5 Minutes with… Sherina Balaratnam
We’re starting with Miss Sherina Balaratnam, Surgeon, Founder and Medical Director of multi-award-winning medical aesthetic clinic S-Thetics.
What do you predict will be the up and coming trends for 2019?
“I would say:
1. An increase in males having procedures
Which I think is going to happen for 2 main reasons:
- Wider acceptance for men to receive treatments through consumer education and marketing, which is building awareness of procedures and making it easier to access information.
- The number of body contouring procedures is growing exponentially, and these treatments are popular among men. And with new technologies targeting muscle and not just fat it is easier to enhance not only your look but also your gym regime. Devices like EMSculpt the world’s only non-invasive clinically proven treatment to build muscle and burn fat, regenerate muscle fibres and a byproduct from this is fat loss. We are seeing an increase in male patient enquiries since introducing such technologies into my practice.
2. An increased focus on wellness in the clinic – physical as well as mental wellness. Focusing on a holistic approach to skin, face and body regeneration are essential as one of the main factors we see today is stress. Addressing mental health within our consultations is key as we are seeing an increasing number of stress-related skin concerns.
3. I would hope to see an extension in consultation times for all patients, and improvement in the quality of consultation in clinics. A detailed consultation is key, to really understand the patient and their motivations for seeking treatment. This will also help maintain and build on our industry’s reputation.
4. A growth in Picosecond technology for skin rejuvenation.”
What challenges within the industry do you expect to see in the next year?
“There are more practitioners entering the profession every year, and this is exciting as we will see new ideas, concepts and approaches which is key for evolving as a speciality. The challenge may be to identify between the licenced medical practitioners from non-medical practitioners and how we do this. We need to work more with key partners and suppliers to help maintain the reputation of the profession and best practice. Ensuring only medical practitioners are buying products such as injectables, working together with the government and suppliers discouraging those who aren’t medical practitioners are sourcing products responsibly.”
What excites you most about the industry?
“Our profession is rapidly evolving in its own pace. I enjoy keeping up with emerging science, products and technologies. There are novel and exciting concepts and creators and I enjoy meeting new people from different professions, from all over the world and learning about approaches to cultural diversities. My Father, who is also a Doctor, told me that medicine is a never-ending journey. He is right.”
Why should someone medically qualify in aesthetic medicine?
“It’s an extremely rewarding profession. It’s a combination of medicine, science, beauty and art to deliver achievable, maintainable and sustainable results for patients. At my practice, we want to make people happy and excited about skin health and results they achieve for their face and body. It’s exciting for us and for them. And an incredibly fulfilling profession, I enjoy my work every day, working with an incredible team around me, and every day brings a new challenge.”
Can you share your best hints and tips for anyone looking to set up their own clinic/ practice?
- “Do your research.! This cannot be stressed enough, do your research on the location where you want to be, what is it about that particular location, do you have competitors, are there any geographical challenges for patients such as ease of access, parking etc.
- Don’t buy everything you think you might need. Listen to your patient demographic first, find out what their needs are and buy accordingly to meet your patient needs.
- Enjoy the experience! It will be challenging and a tough process but so worth it, be sure to celebrate your achievements along the way and enjoy the experience.
- Stick to your budget. And manage your cash flow.
- Invest in photography from the very beginning. Use good imaging devices and use them daily in consultations. Not only is this great for delighting patients, but it also helps showcase results and maintains best practice.”
What has been your biggest challenge to date within your career and how did you overcome it?
“The biggest challenge of my career was deciding to leave the NHS. I had spent 12 years working in the NHS and it was the only world I knew, but I have always been incredibly interested in all aspects of medicine and eventually, medical aesthetics followed. I deliberated for a long time over the decision and in many ways limited myself thinking I was leaving something behind, in hindsight medical aesthetics is just an extension of my former career. The end objective is the same: managing concerns of the skin and helping people look and feel better about themselves but using different tools. Instead of a scalpel, now it’s a needle, as well as advanced energy-based technology and products”.
What’s your main piece of advice for a first consultation with a patient?
“Look. Listen. Feel. Move.
- Spend time looking at your patient, assessing their features and analysing their problem areas. Treat the patient, not just the problem.
- Spend time listening to your patient. Listen to their concerns, reasons and motivations, identify why they want the procedure, why they are here. Really gain an understanding of what they are looking to achieve.
- Feel. Feel the area which the patient wants to focus on, to advise the most suitable products and procedures that will benefit them
- Move. Ask your patient to smile, talk, laugh in order to identify facial muscles and their dynamic muscle movement.
- Write everything down, whether electronically or handwritten always keep patient notes
- Time. Don’t rush your patient, really listen to their concerns and allow a cooling off period to enable informed decision processes.”
We’d like to thank Sherina for taking the time to talk to us at CCR, for more information on the procedures Sherina provides view the S-Thetics website.