PODCAST: No Surprises: The Cosmetic Consultation

For many people, the first experience in a cosmetic practice is the consultation, and the mystery of the process can be intimidating. Here at LJC, we want you to know exactly what to expect from beginning to end! Our patient coordinator Marissa is here to walk us through every step of the consultation journey.

If you aren’t sure which procedure or provider will help you achieve your goals, patient coordinators ask all the right questions to help you find the perfect procedure and the dream team.

The consultation can be up to two hours long depending on how much you need to discuss. Our providers take their time to get to know you and your goals because your happiness in your results is our number one priority.

At LJC, we want you to have a relationship with us for many years to come, and you will find that whether by email, text message, phone, Zoom, or face to face our philosophy is to be helpful and educate first.

Learn about our free consultations

Prepare for your consultation by viewing our before and after photos

Meet Marissa and our other patient care coordinators

Read about how you can find the right provider for you

Please request your free consultation online or call La Jolla Cosmetic, San Diego, at (858) 452-1981 for more


Speaker (00:07):
You’re listening to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast.

Monique Ramsey (00:14):
Welcome everyone to The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast. I’m your hostess Monique Ramsey. And today I have Marissa in our studio. She’s one of our patient care coordinators and we’re gonna talk about the consultation. And for many people, the consultation’s the first time they’ve ever been to a cosmetic practice or a med spa, and they don’t really know what to expect. And it is different. It’s not something we all are used to doing. So often people are surprised when they come through our doors because it looks like more like a hotel, maybe than a medical office. But we don’t want too many surprises. So that’s one surprise. But we want you to know exactly what to expect from beginning to end. And so Marissa knows this process better than anyone else at La Jolla Cosmetic. She’s our lead patient coordinator. So welcome Marissa. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role here at La Jolla Cosmetic?

Marissa (01:05):
Hi, yes. I’ve been here for about two years now almost. And I am the lead coordinator downstairs in our surgery center. I’m one of the first people that you talk to on the phone to schedule your consult and usually the person that you meet in the office as well. So I’m with you throughout the entire process.

Monique Ramsey (01:23):
So if you’re considering surgery or any kind of cosmetic service, I guess, and you’ve reached that moment where you’re ready to reach out, you know that very first step is to call or fill out a form on the website or text. So yes. What happens next? When that form comes into your office, who calls you back and and kind of what is the, what is the process that the patient can expect?

Marissa (01:45):
Yeah, so once you send that form in, I usually will either give you a call or if you put on there that you prefer, text, email, whatever best form of communication is better for you is what, how we’ll reach out. So if you prefer to do text cuz you have a busy life during the day, totally understand we can text and get your uh, consultation scheduled.

Monique Ramsey (02:04):
And is there typically a long wait time to see a surgeon or to get into a consult?

Marissa (02:10):
No, I would say if for a consultation we’re usually able to get you in within a one week or to two weeks at most.

Monique Ramsey (02:16):
Oh good. Mm-hmm. . So I wanna highlight a few sentences from a review that a recent patient wrote about her consultation. And here’s what she said. From first contact after I emailed requesting a consultation, the communication from the staff was thorough and detailed. I didn’t even have to call, all my questions were answered through emails to meet my busy scheduled needs. Is that something you kind of hear are frequently

Marissa (02:43):
Yes, exactly. Whichever is easier for you guys. We’re able to make something work all the time.

Monique Ramsey (02:49):
So, you know, at La Jolla Cosmetic, we’ve always had a complimentary consultation, so no fee for that consultation.

Marissa (02:56):

Monique Ramsey (02:56):
You know, and, and I think I hear from patients that visit other places, sometimes it’s a few hundred dollars. And why do some practices charge a fee and why doesn’t La Jolla cosmetic?

Marissa (03:08):
I don’t think we charge a fee because we want you to feel comfortable and confident coming into the office. Sometimes if you’re paying a fee it can be overwhelming. It’s a huge commitment or we want this to be a really easy first step for you. You know, if you’re just in the early stages of gathering information and you wanna meet with the doctor just to know what to expect or what to anticipate and plan for, rather than collecting a fee, it’s kind of almost already committing before you even know what the next step is gonna be. Exactly. Yeah. So I think that’s why we just don’t collect a fee. We want you to feel comfortable and confident coming into the practice and not feel pressured.

