It’s the buzz about town. Dianne York, co-founder of La Jolla Spa MD, and Gilbert Lee, MD, FACS of Changes Plastic Surgery in Carmel Valley, are teaming up on a new medical spa. “I was busy minding my own business,” recalls Lee, who has had a successful plastic surgery practice for nearly 15 years, when York called with an intriguing proposal. Why not add spa services to complement his plastic surgery practice?
Under the arrangement, York (who is splitting from Mitch Goldman, MD, her husband and former business partner) would offer spa treatments from fillers to facials, massages to make-up from her own DYG cosmetics line. Lee, president of the San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, would continue to provide surgical procedures along with non-surgical rejuvenating treatments. “It’s an incredible union,” says York, “and a great partnership.”
The expansion of Changes might seem counter-intuitive in these tough economic times. But not according to Lee. While plastic surgery is down across the country, he says, there is demand for less invasive alternatives. “It’s not that we’re crazy,” he says, “it’s just that we are changing to accommodate the different economic status that we’re in. So we are going to be capturing more of the non-surgical procedures, more of the spa-oriented procedures. And, hopefully, it will just expand our patient base, rather than narrow it.”
While the name of his practice is Changes, Lee says he doesn’t believe in radical makeovers. “People think if things aren’t going well, ‘I’m going to change myself,’” he says. “I really don’t condone that type of surgery. I prefer people to feel good about themselves but just want to appear a little bit better.” Both Lee and York agree that real beauty comes from within. “Inner beauty is most important,” says York. “If you feel really wonderful about yourself inside, it projects on the exterior.”
York and Lee are more than business partners. Word has it they’re co-stars in a new docu-drama based on the beauty biz. Camera crews have been shooting at Changes, as well as at La Jolla locations. Co-producer on the project, Intuitive Entertainment, is known for such “reality” shows as The Millionaire Matchmaker, now in its second season on Bravo, and Sunset Tan on E! Entertainment Television. So stay tuned. ANDREA NAVERSEN