Dr. Elliot Hirsche is a board certified Los Angeles plastic surgeon, who practices in the San Fernando Valley. Dr. Hirsche’s primary office is in Sherman Oaks, and treats patients from not only Los Angeles, but from all over California and beyond. Dr. Hirsche practices the full spectrum of plastic and reconstructive surgery, including minimally invasive cosmetic surgery techniques, and state of the art micro surgical reconstructive techniques including muscle sparring, breast reconstruction, and nasal reconstruction. Dr. Hirsche grew up in West Lake Village Los Angeles, and attended prestigious John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland where he graduated with a Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa honors, and also received the Kurt P. Richter award for outstanding research in the field of Behavioral Biology.
After his undergraduate studies, Dr. Hirsche returned to Southern California for Medical school at the Keck School of Medicine, at the University of Southern California, where he graduated with the highest distinction, and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha honour society, as well as the Order of Arete. I believe I pronounced that correctly. Dr. Hirsche completed his integrated plastic and reconstructive surgery residency, at the prestigious North Western Memorial Hospital program in Chicago Illinois, where he received several awards for his research in teaching. Since entering medical school, Dr. Hirsche has been an active researcher in the field of plastic surgery, and has co-authored over 40 manuscripts and book chapters, and has received several grants for original research projects, and holds patents for wound care devices. Dr. Hirsche is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Jeremy: I’m excited to learn more about your unique perspective on aesthetic services being offered, and their rise in popularity. But before we get started into those questions, can you just give our readers and listeners a general over view of your practice?
Elliot: Sure. My practice is located in San Fernando Valley; we’re actually in Sherman Oaks which is almost in the geographic San Fernando Valley. Which attracts patients from all over the valley. they come from Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and the surrounding areas. We see a variety of patients, not only cosmetic patients but also reconstructive patients as well. And I have an esthetician who works with me in the office, who also performs a lot of our cosmetic non-surgical treatments.
Jeremy: Obviously on the surgical side you’re well versed. Can you talk about some of the non-surgical procedures that you offer?
Elliot: Sure. We perform injectables with Botox, Juvederm, and others, we also offer also chemical peels. There are multiple level of peels that we offer, and facial treatments with intraceutical oxygen facial treatment, as well as other facial both by dermalogica and other intraceutical lines.
Jeremy: What would you say right now, either on the surgical side or non-surgical side is the most popular treatment that you offer?
Elliot: Well on the nonsurgical side Botox is always popular. I think the trend that I see in Botox patients are coming younger and younger, for treatments. They want to not only treat existing wrinkles, but also to prevent or minimize the risk of further wrinkles, developing over time. So I think Botox is my number one non-surgical injectable. We’ve also had a big increase in our Oxygen facial line over the past 2 or 3 months. More and more patients are coming in for Oxygen facials intraceuticals. I think it’s a great product. It really hydrates the skin. It can help with acne, and I think it’s become more popular for us because multiple celebrities have been talking about how they use it for big red carpet events. That always trickles down to who we see as well.
Jeremy: When did you open your practice?
Elliot: The practice opened about 2 years ago.
Jeremy: What do you think really makes you unique, and stand out from some of your competitors in the area?
Elliot: I think that the corner stone of our business number one is customer service. The overall experience for the patient from the time that they come in, to the time that they undergo their treatment, or their surgery and then follow up, is we’ve really put a lot of emphasis on making sure they have a top notch experience. That is emphasised with me, with my staff. I think patients realised that when they come in, and they are greeted by me, they are offered coffee. We really go out of our way to make them feel comfortable here. I think far on the way that’s number one. What’s makes us a little more unique, beyond most of the other people who have similar types of practices are the other services we perform, the reconstructive procedures. There have been multiple patients that I have worked on over the past 2 years, who not only undergo a cosmetic procedure, but also reconstructive procedure as well. So a patient who comes in for breast reconstruction procedure, may also want to get the facelift, or may undergo a chemical peel, or injectables. So I think that by providing a top, top level customer service to patients, they feel comfortable with us and they ultimately stick around in our family, and undergo the other procedures as well.
Jeremy: Great. Absolutely, patient satisfaction is the utmost important. It’s nice to have those happy patients so they can refer more patients, and more business your way.
Jeremy: What would you say your biggest challenge is at this point?
Elliot: I think there have been times over the past year or so, especially as our business increased exponentially and grows, we have more and more patients coming in. I think that a challenge for the staff is to continue maintaining their high level of customer service, even when we have 30, 40, 50, patients coming in on a given day. So we work on that constantly and everything that we do is geared to that, so these are just growing pains
Jeremy: Would you say that some of those challenges could be met by additional staff, for just simply more effective procedures?