Monique Ramsey (03:39):
Yeah. And that I guess could be a barrier in some, in some ways, whether it’s a mental barrier or just even, you know,

Marissa (03:47):
It can be intimidating.

Monique Ramsey (03:48):
Yeah. Yeah. I guess that’s a good word. Mm-hmm . So although we don’t charge a consultation fee, do you ask certain things of patients before they schedule a consultation?

Marissa (03:59):
Yeah, we just ask that they complete forms prior to coming to the consult cuz the doctor does like to review their medical history and then also we confirm their consultation about one to two days prior. Just as a reminder, if they need to cancel, reschedule, we totally understand things come up, things happen and you’re not able to make it in. So we just ask for that courtesy to uh, reschedule and let us know ahead of time.

Monique Ramsey (04:21):
And then, you know, I think something that you know, most patients wanna know is about financing. And we do have a podcast about financing specifically. But in that pre-consultation process, when you’re talking to a patient, are you helping them to determine if they’re ready financially for that? Yeah, potential expenditure

Marissa (04:43):
Of course. So anytime I’m talking to a patient for that pre-consultation process, I try to give the best ballpark pricing that I can so that there’s not very many surprises when they come into the consult. And I also discuss financing options as well with the 24 month 0% interest, which is really nice and definitely helps a lot.

Monique Ramsey (05:04):
So do you also talk about, I I would assume, let’s say somebody calls and they’re thinking, okay, I’m thinking about some liposuction and then I’m assuming you might go down a path of like, are they a candidate for this? Like maybe they’re, do you ask them some questions to sort of find out, is that the right procedure in the first place?

Marissa (05:25):
Yeah and you know, we all think, okay well maybe just a little bit of lipo, maybe not a tummy tuck yet, or maybe just a little pull here but maybe not a facelift yet. And I always say we’re our own worst critics. We notice all those little details on ourselves when it’s not that bad. But there is specific questions that we do ask as coordinators that help us differentiate what would be the best procedure for you.

Monique Ramsey (05:47):
And then what about health factors? Like if they’re still a smoker, let’s hope they’re not . But, or do you talk about their BMI for and I think we have a calculator on the website, a BMI calculator that you can see, you know,

Marissa (06:05):

Monique Ramsey (06:05):
Yeah. Are you like a healthy candidate, right?

Marissa (06:11):
Mm-hmm Depending on what procedures they’re interested in, I do go over, you know, their BMI. And the reason, I explain to them, of why we ask the BMI, cause it can be a little bit of a touchy subject. And I never wanna offend anybody or it come across the wrong way. So I explain to them it’s for safety reasons. With anesthesia we want it to be around a 30, 32 BMI, if we’re doing any body or breast procedures, liposuction. And then also it’s for the patient as well. If you’re spending, you know, a significant amount of money at a surgery center, you wanna get the best outcome that you can possibly get. And getting to a goal weight prior to surgery is gonna help you reach that goal and give you the best outcome.

Monique Ramsey (06:51):
That’s true. So another question: because we have a practice with so many doctors, we’ve got so many wonderful surgeons. If you heard about Dr. Smoot or Dr. Salazar from a friend, of course that’s probably who you’re gonna wanna see for your consultation. But if you just have heard about how great La Jolla Cosmetic is, cause we are

Marissa (07:11):

Monique Ramsey (07:12):
But, but you don’t know which doctor is best for you. Is that something that you guys can help with on that phone conversation?

Marissa (07:19):
Oh, definitely. So I usually ask them is first let’s talk about what your goals are, what you’re wanting to achieve, what procedures would be best for you? And then from there I’m able to direct my patients into who would be the best surgeon. Understanding what their goals are. Do they want a natural look or do they want a little bit more volume than most? Do they want a bustier look? You know, depending on what they’re trying to achieve allows me to determine who would be the best surgeon from them. And personality-wise as well is a big thing too. All surgeons have different personalities so I take that in consideration as well too, when I’m chatting and getting to know my patients on the pre-consultation.

