Institute is to convene several additional evenings on a regular basis, dedicated to conditions such as ovarian cancer and heart disease.
The success of breast cancer night provides further evidence of the mind-body connection, Dr. Krant says.
"It's not just the surgery we perform. If the patient has a positive attitude, they do better."