These are the transformational stories of our team and our patients. Get to know us and join us in this incredible journey.
One of the first things I learned in CoolSculpting University was to help people set realistic expectations. So when an exceptionally large woman came to me for a consultation, my first instinct was to try to steer her towards liposuction or even bariatric surgery. Janet (not her real name) came to us because of our reputation for being honest and for our unparalleled CoolSculpting® results. I did not want to betray her trust, so I was very straight forward with her. I explained to Janet that Coolsculpting is a great treatment for shrinking stubborn areas of fat to help people look better in their clothes, but it might not be right for her. However, she insisted that this is exactly what she wanted. Her second son was getting married and she wanted to wear the same dress she wore to her first son’s wedding 10 years ago. Looking at her current body compared to the photographs she showed me, I knew this would be a huge undertaking. I was honest, and I told her she would need a lot of cycles. Liposuction would probably cost her less and she would get faster and better results. Janet was denitely not interested in liposuction, even though I explained to her how our minimally invasive Vaser® liposuction was nothing like the old liposuctions that required months of recovery. She could be back on her feet the next day. In the end, she still decided to go ahead with CoolSculpting®. The wedding was in six months!
I have been performing CoolSculpting treatments at Omni Aesthetics since 2014 so I know that there is definitely an art to getting the best results. Most people think that just freezing the area with the machine is how the fat is removed, but that is just part of the process. Once we successfully freeze the adipose tissue under the skin, we have to pulverize the frozen cells by vigorously massaging it, otherwise the fat cells can come back to life and grow bigger than they were before the treatment (this is a rare phenomenon called "Paradoxical Adipose Hyperplasia" or PAH). I learned the proper massage techniques in CoolSculpting school but then Dr. Song showed me how I can really destroy the frozen fat using our shock wave machine. With the tools and the training that I had, I felt confident that I could help Janet achieve her goal. Back then, we only had one CoolSculpting machine, so each cycle took 45 minutes to do. We did 20 cycles over a period of several weeks. Once Janet started to see the inches coming off, she became really motivated and started also losing some weight on her own, the old fashioned way with diet and exercise. By the time the wedding day came, she had to actually have the dress taken in a couple of inches! This is just one of so many life altering stories that I have had the privilege of being a part of and this is why I am so passionate about what I do.
Fast forward to 2021. We are now up to the third generation of CoolSculpting machines called "CoolSculpting Elite®" and we have two of them with a total of four applicators. That means we can potentially treat four people at the same time or put all four applicators on one person to do the treatments in 1/4 of the time. I now also have two assistant CoolSculpting technician who are going through the same training that I did. I consider it a true honor to personally mentor the next generation to help them master the art of body contouring.
When I went for a routine dental visit in July of 2019, I could never have imagined what I would have to go through for the next year. The X-rays revealed a rare tumor that would keep growing if it was not immediately addressed.
The treatment required removal of half of my upper jaw and extensive reconstructive surgery. After a ten hour surgery and seven days in the ICU, I was told that they had removed all of the tumor! I was beyond thankful that I was alive, yet looking in the mirror, I was terrified. Would my life ever be the same again?
Candidly, 2020 was the most difficult year of my life, as it has been for so many of you. I had to really lean on my faith, pray and trust. The team of doctors at Mt Sinai Hospital were excellent. Despite several setbacks, including two more surgeries, and countless in-office procedures, they were able to make me look normal again. I had some of the best reconstructive surgeons in the world work on my face and they did an amazing job. The small irregularity that still remained was hardly noticeable. However, I was painfully self-conscious of the asymmetry that persisted. I was losing confidence in myself. I dreaded the thought of returning to the workplace. Then, as if in answer to my prayers, in 2021 I met Dr. Song and the team at Omni Aesthetics.
Dr. Song told me about his technique of performing a facial fat transfer. He can use fat harvested from anywhere on my body and transfer it to specific areas on my face where I needed extra volume. There was a visible deficit in my left lower face where the tumor was removed and he told me that he can fill that with fillers, but using my own fat would be a much better option. Fat is more permanent and would look more natural. An added benefit would be that the regenerative effects of the fat could help to soften and heal the scar tissue that had formed as a result of my operations.