Monique Ramsey (07:57):
I think that’s a really good point because we want you to feel really comfortable with, not just the surgeon, but with his or her nurse, with you know, our entire team. And I’ve always said, you know that the time that you are most with the surgeon, you’re asleep

Marissa (08:16):

Monique Ramsey (08:16):
They’re doing they’re doing their jobs.

Marissa (08:18):

Monique Ramsey (08:18):
They’re fixing you and that’s a really important part. But you also wanna feel that there’s a connection there and that, that style be that just that whole ease of comfort is part of it as well. And so would you say sometimes that the doctors have certain specialties? Like we’re, if somebody says, “okay I want a rhinoplasty”, for example, then you have some ways to guide them to the right person?

Marissa (08:45):
Yeah. If they’re wanting um, like a rhinoplasty or a revision rhinoplasty, I usually refer to Dr. Reidler cause she is absolutely phenomenal. It’s what she’s known for. If they’re wanting a breast lift or an explant, removing their implants, I know Dr. Swistun is gonna give them the best outcome. He’s, what he is known for. So different procedures, I’ll refer to different surgeons to know that they’re gonna be in the best hands possible and this is what they specialize in.

Monique Ramsey (09:12):
Yeah. Maybe this is a random question so.

Marissa (09:15):
mm-hmm ,

Monique Ramsey (09:16):
Is there ever a time where you might say to a patient, two surgeons, either for two different things, so say somebody’s interested in a rhinoplasty

Marissa (09:26):

Monique Ramsey (09:26):
and a breast augmentation, Dr. Reidler is a facial plastic surgeon, she doesn’t go below the clavicle. And if you wanted to have that rhinoplasty and breast augmentation at the same time, is that something that they can do and that you would set up consultations for more than one doctor?

Marissa (09:42):
It is a possibility and I do it fairly often where patients are, after doing their own research, they’re like, I actually wanna meet with this doctor too. And I’m like perfect, let’s get you set up with both and see who you feel most comfortable and confident with and who you feel like you built a really good connection with as well. Cause that’s important. So I’ll set them up with multiple consultations or like how you said, I’ll do a facial procedure for Dr. Reidler and then maybe one of our breast specialists for the body.And we can do a combo case where they have surgery the same day and one surgeon will go first, then the other surgeon goes after and then they still get to go home.

Monique Ramsey (10:14):
Yeah. Cause I was coming at it from two different procedures. But you make a really good point. What if you’re, let’s say you’re having a breast augmentation and you see one doctor, but you also then are interested in another doctor at La Jolla Cosmetic. Do they get offended? Do they ?

Marissa (10:30):
They don’t get offended.

Monique Ramsey (10:32):
They don’t get offended like?

Marissa (10:33):

Monique Ramsey (10:33):
But can I see somebody, you know, it’s just you when you try on shoes you wanna make sure it’s the perfect shoe.

Marissa (10:39):
Exactly. You gotta try on maybe a a little half size different. Exactly. .

Monique Ramsey (10:44):
So is that, that’s okay? And does that ha, that happens frequently?

Marissa (10:47):
It does happen fairly often. Every now and then I have a patient that wants to meet with multiple surgeons and I’m like, “yeah, let’s do it. Let’s get you set up for one day with this doctor, another day with another doctor”. And then they get to decide. And I try to make them feel as comfortable as possible throughout that situation. Cause sometimes they do feel a little bit nervous seeing two different ones, like they’re cheating on one of ’em, , . But it’s totally fine and it’s normal and we want you to feel comfortable with your surgeon. That’s the most important part.

Monique Ramsey (11:13):
Now is there a difference between the fees, say it’s the, let’s pretend it’s the exact same procedure.

Marissa (11:19):

Monique Ramsey (11:19):
A breast augmentation with Dr A, and breast augmentation with Dr B. Is it gonna be the same quote essentially? Or is there, are there times that it might be different?

Marissa (11:29):
Typically it is the same quote. We have standard pricing across the board for all procedures. Where it can get a little tricky is if it’s a lengthier procedure and different surgeons have different surgery times, which can affect the cost in the end it shouldn’t affect it significantly but there is a slight difference sometimes.

Monique Ramsey (11:47):
And do they ever have different recommendations, like different approaches to the same thing?

