During the past few years, somewhere between my 50s and 60s, I noted with alarm that my chin, jaw and neck were re-formatting my face. My profile no longer looked like a swan, but rather a hanging appendage underneath my chin seemed to be crying out that I needed TLC from a kind, experienced doctor. When I considered doing something to improve my appearance, I had loads of questions, but I needed the honest answers of a plastic surgeon with experience who had many options to choose from.
Viewing television shows featuring actual Ultherapy sessions with patients and doctors were getting rave reviews and were very interesting to me. This is a non-invasive in-and-out treatment (the only FDA approved non-surgical facelift for my ‘issues’). Many times, I had seen the “Life Lift” commercial about the Invasive procedure Debby Boone raves about in her paid commercial, but I wasn't sure I was ready for a knife at this point.
Instinctively, I knew what I wanted was a simple Ultherapy. And so, I found myself at the new calming offices of Adam J. Cohen, MD, in Glenview, Illinois, seated for my complimentary medical consultation. I needed Dr. Cohen’s insights as to whether this was the right time for me to incorporate Ultherapy or go for broke (and surgical knife for a face lift I could nary afford or desire).
Dr. Cohen put me at ease immediately with his charm, knowledge and our mutual Brooklyn background. He explained that Ultherapy will become a “major trend in patients who notice signs of aging, as well as younger patients who will use it as preventative care.”
I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Cohen and to chat about many factors related to cosmetic and plastic surgery.
Sharon Sultan Culter: How would you describe the office experience and decorating as it might feel to a new client?
Dr. Cohen: We tried to make the office as much of a medical environment as we did a soothing spa experience. We want patients to know that they are in a surgeon’s office but to take the anxiety of seeing a doctor away. We chose calming greens and blues and put a lot of color on the walls in common areas along with art work and mirrors. Exam rooms and the surgical suite are also painted a warmer color to make you feel as welcome and comfortable as possible, while still being sterile and medical for the physician needs. We have two exam rooms, two aesthetic rooms, and a surgical suite. We have tried to make it a complete experience for patients from consultation to procedure and maintenance treatment with the aesthetician.
SSC: Are complimentary consultations part of your service and that of the aesthetician, Aggie Chapsky-Astrella?
Dr. Cohen: A complimentary consultation is available to all cosmetic patients. The consultation is also available with our aesthetician if patients want to learn more about their skin and what treatments she would recommend to achieve the results they are looking for if a surgical approach is not an option.
SSC: We are always hearing about “the latest and greatest” procedures for the face to be youthful again. What do you see as the benefits of having Ultherapy, knowing that it is not a process where you see final results immediately, because the ultra-sound waves stir up collagen over time?
Dr. Cohen: Ultherapy is the only FDA approved non-surgical facelift. I believe it will be a tremendous trend in patients who notice signs of aging, but also younger patients who will use it as as preventative care. A non-surgical option that offers the same results as a traditional facelift offers benefits to patients that we cannot even begin to measure. There is no cutting, stitches, swelling, bruising, social downtime, or anesthesia. You can come in over your lunch hour and nobody will know you had anything done. While it takes 30 days to start seeing results it is still far faster than seeing results from conventional surgery. It is really a tremendous option for patients.
SSC: Which are the most reasonably priced, popular and effective medical and/or aesthetic services that you recommend?
Dr. Cohen: The easiest and most reasonably priced are not always the most effective for all patients. Laser treatments and peels are certainly the most reasonably priced, but Botox is not too far behind.
SSC: Where else do you work?
Dr. Cohen: I do see patients at RUSH University Medical Center. I am the Section Director of Oculo-Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery and I work closely with residents as well as operate. In addition, I am the Medical Director at Lifetime Fitness in their Vernon Hills and Old Orchard locations and I see patients there a few times a month along with staffing full time medical aestheticians and an RN onsite.
SSC: What do you foresee in the future of medical plastic surgery?
Dr. Cohen: I think we will start to see a lot of non-invasive “lunchtime” treatments that offer patients everything from little fixes (laser hair removal/sun damage correction) to treatments like Ultherapy. I think there will be more men seeking a refreshed and youthful appearance as well. I already see an almost equal ratio of men to women and it is growing every day. Opportunities for laser treatments and injections that we can now offer at multiple locations will make the accessibility of cosmetic treatments too convenient for patients to pass up. As the medicine becomes less invasive I believe it will become more attractive to consider treatment.
SSC: Your practice is called The Art of Eyes. Do you also perform eye and eyelid surgery?
Dr. Cohen: The first part of my growing practice has been eyelid reconstructive surgery, orbital and lacrimal surgery and neuro-opthalmology. I am proud to be well-recognized by other doctors for this specialty. However, because of the demand for experienced, fully trained facial plastic surgeons that patients can rely on for comprehensive knowledge and trust, that’s what my calling is all about.
SSC: Doctors have to enjoy other hobbies along with the rigors of being on call to improve patient care, so what do you do in your spare time (assuming there is spare time…)?
Dr. Cohen: I am an avid cyclist and compete at in top level road racing. I enjoy the challenge of the riding and racing, but the freedom that it gives me is what I really love. The constant motion and whirring of the tires clears my mind, but combined with the competitive nature of the sport, it’s exhilarating. The pens are simply a collectable that I enjoy. They are simple and elegant, but also make a statement. As a surgeon I respect the craftsmanship and fine detail that goes into making each pen unique. Every man should have a handsome pen. Something about signing your name with a click top pen and then signing your name with a weighted and sturdy fountain pen just makes you feel good. Makes you feel just a little more confident.
SSC: Tell me something different about yourself.
Dr. Cohen: Where do I begin? I love what I do, care about my patients as if they were family, and provide prompt call-backs from first-time or frequent clients. And I like to put my clients at ease with a friendly smile to break any ice in the room!
After the unrushed medical consultation, I took the plunge and signed up for Ultherapy. As part of my commitment to write about my experiences, I agreed to have a photographer present for the before-and-after’s.
On Monday, I am taking the plunge and I’ll let the world know how Ultherapy works, feels and what changes I experience. For a short time, I will be “Queen for the Day” and, hopefully, love every minute of it.
Adam J. Cohen, MD, FACS
2591 Compass Rd., Suite 115
Glenview, Il. 600256
Photos:Michael Greer Photography