By Becky Wiese
One sign of a patient-centered medical practice is how it responds to patients’ needs and requests. A good example can be found in Oasis Medical Spa & Wellness, which is an extension of services offered through Twin City Plastic Surgery. When patients started asking questions about skin care after their surgery and wanted to have access to more aspects of skin health, the physicians listened and ultimately established Oasis to meet these needs and desires for their patients. Oasis also provides a variety of options for patients who aren’t ready for a surgical solution but want to invest in their skin health as they do their physical health.
Dr. Chad Tattini and Dr. Laura Randolph began the Twin City Plastic Surgery practice in 2004, offering a variety of both reconstructive and enhancement procedures. They opened Oasis Medical Spa & Wellness in 2006 to better serve those who came to them for surgical reasons, as well as to provide high-quality, medical grade products and procedures that would benefit their patients well beyond their surgical recovery. Oasis also offers procedures that provide outstanding results without having a surgical element. The physicians, both Drs. Tattini and Randolph along with Dr. Paige Holt, who joined the surgical practice in 2013, oversee all medical care and many treatments in the medical spa.
The Oasis Team
The Oasis Medical Spa & Wellness team is made up of Katie Bertsche, the Spa Manager and Front Office Assistant, and Alyssa Brock, a licensed aesthetician and laser technician. They work in tandem with the plastic surgeons and staff, which creates a strong relationship of trust in each other and with patients. “I believe the fact that we are part of a medical office is a huge benefit to our patients—they know that there is experience and in-depth medical knowledge behind the products and treatments we offer,” says Alyssa.
Katie agrees, adding, “We have treatment options and products that are available only through a physician’s office, and for some treatments, such as micro-needling and laser, the physician has to okay the procedure before it’s done.”
Katie was the manager of the cosmetic department at Von Maur, and has been a plastic surgery patient. “I’ve always had a passion for making people feel good about themselves and trying new things,” she says, so the beauty component of Oasis’ options for clients fit right in with her background. She was also diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age and felt the plastic surgeon’s office was always a positive, encouraging place to go when her recovery process required it. “I thought it would be a fun place to work, so when the position opened up, I applied.” She has been with Oasis Medical Spa for six years now.
Alyssa grew up in central Illinois but went to a school in Washington state specifically for its medical aesthetics program, which included training in more in-depth procedures. She worked as a skin therapist at Ulta for two years, but her interest in more medical-based procedures such as lasers and peels was the impetus for coming to Oasis Medical Spa three years ago. “I love aesthetics—it gives people the confidence they wouldn’t (or didn’t) have,” she says. “I like to help people take their skin care to the next level—to get more serious about skin care—and being a part of that journey with people. It’s not so ‘sales’ oriented; it’s more about a change than a sale.”
Most Popular Procedures
Oasis Medical Spa offers a variety of services for enhancing and improving skin tone, texture, and health. These include dermaplaning, facials, chemical peels, and eyelash and eyebrow treatments. Some of the more popular procedures, according to Alyssa, are hydrafacials, micro-needling, and laser hair reduction.
A hydrafacial is a “more aggressive version of a traditional facial—it involves more exfoliation,” she explains. The process consists of four steps: a physical exfoliation to remove dead skin cells and open pores; a chemical peel (although without the usual scaling afterwards); an extraction step that uses painless suction to clean out pores; and a rehydration step that replenishes the skin. “The great thing about the hydrafacial is that it’s more like a combination of a facial, microdermabrasion, and chemical peel in one procedure, plus it works for any skin type.” Even better, the hydrafacial does not require any “down time”—there’s no recovery period for redness or irritation. “You can do this (and probably would want to do this) procedure right before a big event because your skin will look great,” adds Alyssa. As a regular part of your skincare routine, this can be done every 2–4 weeks.