Marissa (11:53):
They do. Different surgeons have different recommendations, they wanna take a different approach to it. Usually there I would say that they’re pretty spot on with each other and they’re pretty consistent. But every now and then once in a blue moon I’ll get one that has two different recommendations.

Monique Ramsey (12:07):
Okay. So for consultations, now that we’re sort of past the pandemic, everybody’s back in person. But let’s say I live, you know, on the east coast, can I do a Zoom consultation still with one of the surgeons?

Marissa (12:23):
Yeah, of course. We um, can schedule a Zoom consult. I mean we don’t want you flying all the way over here just to meet with one of the doctors. So we’ll do a Zoom consult first and if you feel comfortable then we’ll invite you in for an in-person evaluation. But we definitely want them to see each other at some point in person.

Monique Ramsey (12:40):
Okay. And then if you need more time with a surgeon, let’s say, I mean there’s a lot of information to kind of be thinking about and they cover so much during that visit. Can they come back for another consultation and is there a charge for that?

Marissa (12:55):
Oh of course there’s no charge for, and I always tell my patients, I’m like, I understand that you come in, it’s your first time having a consultation, it can be overwhelming. You’re getting evaluated, they’re going over different options, things that you may have not have anticipated. So it can be a lot of information and when you leave you’re like, oh shoot, why didn’t I ask this or why didn’t I ask that ? Right. So I understand and I always invite them back in if they want to meet with the doctor or schedule a time for them just to even chat on the phone and get those last minute questions answered.

Monique Ramsey (13:26):
Now let’s be honest, a lot of times we have somebody in our life, a spouse or a friend or a parent or somebody opinion matters

Marissa (13:36):

Monique Ramsey (13:37):
To you and at the end it’s your own choice. But is it okay for people to bring a spouse or a friend or a significant other to that consultation just for either to make them feel good as well as you or just as an extra set of ears for questions?

Marissa (13:53):
Of course I always encourage my patients if they’re able to bring in their spouse, significant other or friend just for that moral support. And sometimes when you’re in the consults they ask questions that you don’t think of or can’t remember at that moment. So it’s nice to have another pair of ears and just to have that support and it’s supposed to be a fun time when you come into the consultation. So bringing, you know, your partner is always gonna be better so that you get all those questions answered. And you guys are both experiencing this at the same time.

Monique Ramsey (14:22):
Now, is there anything people have to do to prepare for the consultation other than, obviously we have some forms for you to fill out. But is there anything you want them to bring certain pictures or certain resources that they, you know, homework that, I don’t wanna say homework but

Marissa (14:38):
I do assign a little homework. I tell them, I’m like, you have some homework to do. I want you to take a couple screenshots of before and afters that look similar to you and you like the result. And then that way they are able to show it to the surgeon and it kind of just creates an easier communication between them too. And they can both understand what kind of results you expect and the doctor can explain, “yes, I think this is totally realistic, we can achieve this”. Or they can explain what would get them to that result and what procedures or what the process would be like.

Monique Ramsey (15:07):
And is there any resources that you send them to specifically, to help them get the right questions in mind before that consultation?

Marissa (15:15):
Yeah, I always have them go to our website and look at our before and afters. Sometimes I’ll send a Touch MD as well where they can review the before and afters on there too and it has some helpful phone information on there. So I’ll send them a couple links just so that they feel more familiar with our practice prior to coming in.

Monique Ramsey (15:32):
So the day of the consultation, I would think like the biggest question you get is where, where do I park ? It’s like silly but it’s kind of like logical, right? I’m a Capricorn so I’m like thinking about like where, where should I park. Now you guys have valet, right? If people wanna use it, it’s not paid. I mean you have to pay for it. But there is valet.

Marissa (15:50):
We do have, which I let my patients know and I also tell them that I send them directions of with a link to our office just because it can be really confusing. My first day working here, I got lost and didn’t know where I was and had to call the office . So I’m like, use these directions, they will save you time when you’re coming in. So I prepare them that way and then when they have the consultation we’re located on the first floor. Super easy to find. It’s not like they’re having to go throughout the building. So that’s really nice.

Monique Ramsey (16:19):
Yeah. And now if people are concerned about people seeing them coming and going from the office, like do you have a, any advice about that?

