Digital Edition

Beyond Surgical Care

Concierge services attract patients and elevate the cosmetic surgery experience.
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Cosmetic surgery patients expect a high level of customer service and careful attention to their needs both inside and outside of the operating room. Increasingly, plastic and cosmetic surgery practices are providing “concierge services” to better serve their patients. These ancillary services include everything from arranging hotel rooms and transportation for out-of-town patients to pampering spa services, nutrition counseling, extended practice hours and post-operative home care.

“Today, every patient counts in every practice, and doctors have figured out they need to offer these extra services because they need to be a lot more patient-focused,” says Wendy Lewis, owner of The Knife Coach, a cosmetic surgery coaching service that consults with patients selecting a cosmetic or plastic surgeon.

Lewis previously managed cosmetic and plastic surgery practices, and says that the personal touch provided by concierge services can help doctors stand out in a crowded field of practitioners. “People today have a lot more choices,” she says. “You can’t practice the same way you did in 2000. It’s a good way to differentiate yourself.”

“The days are gone when just being a doctor was enough,” agrees Julian Few, MD, who operates The Few Institute in New York City and Chicago. “It’s a different world. People have options.”

Catering to Out-of-Towners

Concierge services are of particular importance to patients who seek surgery with a physician outside of their region. These patients often put a priority on privacy and deliberately choose a doctor from outside their own locale to preserve it. “With the Internet, our patient base is the entire world,” says Jorge Perez, MD, of Perez Plastic Surgery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “It has made the practice of plastic surgery such a small world. It requires you go above and beyond the traditional accommodations.”

Sam Rizk, MD, FACS, a Manhattan-based plastic surgeon says that 40% of his business comes from abroad. “Patients expect the best, and they expect to be taken care of from any angle,” he says. His website includes hotel listings and other local amenities for his patients.

Like Dr. Rizk, Dr. Few serves a large international patient base. His concierge services include post-operative “house calls” to the hotels where his patients are staying. “I go to the hotels we partner with routinely to see our patients,” he says. “There’s no reason for patients to have to come to us, especially if they’re bandaged up or not feeling well.”

The doctors we spoke with have arrangements with local hotels to provide discounted rates to patients who need a place to recover post-surgery. Offering these types of travel services appeal to both out-of-town patients and high-profile patients who often have more money than time. “It is very appealing to highend clients,” says Lewis. “They don’t have the time to arrange these services or they want others to arrange them because privacy can be a big issue for them.”

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