Contrary to what its name implies, micro-needling is a nonsurgical technique that improves skin texture. “Micro-needling is one of the most aggressive spa treatments we have. It’s very popular because it makes a dramatic difference in skin texture without surgery or injectables,” Alyssa explains. It works by using a controlled injury to the skin that promotes healing and change through collagen induction and the body’s natural healing process of creating collagen. This procedure can plump up thin skin, reduce thick wrinkles, restore collagen loss, and minimize scarring and pigmentation issues. Micro-needling does involve some down time, but skin will be back to normal within a week; mineral makeup can be used immediately after the procedure, so the actual “down time” is minimal. “We recommend this be done in a series—patients will see compelling results after a set of three or six sessions, and the procedure can be done as part of a regular regimen.”
Another popular procedure is laser hair removal, which offers a more permanent solution to reducing unwanted hair, especially thick, coarse stubborn hair, and avoiding ingrown hair and razor burn. “Most patients see an 80–85 percent reduction in dark hair growth and claim the laser treatment is not as painful as waxing,” Alyssa says. The process involves using highly concentrated light beams (laser) to penetrate into the hair follicles and destroy the hair. For a first-time patient, she recommends doing the procedure every four weeks for six months, then touch-ups as needed.
“Now is a good time to start this process if you’re interested in it,” says Alyssa. “Fall and winter is the best time to do laser hair reduction because you don’t want to go out in the sun after the procedure because your skin might be more sensitive and burn more easily.” Katie adds, “Really, it’s best not to be in the sun after any corrective treatment,” as the sun is a primary cause of skin damage.
A Symbiotic Relationship
Although Oasis Medical Spa was established to help surgery patients keep their skin healthy, now crossover from the spa to the surgical side is just as common. “It goes both ways,” says Katie. “We have patients who have come in for years and we’ve worked with them on their skin care goals, but there comes a point that what we can do only goes so far.” If the patient has had success with an eye cream, but still feel they need or want more done with their eyes, the Spa team can refer them to the surgeons to learn about a blepharoplasty (eye lift), or if they’ve been using retinol-based products and it’s no longer quite enough, they can talk to the surgeons about a Botox injection. “So they may start in the spa, but we may recommend they see the physicians for next steps. There’s a good mix of going both directions.”
Another point of crossover often happens prior to surgery. “Surgical procedures don’t improve the quality of your skin,” explains Alyssa. “It’s important to use good products and have a good skin care regimen if you’re going to have surgical procedures done—you’ll also have an easier recovery and better results.”
This symbiotic relationship between the Oasis Medical Spa and Twin City Plastic Surgery is beneficial to everyone. “A lot of patients have been to both the clinic and spa—they are familiar with the procedures, the office, the personnel, and most importantly, have an established trust in who they work with,” says Katie.
Something for Everyone
Contrary to what some may believe, there is something at Oasis Medical Spa for everyone. “We know there is often a misconception about the cost for both products and procedures,” says Katie. “But you carry your skin with you every day. Procedures and products designed to keep it healthy are an investment.” And with the high quality of both available at Oasis, you’ll see results.
Alyssa adds, “Improving skin health can be a slow process, but here you’re not spending money on marketing or ads, but on products that work. Our products will work; I’ve seen the results and previous patients have seen results. It’s not based on opinion.”
During an initial consultation, Katie and Alyssa find out what a new patient wants, what they are currently using, and what they’ve used in the past. They are very open about telling patients what can and can’t be done, as well as who is not a good candidate for a procedure. “Some patients are not good candidates for laser treatments, for example. We aren’t here to sell some dream that won’t or can’t become a reality. We help build realistic expectations and manage expectations about what a treatment/procedure can or can’t do,” says Alyssa. “We are always reassessing because the patients concerns/wants change over time.”
Both women like being “beauty gurus” and helping people find satisfaction and confidence in their appearance. “It’s not just patients wanting to be model beautiful,” says Alyssa. “We find great satisfaction in helping someone find a regimen to help fade scars or even out their skin tone—or whatever their skin health concern might be.”
“People enjoy coming here because they get pampered instead of poked and prodded,” says Katie. “I’ve never heard a patient say they aren’t excited to come here—either for the spa or doctor’s office—most people look forward to coming here. They’ll see the results.”
Oasis Medical Spa & Wellness and Twin City Plastic Surgery are located at 2502 E. Empire, Suite C, in Bloomington. Call 309-662-6772 or click twincityplasticsurgery.com for more information.