Marissa (16:30):
Yeah, I would say that we don’t ever have a really full lobby. Most of the time we maybe have like three patients in the lobby at a time, but we try to be fairly quick. And you know, it’s something that I feel like some of my patients even connect with each other in the lobby and they’re talking about things. So it’s a safe place when you come in. And like you mentioned in the beginning, it’s not a typical medical office. It’s kind of like how you said a hotel, it’s more of a cozier environment.

Monique Ramsey (16:55):
Yeah, it’s really nice. I, and I think on our website we do have some 360 degree tours where you can actually, we’ll put a link in the show notes but the 360 degree tour where you can actually like walk around. And we’re gonna get one for outside too cause I think we need one for outside. But where you can walk around, you can even see the operating rooms, which is kind of cool. So we’ll put that link in the show notes, but we’ll have, I think that just helps sometimes you to feel prepared.

Marissa (17:21):
Ease your mind a little bit. Yeah,

Monique Ramsey (17:22):
Yeah. Okay. I know where I’m going, I know what it looks like and

Marissa (17:25):
It’s familiar.

Monique Ramsey (17:26):
Yeah. It’s familiar. Exactly. And we have a really good coffee cart on the first floor so if you have time before or after you could just stop in for a latte right across from our office. So how much time do you typically recommend for a consultation or does it vary by doctor or by procedure?

Marissa (17:45):
It varies by doctor. I would say to usually carve out about 45 minutes to an hour for a consultation. Some doctors take about an hour and a half to two hours. And I usually let them know beforehand how much time to carve out so that they’re prepared as well and they make enough time allotted on their schedule.

Monique Ramsey (18:02):
Now I remember over the years needing to babysit a few times.And we love kids but , do you recommend people get a sitter so they can not have that distraction sort of during that appointment?

Marissa (18:19):
Yeah, and the reason I suggest it is because it is a distraction. You’re trying to, you know, focus on the kids but then it’s also really important to listen to the surgeon and you’re not getting the full experience of a true consultation when you have your little ones with you. Of course we try to accommodate, like you mentioned , I babysat a couple times, a couple dogs too in the office . But we do strongly recommend that you find childcare just so that you’re able to really dedicate that time to the doctor and get the best consultation that you can, with all the information that’s provided.

Monique Ramsey (18:51):
Now, do they do some before and after imaging so that people can kind of get an expectation of what they might look like after this surgery? Does that happen during the consultation or does that happen later?

Marissa (19:05):
So at the consultation, if you’re interested in a breast augmentation, it’s really important that you get to try the implants on in the office, which is the most fun part of a consult. If you’re doing a body procedure, we have something called a Vectra, where we’re able to morph the body and show you what you would look like after surgery. So you’re able to see that visual. And then for rhinoplasties we’re even able to morph the nose on photos so that you can see what to expect after surgery. So there’s different options that we offer so that you can get an idea. Of course it’s not exact but at least, you know, okay, this is like similar to what I’m hoping for.

Monique Ramsey (19:43):
For those I’m assuming, yeah, there’s maybe it takes a little extra time cuz you’re taking those photos. Then who’s in the room with the surgeon? There’s the surgeon, there’s the patient. Mm-hmm , maybe their friend that they brought along. Who is there anybody else in the room? And then along with that question is are they gonna be taking their clothes off for any part or how does that work?

Marissa (20:05):
Yeah, so each surgeon has their own specific nurse that they’re with throughout the entire week. So it’s not like you’re gonna be seeing different nurses every single time you come in. Say your surgeon is Dr. Swistun, Rachel’s gonna be with you throughout the entire time. Usually we will do like a pre-op with you. She’s in the room throughout the entire consult with the doctor. She’ll have you undress and then she’ll hand you a gown and then she’ll let you know that they’ll be in shortly. They give you a few minutes and then they’ll come back in for the examination.

Monique Ramsey (20:33):
So do they do the exam at the beginning or do you get to know the doctor first a little bit and then

Marissa (20:38):
You’ll get to know the doctor. Yeah. ,

Monique Ramsey (20:39):
take your clothes off.

Marissa (20:40):
No, no. We want you to be comfortable.

Monique Ramsey (20:42):

Marissa (20:42):
So we’ll have you uh, chat with the doctor first, get to know him, see what your goals are, what would be the best options. Then when we, we do that evaluation is when they give you the recommendation of what surgery.

