By: Mallory Spoor-Baker | Category: Health & Beauty | Issue: February 2009
Dr. Mallory Spoor-Baker is a medical graduate with an emphasis in cosmetic medicine from Oklahoma State College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. She is a member of American College of Osteopathic Family Practitioners, American Osteopathic Association, and the Tulsa Osteopathic Medical Society.
I know. You open the paper every day or hear a new radio advertisement and learn that a new “cosmetic medical spa” has opened. The information sounds good, but how do you know that it is the correct information or the best place to go? The following are questions that I think people should consider before committing their time and money, not to mention their appearance, to cosmetic medical services.
Is there a doctor in the house? Most cosmetic medical procedures are just that: medical procedures. They should therefore be performed by medically licensed individuals. Most are also required by law to be performed at least within the confines of a physician’s office. Although most procedures are actually very safe, there can still be complications that may require a physician’s intervention in order to mitigate the effects. I perform over 95 percent of the procedures at Advanced Cosmetic Medicine. The only procedure I might have someone else perform is laser hair removal. One technician has been treating patients for more than five years and the other has been treating for two years.
Who is actually performing the procedure? Is the operator a licensed nurse, cosmetologist, aesthetician, hair dresser or just the new employee that day? I have heard stories that would literally curl your hair because they are so scary. Some of the laser devices on the market today have a very long learning curve. I am the only operator of my IPL laser, YAG laser and our new Titan device. I am also the only one to inject Botox or Restylane. I have been in business since 1995, specializing in cosmetic procedures since 1996. I bought my first laser in 1997.
How many treatments do you really need? Some of these “medical spa” places want to sell you packages of treatments. You may actually think you are getting a good price by buying that way. However, do you really need all those procedures? The approach that seems to work best for my patients is to actually start with a narrowed focus; that is, the patient and I start by treating the biggest problem first and then adding other services if they are needed as time goes by. The patient feels less “fragmented” than if we treat too many problems at once. This “fragmentation” can sometimes make the results seem fragmented as well.
Do you have confidence in the person who is treating you? I feel very strongly that you must have a decent working relationship with the individual or practice from who you seek treatment. Attitude is everything. If you don’t feel comfortable with the person taking care of you, your results might actually not be as good as you had hoped. By the same token, if I can’t get my point across to a patient, I may not want to treat that person.
What are your expectations? You must be realistic about cosmetic medical procedures. They are not magic. Most of the procedures will provide you with an improved appearance. The procedures can also help prevent further damage and slow down the aging process. However, will they make you look eighteen again? Probably not. Most of my patients feel that they still want to look like themselves, just better. You may also have to do some work on your own to get these results. That may mean taking better care of your skin or changing lifestyle habits.
I hope this gives you a way to approach cosmetic medicine, wherever you go or whatever you have done. I hope this also gives you a glimpse into my practice philosophy at Advanced Cosmetic Medicine. I will see anyone on a complimentary consultation to see if our services fit your needs. Thank you, Mallory C. Spoor-Baker, D.O.