The fat transfer had been offered to me before, but I was given the impression that it would require another operation, which I was not interested in. Dr. Song told me that his technique did not require going under anesthesia. He could do it under local anesthesia and there would be no cutting! I was intrigued.
When he asked me where I would want the fat to be harvested from, I jokingly pointed to the flabby fat on my upper arms and I was shocked when he said “sure, we can take it from there.” He said I would see a noticeable reduction just from the harvest and that he would do both arms. I was sold!
I decided to do the fat transfer to my whole face to touch up the hollowness under my eyes and temples. I also had him put some in my cheeks and lips. The changes were instant and other than some swelling and a small amount of bruising, I had very little down time. I did not have to hide out like I did with my other surgeries. I had a touch up a few months later, which was not a big deal since I did not have to risk general anesthesia. Now, not only is my face much more symmetrical, I actually look ten years younger!
It is now mid 2021 exactly two years since my ordeal began and I feel that I have come out from the worst year of my life better and stronger than before. My faith is stronger, my attitude is better and my face actually looks younger!
“As I Lay on My Driveway, I Watched My Car Roll Over My Right Leg”
It was a dark night in December 2019, before COVID came along to disrupt our lives. I had left work after a late meeting at Omni Aesthetics with Dr. Song and Michelle. During the short 5-minute ride to my home, I must have been distracted by the exciting new laser we were discussing because the next thing I knew, my own car was rolling over my leg.
I stepped out of the car—and then I was on the ground. Screaming, as my car tire made its way over my right thigh in slow-motion. How could this be happening??
I’ve always driven stick shift cars. (The guys at the gas station called me a “Badass!” for driving a stick) Normally, I would put it in gear, pull up the handbrake, and get out. As the Registered Nurse for the practice, I develop procedures and train our staff to always use systems to check and double check for safety, wear their laser googles, follow infection control measures… Pause and be mindful about their next step. How could I forget to do this essential safety measure with my car?
After rolling right over my leg, the car kept going, stopping only when its trajectory was stopped by one of the evergreens along the edge of our driveway. I worried that our neighbor’s fence might be damaged. Nobody heard my screams. My husband and our dog, who usually signals my arrival by barking at the window, apparently went to bed early. They didn’t hear me either. I laid on my driveway in a state of shock. I was all alone.
In my trance-like state, I did not think to use my phone to call my husband, call the police, or summon an ambulance. No. I got up, and somehow walked up the stairs, down the hallway, and opened our bedroom door. “My car just rolled over me!” I exclaimed to my husband. We both stared at the tire tracks by my knee. It was now really starting to hurt.
Wow, apparently I’m not the only one who has been run over by their own car. The ER doctor told me of two other cases in the past year alone.
From the hospital, I called Dr. Song to let him know what happened and texted Michele. “Wait. What?!? “Your car ran over you?” They were both a bit shocked! I hadn’t wanted to bother them, but I thought they should know that I wouldn’t be into work the next day, which actually ended up being 6 days. You’ve got to have a sense of humor about things. Michele informed the team, “Well, Beth wanted to take a few days off, so she ran herself over with her car.”
As I waited on my gurney, while being rolled and parked around the hospital hallways to get multiple X-Rays, CT and MRI scans, and doppler ultrasound to see if I had any blood clots blocking my blood vessels, I had time to think. This was scary. The car could have rolled over my pelvis, my ribcage, even my head! I could have been dead. I was sent home in ace bandages. All my tests were negative, not a broken bone, no damaged blood vessels. A couple of large hematomas (bruises) within my right thigh, but these would resolve on their own over time. I did develop a tiny fracture in a non-weightbearing bone near my knee, detected several weeks later at a follow-up visit with the orthopedist, which didn’t require any treatment. Must have been my mother’s “milk with meals rule” that kept my femur from fracturing.
I thought about why I didn’t just pull up the brake and place my car in gear, something I’ve done countless times over more than 40 years of driving. I realized, “My car didn’t run me over. I ran MYSELF over.” By not following my own advice to use mindfulness, ‘practice the pause’, breathe for a moment, follow the steps, I had caused this unnecessary accident to happen.