Monique Ramsey (20:54):
Okay. Okay.

Marissa (20:55):
Mm-hmm .

Monique Ramsey (20:55):
That’s when the pinching and the

Marissa (20:57):
Yes, the pinching and squeezing.

Monique Ramsey (20:58):

Marissa (20:59):

Monique Ramsey (21:00):
So I wanna read another review that I saw the other day as I was preparing for this with one of our surgeons, Dr. Swistun. They said, “genuinely felt a sense of ease and comfort, extremely thorough. I especially appreciated the honesty about what I would look like with and without the breast lift. This was extremely important to me and no other doctor was able to explain and show me what it would look like after the fact with each option.” So the reviewer here, put that word, show, in quotes, show me. So what technology was used during that consultation do you think?

Marissa (21:36):
Yeah, that I believe was our Vectra where we’re able to show you what your breast would look like before and after with the lift, with an implant, without an implant. It really gives a nice visual of what to expect along with Dr. Sw. He’ll also try to best explain and show you with your anatomy of what to expect as well too.

Monique Ramsey (21:54):
Now during that consultation, let’s say you come in and you are, you know, thinking about, let’s say a breast lift. And that’s all you told the coordinator. But then when you’re in the room you’re like, “oh but Doc, what about” And you, can you launch into another topic or is it better to try to do that ahead? Or what’s the best way?

Marissa (22:17):
The best way would be to let us know when you’re chatting with us scheduling your consult. But I completely understand, you know, there’s so many things going through your mind scheduling a consult and it’s nerve-wracking cuz it’s your first step and it’s a big one. So if you’ll forget and you just wanna ask the doctor in the consultation, it’s totally fine to just throw it in there and say, “Hey actually I was thinking now I wanna add some implants”. Totally fine.

Monique Ramsey (22:39):
Okay. Okay. And then, you know, if they talk to you, Marissa, let’s say that they, they call or in that first email thread, they’re talking to you. Do they then meet with you on the day of this, of the consultation and kind of be their buddy, I guess maybe is the best way to put it, through the process?

Marissa (22:56):
Yes, I am their buddy through the process. So when I chat with my patients initially I also meet with them at the consultation. I try to see them before their consult just to be like, “Hey, a familiar face, I’m here with you, I’ll see you in a little bit, let’s get you uh, comfortable in a room”. Then I meet with them afterwards as well just to see how they felt and you know, what they’re thinking, what their thoughts are. If maybe they have a question that they didn’t think of in the consult. I’m there through the entire process with them just basically holding their hand, being a friend, walking them through it.

Monique Ramsey (23:30):
I like that: being a friend.

Marissa (23:31):
Yeah. That’s why I love my job. I get to just be all my patients friends. .

Monique Ramsey (23:36):
So what are the things that the patient might take home with them after the consultation?

Marissa (23:41):
Yeah, so if they did any Vectra or morphing photos, they get to take those home with them. And they also take home their quote that we provide and then usually I’ll provide my card and let them know they can call or text me with any questions.

Monique Ramsey (23:54):
And how long is that quote good for?

Marissa (23:57):
The quote’s good for 30 days. After 30 days, it is subject to price changes.

Monique Ramsey (24:03):
So what if they’re not ready to make a decision? Like, I don’t know, you, sometimes you go places and you feel like you have to make a decision while you’re sitting there and that’s not, we don’t want anybody to feel that way I’m guessing. And so what do most people do? Do most people, by the time they have the consultation, are they kind of ready to move forward or are there, most people more planners in their thinking way into the future?

Marissa (24:28):
You know, I get both sides of it. Some patients are like, “I’m ready to do this. I’ve been thinking about it for so long, like let’s, let’s do this, I’m ready”. And then I have some patients that come in and they’re like, you know, I thought I was, but now that I’m really thinking about the downtime and the financials of it, it all starts to settle and it feels a lot more real when you’re in a consult. And so there are, they tell me, “I was thinking, you know, within the next two months, but now I’m thinking maybe next summer when the kids are outta school or I’m off work at that time”. So many different variables go into this planning and you’re really having to plan your whole life around it. So I completely understand. No rush. Whenever they’re ready, just give us a call back and we’ll get you in for another consult if it’s time for any re-evaluation and then we can move forward at that point. We’ll always be here for them.