Elliot: We have hired additional staff when necessary, specifically for that purpose. A lot of it too is just optimizing our flow, and making sure that we are efficient with our office practices. So we’re not duplicating work, in that everything that can be done during the office visit is done. So that when the patient is completed, that everything is taken care of and there’s no additional work to be done, move on to the next patient.
Jeremy: How often do you communicate with your clients? Social media channels, email, text, etc.
Elliot: With our patients once they come in for a procedure, they meet me, they meet our aesthetician, they meet our patient coordinator. After the consultation, if they are not undergoing a procedure that day, they will be in contact with either the aesthetician or the patient coordinator, depending on the type of procedure. The aesthetician will follow up with them as often as is necessary, until they make their decision about the procedure. I know that there are some patients that have a lot of questions, and they have multiple emails and I give all of my patients my email. So they can email me directly if they have any questions. Once they undergo the procedure, we want to make sure that they are doing well, and having a smooth recovery time. So again there’s a lot of phone calling, emailing afterwards. In terms of social media, we are expanding our social media presence, and we are usually on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and a YouTube channel, at least once or twice a week if not more.
Jeremy: Mistakes that you see clients making when they are undergoing treatments, at other facilities. Can you describe them and how you approach the situation differently, or how you correct those mistakes?
Elliot: One thing that I see infrequently with Botox is symmetry. There are times when a patient comes in who’s had Botox somewhere else, and they have perhaps one eyebrow is moving a little more than the other eyebrow, and that’s a pretty straight forward fix. It just requires a little more Botox above the eyebrow that’s moving more. I would categorize that as more of a technical problem. Or sometimes there’s more diffusion in one side of the Botox, than the other side. The only thing that I see frequently is more of a philosophical difference. As a board certified plastic surgeon, I endear more towards surgery rather than injectable treatments. So I see patients come in with neck lines, and things that would make them stand up to me as being candidate, for a facelift or a neck lift. They often have undergone injectable procedures at other places, to try to camouflage these findings, and they aren’t happy with them. So again a philosophical difference between myself, who is comfortable performing facelifts, versus somebody who does just injectables, or they may try to mask the sign of aging by injecting additional volume into certain areas. Whereas I feel like they would be better served with a surgical procedure.
Jeremy: Which is nice when they go into your center. For instance if they are going strictly for injectables, there’s something else that you see that they can benefit from. You’re able to offer that, and they don’t have to go anywhere else.
Elliot: Absolutely. When patients come in I always try to get to the root question of why are they there, and what exactly is the part of their appearance that they are trying to correct. I feel that once I make this diagnosis, then that makes it more straight forward to determine a treatment course. So a patient who comes in and says I want to have injectables, and I ask them why and they explain. I also come to the conclusion that what they want for the injectables, can better be treated with surgery. Rather than just saying you come in for injectables, fine I’ll give you injectables.
Jeremy: Injectables are temporary procedure as well.
Jeremy: Whereas cosmetic procedures are more permanent.
Jeremy: Is there any service or technique that you’re offering, that you wish more clients either knew about, or took better advantage of?
Elliot: I think the Oxygen facial treatment that we talked about; that’s becoming more common thing. It works really well, and we are seeing a big increase in it over the past 3 months, but I’d like to see that even more. Our aesthetician also added micro needling on to the treatment line, and that’s something that has a fairly small down time afterwards, and has a pretty good effect. So I’d like to see that increase, patients ask about that more over the next few months.
Jeremy: What would consider to be an ideal client, in terms of what they’re looking to accomplish, when they come for the initial consultation and then how you can accomplish that over either a single surgical procedure, or a series of treatments?
Elliot: I think the ideal patients are the ones who come in and have a clear idea of what they want, and understand what it takes to achieve those results. So when a patient comes in and says, I have these lines in my forehead and I would like them to be treated. That’s very clear to me. I understand exactly what their goal is and I can give them a good treatment plan, with a high degree of certainty. Along with their expectations are realistic, and they understand the limitations of the treatment, then I think we’ll do just fine. The patients who are more difficult are the ones who come in, who don’t have any one specific complaint, but just have a vague sense that there’s something about one particular area, of their face or their body that they don’t like. And it’s harder to figure out what exactly they are unhappy with, and consequently try to figure how to treat it.
Jeremy: Before we go why don’t you let our listeners and readers know, if is there anything you’d like us to know about you or your practice. Let me read off your website: hirschplasticsurgery.com. Anything else before we go Dr. Hirsche?
Elliot: No. Thank you very much for having me.