What happened to the car, you might wonder? Not a scratch on it. But I turned it in for one with an automatic shift, newer version. I figured it can’t hurt to be too safe. What did Dr. Song have to say about the new car? “Well, you didn’t have to give up being a “badass”. I’m sure you would never have gotten out of your car again without putting it in gear and engaging the handbrake.” Very funny.
Beth Tansey Peller, RN is a registered nurse at Omni Aesthetics. She is a faculty trainer for the Advanced Aesthetics Education Group and a certified Well Coaches wellness coach.
“As a cosmetic surgeon, I was seriously questioning my ability to keep my COVID19 patient alive.”
65 is way too young to die! The typical 65 year olds I see in my practice look younger than most 40 year olds and are all living full, active, vibrant lives. Our motto after all, is "age backwards".
So, when 65 year old George with COVID pneumonia dropped his oxygen level down to 89%, I was not ready to put him on a ventilator and send him off to the ICU where he only had a 50% chance of survival.
On a wickedly cold night in April 2020. I was the physician on duty at one of the makeshift COVID Field Hospitals set up by the National Guard. I had accepted George’s transfer from the hospital earlier that day. His oxygen saturation was at a steady 96% when he arrived. He had been considered stable enough to leave the real hospital where the ventilators were, but he was not well enough to go home because patients with COVID pneumonia could rapidly turn and deteriorate at any minute as too many of them did. George was just one of many who came to the field hospital that day.
Amy was the nurse who noticed his oxygen levels dropping as he started to have an ominous coughing fit. She quickly alerted the rapid response team which I was heading. We jumped to action, and turned up his oxygen flow. The protocol at the time dictated that when a patient started deteriorating this fast, we insert a breathing tube down his throat and send him back to the hospital so that he could be placed on a ventilator. Looking back, it turns out that we probably saved his life by doing exactly the opposite of what we were trained to do… (continued)
Fiona Regan, L.E.
Staring back at me from my mirror was someone I could not even recognize. Almost overnight, my face had blown up like a balloon and I was terrified that it would stay like this forever. Now I know why they call it a “Moon Face”!
It was the summer of 2019 and I was having the time of my life. I had graduated from cosmetology school and my aesthetician license was on the way. I started a new job working exactly where I wanted to be, at Omni Aesthetics, using my skills and helping people feel good about themselves. I was going to parties, the beach, vacation, having fun, and then—out of nowhere, I hit a wall. I woke up one day and I couldn’t move. I don’t even remember the day I went to the hospital. My sister was going to drive me to the Emergency Room, but I couldn’t get up. Apparently, the ambulance squad brought a chair up to my room and carried me down.
In the ER, I told the doctors I had the worst headache ever. Before I knew it, I was in a room, receiving a blood transfusion. For two weeks, I was in and out of the hospital. I even had to receive a transfusion just to go to my best friend’s graduation party. Then back in for more. A total of 14 transfusions. They finally figured out that my own immune system was attacking my red blood cells. They immediately started me on high dose steroids and after four months of treatment, my face began to grow…
My blood count eventually returned to normal and my illness went away as mysteriously as it came, but my face, remained swollen! A known side effect of high doses of steroids. There’s even a name for it: “moon face.” I felt much better, but I was extremely anxious about facing my friends and co-workers with my moon face.
Back at work, I was happily doing HydraFacials and learning to perform advanced treatments like micro needling and Venus Viva. I loved it, but I felt so self-conscious when I greeted my clients. I wondered what they were thinking about my moon face. My cheeks were so swollen, and my lips made me look like a puffer fish. This was before COVID, so I couldn’t even hide behind a mask. But as time went on and I was able to wean from the steroids, my face returned to its natural state and I started to feel like myself again.
I wouldn’t wish the experience I had on anyone. I may never find out why this happened to me. But, as scary as it was, I learned something from it. As an aesthetician who wants everyone to feel good about their natural beauty, I hadn’t fully appreciated my own. The face I had before I developed this crazy illness. The one I missed so much when steroids made me look like someone else. The face I have back now. This has really helped me help my clients accept and appreciate their own unique features and embrace them. I can really appreciate that Dr. Song’s approach is to restore our patients’ natural beauty rather than making them look like a caricature.