Monique Ramsey (25:13):
Yeah. And we’ve been here for 34 and a half years now.

Marissa (25:17):
Yeah. I don’t think we’re going anywhere

Monique Ramsey (25:18):
As of this podcast. So , you know where to find us. Now do people ever ask to record their consultation? Let’s say they’re either worried that they’re so nervous they’ll forget stuff or maybe their husband or wife couldn’t come and join them. Do we allow people to record the consultation?

Marissa (25:39):
You know, I’ve never came across the scenario, but I mean I I don’t see it being an issue. I have had patients where they call their husband or FaceTime them into a consult cause they’re not able to make it in. So I’ve had that happen before in the past and that’s totally fine. You know, whatever you’re able to make work, we’re able to make do.

Monique Ramsey (25:56):
Okay, awesome. So I guess the last part is if people, once they, you know, decide to move forward, how long do they typically have to wait to get in the operating room?

Marissa (26:12):
You know, I love that question. I think it really all just depends on when the patients are wanting to get in. If surgeons are typically booked out one to two months in advance, sometimes even longer. But if they tell me, “Marissa, like I really need this specific day and it’s in a couple weeks, like, is there anything that you’re able to do?” I’m usually able to figure something out and make it possible and get them the specific date that they need. So I always tell my patients, I’m like, don’t worry about the day I , I’m here for you. I’ll usually make something work if we have to maybe pull a couple strings, change a couple things, just to make it happen for them.

Monique Ramsey (26:47):
And I think that’s one, as you were saying that it made me really think,, we have our own accredited surgery center within our office space. We built it. And what that assures you of is, not only safety and that we’re running things just like a hospital or anything else, but we have two accredited operating rooms that are running five days a week, two rooms and our own recovery room. And so from the patient, the benefits really are not just the safety but it’s that you can make

Marissa (27:20):
The flexibility.

Monique Ramsey (27:22):
The flexibility, Right, that you can make things happen that we’re not trying to call some third party surgery center and see what they have available. So I think that that’s a, something that’s a really nice benefit. And we’ll put in the show notes, we do have some information about what does that accreditation mean? It’s quad A, I mean there’s four A’s and then SF, but it, it’s for ambulatory surgery facility accreditation. But what that means in terms of, because you’re not just interviewing a doctor during this process, you’re really interviewing the whole team. Who’s the anesthesiologist? Who’s gonna be with you? Who are the nurses, who’s in the operating room with you? And then who’s, you know, where is it being done and is it safe? I’m assuming those are some of the conversations you have during this process as well.

Marissa (28:09):
Mh-hmm. And the good thing about us too also is that our anesthesiologists are all board certified and they’re hired within our practice. Like you mentioned our own surgery center. We have our own anesthesiologists who have been with us for 15 plus years.

Monique Ramsey (28:23):
Oh, oh. Longer.

Marissa (28:24):
. Yeah, longer.

Monique Ramsey (28:25):
So I’ve been there 31 and they came when I came. So obviously not every single one of them, but you know, two outta three

Marissa (28:33):
About that time. Yeah, exactly. So,

Monique Ramsey (28:35):
At the same time.

Marissa (28:36):
So, we’re not having different anesthesiologists come in different ones every week. They work so closely with our surgeons and really know how to work so well with each other, that you’re gonna have a really safe experience along with our quad A accredited surgery center.

Monique Ramsey (28:51):
So gosh, we’ve covered so much Now, something that I think is unique to us is the review of the consultation. You know, there’s a lot of places where you can read reviews from people who’ve had surgery or a procedure somewhere. But you don’t always read reviews of that consultation process. And we have those on our, on our website. If you go to the page called “your free consultation”, we’ll link it in the show notes, but that’s a place where you can read reviews of people of what they felt like during this time. Because like you said, it can be intimidating. I mean, Marissa, you nailed it with that, with that. We don’t want it to be, we’re trying to do everything we can so it isn’t intimidating. And I think one of the words that when you read through that, all those consultation reviews is they’ll say, “I felt comfortable. It felt like a family. I felt like I was at home”. You know, there are some words in there that, we want you to know we’re on your team, we’re your, we’re showing up for you. We want you to make the best possible decision, whether it’s us or somebody else, but we want to give you kind of like, arm you with that information. So is that something that you, you see with patients a lot where they maybe thought the consultation would be one way and they’re surprised that it is a different way?

