Opening up a medspa is never easy, but Shai Shinhar, MD, and his wife, Rachel—an aesthetician—knew exactly what they were getting into when they opened Rachel Medspa. Rachel had already run her own successful spa in Tel Aviv, Israel, and Shinhar, an otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon with fellowship training in pediatric otolaryngology, specializes in facial cosmetic surgery. And so far, so great. Business is going especially well—even on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, home to more than a handful of medical spas.
PSP sat down with the duo to discuss the secrets to their success.
1) How has your experience in pediatric otolaryngology shaped your current practice?
Shai: I deal every day with congenital deformities and abnormalities in children that require reconstructive surgery. These cases provide an intimate knowledge of the anatomy of the face and its aesthetics, so performing cosmetic facial procedures in adults was an easy transition.
2) What are your thoughts on minimally invasive treatments?
Shai: I believe that minimally invasive cosmetic procedures can be the answer for many, if not most, of the concerns that our patients have regarding their appearance. We can definitely postpone or prevent the need for surgery.
3) What treatments could you not live without?
Shai: Botox injections for wrinkles and dermal fillers for volume restoration in the face. Our different laser treatments such as photo rejuvenation, laser hair removal, and pigment laser treatment are also extremely effective and valuable.
4) How do you offset the risks of being the medical director of a spa?
Shai: The real risk is causing adverse reaction or an unwanted result in a client. I prevent this by always making sure all the procedures we perform are safe, have been tested and validated, and are US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved.
I am not a director in name only. I do more than oversee; I perform all the cosmetic medical procedures myself so as to minimize any risk. We make sure we perform only procedures the client needs and will benefit from.
5) Rachel, what is your current go-to procedure?
Rachel: I am truly impressed by the Dermapen. In my 20 years of experience, I have never seen such an effective treatment for acne scars, stretch marks, general scars, and fine wrinkles until now. I finally have an effective solution to these problems. The treatment is quite easy, without downtime, and produces lasting results. It works by stimulating collagen and elastin under the skin, thus achieving skin tightening and smoothing.
6) Rachel, what do the products you use from Israel bring to the table?
Rachel: The cosmetic pharmaceutical industry in Israel is extremely advanced, and products—including those from the Dead Sea—provide superior results, increase skin moisture, and are extremely effective while at the same time very gentle on the skin.
7) Why did you decide to go into practice together?
Shai: Rachel owned a very successful spa in Tel Aviv, Israel, before we moved to the US, and she continued her work here. And as medical cosmetic procedures became an integral part of medical spas, it was only natural for me to start performing them in the spa.
8) How do your backgrounds and training complement each other in practice?
Shai: As a surgeon, I perform all minimally invasive procedures such as Botox and filler injections. Rachel is a highly trained and experienced medical esthetician and performs all other procedures such as laser treatments, Dermapen, and chemical peels.
9) Tell us something we don’t know about you.
Rachel: We met over 20 years ago on a blind date and have been together ever since!
10) Where do you get your industry news?
Shai: We keep updated by reading the relevant medical literature, and by keeping in touch with colleagues and other cosmetic surgeons we know.
William Payton is a contributing writer for Plastic Surgery Practice magazine. He can be reached via [email protected].