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    4 Barriers (and solutions) to practice success

    There are many things that make cosmetic surgery an attractive market to not only a range of providers, but also to industry, according to Chicago-based facial plastic surgeon Steven H. Dayan, M.D.

    One that stands out is that cosmetic surgery is a largely untapped market. He cites market research that suggests a mere 5% of the people who could be getting cosmetic procedures actually are.

    So many others, including providers not trained in cosmetic procedures and non-physicians, want a piece of that potential pie, according to Dr. Dayan, who co-presented “The future requires turning it around: The Makings of a more attractive physician,” at the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s The Aesthetic Meeting 2017 in San Diego, Calif.

    Who better to capture the attention of the 95% or so of people who aren’t yet having cosmetic procedures than aesthetic physicians, themselves, according to Dr. Dayan?

    “If we change our outcome to improving the way people feel about themselves, rather than just making them look better, than the potential market of patients is 20 times greater than what the experts predict,” Dr. Dayan tells Cosmetic Surgery Times.

    According to Dr. Dayan, there are four major hurdles for cosmetic medicine to overcome in order for aesthetic physicians to expand their influence and become more relevant in the consumer market. Those are:

    1. Overcome consumers’ fear of looking unnatural. People are crying out for natural results, but cosmetic medicine has yet to put on a united front that it’s listening and acting. That includes defining what natural results are; then, teaching and publishing on achieving those results, according to Dr. Dayan.

    2. Ouch doesn’t work in cosmetic, or elective, procedures. Dentistry has figured out pain control, according to Dr. Dayan. Cosmetic medicine needs to do a better job of addressing patients’ concerns about pain. Often, it’s the reason people cancel or put off cosmetic procedures, including injections.

    3. Limiting the after-effects. Post-treatment morbidity, including bruising and swelling, put people off, regardless of how long the after-effects last. The cosmetic medicine industry, according to Dr. Dayan, should work as one to study and develop protocols and better techniques to limit morbidity.

    4. Welcome; don’t intimidate. It can be intimidating for patients and potential patients to walk into a cosmetic physician’s office. Physicians should put themselves in patients’ shoes and wait in the office to understand what their experiences might be like. Small things can go a long way to reduce anxiety and embrace patients, so that they walk away with a positive overall experience, according to Dr. Dayan.

    “The aesthetically focused physician… who recognizes, addresses and eliminates the four barriers that are keeping patients from entering their doors, is likely to enjoy great practice success,” he says.

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is president of Words Come Alive, based in Boca Raton, Florida.

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