Advice from doctors who integrated aesthetic services into their Ob/Gyn practices

Ob/Gyn Practices

The use of radiofrequency or laser energy-based devices is becoming increasingly common in Ob/Gyn practices. Some are taking these devices even further, expanding the use of these energy-based devices by providing aesthetic services to their patients as a part of a holistic approach to patient care.

Dr. Anne Lord-Thomas and Dr. Nancy Carlson both benefitted from adding energy-based devices to their practices several years ago. Lord-Thomas is the co-founder of U First Health & Rejuvenation in Fort Myers, FL and has an Ob/Gyn background. Carlson is a board-certified Ob/Gyn who owns Lumina Med Spa in South Burlington, VT and Estero, FL.

Getting Started

Adding aesthetic services requires a leap of faith, but the process can be smoother with ample research and by choosing the right laser technology partner. 

“I started going to different conferences beyond those focused on Ob/Gyn clinical topics—for instance, ones that focused on wellness practices, age management, and cosmetology,” said Lord-Thomas. “Going to those types of conferences allows you not only to think more about what services you may want to integrate, but it also allows you to get hands-on exposure to technologies from companies that may not necessarily exhibit at traditional medical conferences.”

Added Carlson: “While attending a national meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists meeting in 2004, I met a female physician from New York City who had recently purchased a (laser) for hair removal services in her practice. She encouraged me to explore acquiring a laser for my practice. That’s when I started to consider broadening services for my patients and to incorporate some of these technologies into my practice.”

Integrating energy-based devices into your Ob/Gyn practice can be easier if a few steps are followed.

  • Thoroughly research services offered by other providers in your area
  • Choose a device from a company that has a strong reputation, a successful track record, and robust customer support
  • Choose a device that is FDA cleared for a variety of indications
  • Start small by offering one or two basic procedures that fit the overall demographic of your practice
  • Educate your staff about services being offered so they can speak knowledgeably to patients 
  • Become an expert in the device and the procedures you are offering with Candela Institute of Excellence training programs

Building the Business

The majority of aesthetic procedures are performed on women, meaning Ob/Gyn practices already have a built-in client base. Simply alerting existing clients to the availability of aesthetic procedures is a start. Positive word of mouth from this patient group can go a long way to building the business. Lord-Thomas also suggests offering these cosmetic procedures to your staff, who can serve as ambassadors to your patients. As the business grows, you can look into other marketing practices like creating a website specific to the offering and advertisements.

The Benefits

Additional revenue and a more holistic approach to treating patients can help mitigate the real problem of physician burnout. And, a business model that isn’t insurance-based alleviates stress and paperwork.

“With the stress related to insurance battles and administrative paperwork, providing aesthetic services can ease those burdens and provide a predictable and reliable additional revenue stream that can also energize your staff and revitalize your practice,” said Lord-Thomas. “The time for lasers has come. The predictability of the results has really improved over the last few years. This is no longer new technology, and the applications and indications keep increasing and results keep improving. It’s just a matter of deciding which applications you should focus on based on the needs of your practice.”

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