Bay Area plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Aycock shares his thoughts and choices about plastic surgery, medical spas and cosmetic lasers.
Performing surgery since 1988, Dr. Aycock operates two locations in San Francisco and was voted "best plastic surgeon in the Northbay" in 2008.
Name: Dr. Robert G. Aycock
Location: Walnut Creek and Greenbrae, CA
That's interesting: Dr. Aycock was recognized in Forbes Magazine as one of The Ten Most Dependable Plastic Surgeons of the Western United States. He's also a trainer for Botox Cosmetic and dermal fillers.
Can you tell us more about the operation of your clinic?
We have two offices and a free standing multi-specialty surgery center. The offices are located in Walnut Creek and Greenbrae, CA.
The surgery center is located adjacent to the office in Greenbrae. The offices and surgery center are open from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. The Surgery Center is run by our administrator Diana Weiss, MD and the offices are run by our Patient Care Co coordinator, Linda Kranzke.
We offer a full array of cosmetic procedures which can be surgical or non surgical. The surgical procedures range from facelifts, brow lifts, eyelid lifts, rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), breast enhancement, breast lift, breast reduction, tummy tuck, liposuction (Vaser and Laser or ProLipo), labiaplasty, and body lifts for “Mommy Makeover” and post bariatric surgery. These are performed in our fully accredited Surgery Center.
The non surgical procedures are performed in our Medical Spas by our nurses and aestheticians.
The offices both have Medical Spas with nurses that use Lasers from Sciton for skin resurfacing, Foto Facials, and hair removal. They also inject fillers and Botox. We also have aestheticians in both Spas who perform a multitude of facials for skin care.
Our patient population is approximately 85% female and 15% male.
What are your hiring practices? How do you determine the salary of your staff? Have you tried other compensation plans?
We take a long time to hire and are quick to fire if the person is the wrong fit. Our employees are long time employees that do very fine work. We do not work on commission. We have tried many formulas for compensation for our employees and what works best is a salary plus a bonus system.
What are your thoughts about the IPL and cosmetic lasers that you’re using now?
We presently use Sciton lasers because quite simply they are the best. I have been using lasers since 1982 and I have for the past few years served as an international trainer for Sciton lasers. Our IPL lasers or Broad Band Light as we call them are used for Foto Facial treatments (brown, red spots and sun damaged skin on the face, neck, chest and body), Skin Tyte for skin tightening, and hair removal. Since I am a trainer for Sciton our equipment is constantly updated. Sciton does not sell me I tell them which technology I need then I buy them from the company. I am constantly approached by companies to try their technology and most of the time I am disappointed by their claims of fabulous results.
I like all of Sciton’s lasers for laser resurfacing, fractional resurfacing, micro laser peels, Broad Band Light for Foto Facial and Skin Tyte, as well as the laser lipo system ProLipo.
I have many lasers that I have tried and did not feel that they performed up to the standards that I expect from the technology.
How do you drive new patient traffic to your clinic?
We have tried most programs except for the discount programs like Groupon. What seems to work is any internal marketing that we do. We treat our patients well by under promising and over producing. TV, Print ads and Radio advertising seem to be very expensive with little return. We have an active Web Site that helps keep our patients informed as to what is new in our offices.
What services and products drive profits? Have you switched from a technology platform?
Most sales by volume are the injectables and skin care products. Our most profitable products are the laser and cosmetic surgery. We are always looking for new products but do not just begin using them because they are new. We have tried many laser products in the past and dropped all except the Sciton line.
What have you learned about practicing cosmetic medicine?
Just because you have a hammer everyone should not look like a nail. Some patients are not cosmetic surgery candidates either because of physical or psychological conditions. It is my job as their physician to recognize these conditions and advise them appropriately.
There are patients that go from one Plastic Surgeon to the next in search of their idea of perfection. These patients sometimes find a physician that tries to fulfill these ideas of perfection leaving the patient and physician unhappy.
How do you handle your patient's expectations?
One should be very aware of red flags and once you recognize these patients as red flags under no circumstances should you operate on them. We spend a great deal of time getting to know our patients so that we make sure that their expectations of results are reasonable and that we can meet or exceed their expectations.
About: After completing medical school at AUC, Dr. Aycock was trained in General and Plastic Surgery in Southfield Michigan at Providence Hospital. During his surgical training, he was in Rochester, Minnesota for craniofacial surgery and Brook Army burn unit in San Antonio, Texas for reconstructive surgery of burn victims. He is originally from Savannah, Georgia so after his surgical training, he joined two other Plastic Surgeons in Savannah for 5 years. His wife, who is also a physician, is from Marin County California so they moved to Marin to be close to her family in 1992. They have two offices here and for the first few years, he was quite busy in the Trauma service at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. They have since stopped taking Trauma Call and now focus their practice on elective cosmetic surgery.
I am a Board certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. I first became interested in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and during my General Surgery residency training. The surgery done by the Plastic Surgeons just seemed to be a more refined operation. I was first a reconstructive surgeon because of all of the trauma surgery that I did while in General Surgery. The cosmetic part came later and now is the focus of my Plastic Surgery practice. The cosmetic surgery aspect is very fine and focused surgery which requires all of the skills that I picked up in General Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery. The patients are all healthy and happy so our practice stays healthy and happy.
This interview is part of a series of interviews of physicians running medical spas, laser clinics and cosmetic surgery centers. If you'd like to be interviewed, just contact us.