Posted January 11, 2024 in Uncategorized | 6 minute read
Part One: In Case You Hadn’t Noticed
In case you hadn’t noticed, post-COVID windfall profits in aesthetics started around the end of August 2020 and began to level off last year. With declines in recurring revenue, the need for new opportunities could not be more relevant, and what is coming to the rescue might surprise you: Regenerative Medicine in Aesthetics!
Regenerative therapies using fat grafting as an in-office procedure are beginning to take center stage as patients look for more natural products to address the signs of aging. Filler fatigue is real, and patients want alternatives to the cost and downtime of major surgery.
Patients want more natural results as they look for natural products and treatments. What could be more natural than using the miracle of your own body fat? However, the trick is adding this new treatment without sabotaging your filler or surgery market before you are ready to integrate new options.
The savviest aesthetic physicians are using simple office-based solutions to harvest Microfat and Nanofat and combine them with other devices and modalities to provide a “Gold Standard Regenerative Treatment Series” that patients love. Reversing the signs of aging and providing regenerative and restoring results indicates outcomes that patients are demanding and are willing to pay for.
What Industry Experts and Aesthetic Societies Have to Say
As part of my research for this blog, I looked at data from numerous industry websites, publications, and plastic surgery societies. Societies such as ASPS and the Aesthetic Society have been reporting declines in aesthetic surgery since the surgery boom of mid-2020 and increases in removing facial fillers. Following are results from 2022 as 2023 results are not yet published: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/documents/News/Statistics/2022/plastic-surgery-statistics-report-2022.pdf
From industry accounts, one of the most widely read sources with millions of viewers each month is Realself.com, and here are excerpts from their site’s nanofat pages in 2024:
“Facial fat transfer is a minimally invasive plastic surgery procedure that uses your own body fat, taken from the hips, thighs, abdomen, or neck, to add or restore volume to specific areas of the face.
Realself® also reported the following consumer satisfaction results.
• 85% Worth It rating based on 718 reviews
• 1 week of downtime
• Local anesthesia
A Positive Case for Physician Revenue
In most cases, when a practice adds new procedures or treatment devices, there are generally significant expenses that go along with these additions, such as purchasing a laser or skin-tightening device. It is not uncommon for practices to invest $150,000 to $350,000 just to have the “box” delivered. This doesn’t include marketing, training, equipment breakdowns, or ongoing expenses required per use.
In my 30 years of practice management and staff training, I have found that getting staff buy-in for new devices is not as easy as it sounds. Physicians are often met with questions of concern from their staff, such as: What will my responsibilities be? What kind of training will I receive? Will I get paid more for doing these new treatments? What happens if I make a mistake and a patient is injured?
In the case of nanofat, this is not a staff-administered treatment and can only be done by a licensed medical provider. However, your staff can attest that the procedure provides beautiful alternatives to most fillers, and hopefully, they will have had the procedure themselves to give a truthful testimony.
When Your Staff Doesn’t Buy-in
I have found universally, from coast to coast, that your staff is genuinely more concerned about patient safety and if a procedure is worth the price to the patient than they are about practice profitability. When your staff doubts any procedure, you can forget about them internally marketing whatever it is because it is almost impossible to help sell new services to patients you do not believe in yourself.
On the flip side, if your staff is on board, they will do almost all the heavy lifting and help you sell patients on procedures they believe in. In fact, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to treat your staff to any new procedure you bring on board. I personally think this should be one of the perks of working in your practice. The dividends you earn are far greater than your cost to treat them.
As a facial filler consumer, I started to acknowledge my dissatisfaction due to the lack of consistency from one treatment to the next and, of course, the recurring costs. The more I educated myself on nanofat, the more I realized how using my own adipose tissue would not only produce better and longer-lasting results but would also deliver improved skin quality. It’s hard not to see this as a win for patients and a win for physicians.
As a patient, with fillers it is very easy to drop $5 to 6K, depending upon what you are doing. The average cost for fat grafting is $5,700, and I may only need a touch-up six months or more down the road.
The out-of-pocket expense for the practice is under $500 per patient, and the profitability is immediate. With an average treatment price of $5,700 and a practice cost of $500, the revenue is $5,200 per patient. In practice management consulting, I always shoot for the surgeon fee of $2,500 per hour. From talking with practices, nanofat, on average, is approximately a 90-minute procedure, so we easily meet the per-hour income goal.
Marketing nanofat internally to recurring patients is a straightforward dialogue. With the new Tulip support brochure “The Miracle of Your Own Fat,” it is effortless to make the case about value and cost.
Adding Nanofat to your website, sending an informative eblast, or hosting an event are all relatively low-cost marketing activities with potentially high returns. The question should not be if, but when should you add this to your practice?
Part Two: There’s a Methodology for Talking to Your Patients About Nanofat (Available in February)