Marissa (30:12):
Yeah. I actually had, um, just yesterday my patient came in to meet with Dr. Salazar, and my first question, or one of my first questions I ask after the consult is, “how was it, how did you feel? Did you feel comfortable?” And she was like, “oh my goodness, I can’t even put into words how much better this consult was”. She had just came from another practice and had a consultation there and she was like, “I, it wasn’t bad.” She was like, “I’m not gonna say anything bad”. She was like, “but Dr. Salazar”, she was like, “I feel like, I feel like I’ve known him forever”. She was like, “he was so nice, he was so relatable. He didn’t pressure me into doing some larger size”. She was like, “he really listened to me and just made me feel like I was, felt heard”. And I was like, “that’s our goal here”. Our goal is to make you feel comfortable and at home and relaxed and not feel like you’re being forced into a procedure. And it really, at, at the end, I gave her a hug and I was like, “I’m so glad you found us” .

Monique Ramsey (31:10):
. I’m a hugger too. I, when I used to see patients, I’d be like, “okay, I feel like a hug is an order,” And they’re like, “okay, I’m a hugger too. Not everyone’s a hugger. We get that. But, but yeah, that’s wonderful.

Marissa (31:23):
And that’s the one, one of the most important things that I want all of my patients to feel is comfortable when they come in and have a consult.

Monique Ramsey (31:31):
Now we’ll have, like I said, all the things in the show notes, but each doctor, when you go on our website has on their bio page, information specific to them but also all the reviews that are specific to them. So if you’re seeing Dr. Salazar, you can click to look at all in a row, all the reviews of him as a, as a surgeon and how people felt. So either in the consultation and/or after surgery. So that’s a nice feature. And of course our photo gallery, we are just, we add photos every day, and um, so that’s something that’s always good to check out as well. And you can filter by doctor, you can filter by procedure. So the last thing is, you know, we talk about that we’re here to help dreams become real. And especially I think when you’re having surgery, if you’re thinking about something that’s, you know, bothering you, you’ve got that dream of what you’re gonna look like at the end and we we’re gonna help facilitate that dream. So for Marissa, let me have you tell us about a dream of yours that became real.

Marissa (32:35):
A dream of mine that became real… When I started here at La Jolla Cosmetic, I started in our call center and I was kind of bummed cuz I’ve always been a surgery coordinator for the past several years. And I was like, you know what, it’s okay, I’ll, I’ll work myself up. That was my goal. And I then I moved up to the med spa and I was a med spa coordinator, so I have some experience here. And I was like, “all right. Not the direction I was wanting to go, but it’s okay. Everything happens for a reason. It’s good experience under my belt”. And then finally I was able to make it down to the surgery center and I feel so grateful I was able to work with Dr. Swistun, Salazar, all the amazing doctors that we have, downstairs. So I feel like that was a dream of mine that became real, is being back in surgery with doctors and the staffing that we have here.

Monique Ramsey (33:22):
Well thank you Marissa for being with us today and walking everybody through this, you know, what could be something that might be intimidating but you know, really isn’t at the end of the day. And, I think that’s just how it speaks to and is a testament to you and the team of patient care coordinators and I think, you know, we call them patient coordinators, but really it’s patient care coordinators because you are coordinating their care and you’re taking care of them. So thank you again for coming in.

Marissa (33:53):
Thank you for having me. I was so excited to be on here and I’m so glad that I did it.

Monique Ramsey (33:57):
Yeah, me too. It was fun. So we’ll see you guys all next time. Thank you.

Speaker 3 (34:07):
Take a screenshot of this podcast episode with your phone and show it at your consultation or appointment or mention the promo code PODCAST to receive $25 off any service or product of $50 or more at La Jolla Cosmetic. La Jolla Cosmetic is located just off the I5 San Diego Freeway in the XiMed building on the Scripps Memorial Hospital campus. To learn more, go to ljcsc.com or follow the team on Instagram @ljcsc. The La Jolla Cosmetic Podcast is a production of The Axis.