More Local and Foreign Patients Key to GrowthWed, 09/09/2015 - 12:36
In 1995, when Dr Frank Rosengaus heard about a cutting edge non-invasive surgical procedure on the cusp of being approved by the FDA, he knew he had to bring the procedure to Mexico. The procedure is now one of the most popular non-surgical procedures in the world - laser hair removal. With this success, Rosengaus expanded his portfolio in innovative technology, setting up Ultrabody in 2006 as a hub for pioneering the latest surgical procedures in Mexico. Ultrabody has since introduced many previously unheard-of procedures in Mexico, including a non-invasive way of destroying fat through lypolisis.
As part of the Scientific Committee on Facial Plastic Surgery, Rosengaus has a definite advantage in being constantly aware of new promising technology and procedures. Rosengaus believes that Mexico’s long history of participation and innovation in facial plastic surgery serves as a remarkable foundation for further innovation being brought to the country. Facial plastic surgery schools were first established in Mexico in the 1940s, and over time the country has developed a solid reputation. Through its sister agency Ultimate Medical, Ultrabody now offers a range of education programs for plastic surgeons, as well as providing teaching courses to students. Students come from Chile, Argentina, Cuba, and Colombia, to receive personalized education through specialized courses, and learning procedures such as Simultaneous Cadaver Dissection and Patient Application.
Locally Rosengaus is also seeking to increase the penetration of well-established facial plastic surgery, since only 2% of Mexicans utilize this type of service. As a physician, he is now largely concerned with non-invasive procedures such as Botox and injectable dermal fillers, which are the two most applied procedures in Mexico by volume after vaccines. In the US, 6 million Botox applications are made a year for aesthetic or therapeutic purposes. Filler use has also greatly evolved in the past 20 years. Rosengaus believes their popularity can be increased in Mexico since studies show they are safe, fast, reliable, and can be used to solve many issues that cannot be addressed with surgery. It is a misconception, Rosengaus believes, to say that these procedures are financially beyond the reach of most patients as some treatments at Ultrabody are priced competitively and payment plans are offered. One issue that dissuades people from undergoing facial plastic surgery is misinformation on procedures. Another challenge is the need for greater enforcement of regulations. Just like any other surgical or medical procedure, regulations state that certified board doctors should perform cosmetic surgery but these laws are often not enforced due to lack of resources.
Dr. Rosengaus also wants to change the views of the medical industry in Mexico, promoting medical tourism hotspots for foreigners, and sees wellness tourism as an area of potential. The country could further exploit its potential in terms of medical tourism considering its strategic geographic location facing competition from countries like Costa Rica and Argentina that have heavily promoted their medical tourism industry. Mexico also needs to modify regulations so companies are able to adapt to new medicines and technologies faster, according to Rosengaus. Location is another important factor in what kind of patients each Ultrabody Clinic receives, says Rosengaus. Seven years ago, the organization opened a series of medical spas offering legal, minimally invasive procedures that can be performed outside a clinic. The main office in Mexico City mostly receives Mexican patients, whereas the spas rapidly became medical tourism destinations, with the clinic in Riviera Maya being favored by European clients and the clinic in Monterrey mostly receiving American clients. Rosengaus believes the medical tourism industry should be capitalized on and promotes the Mexican medical tourism industry around the world during speaking assignments in China or while treating patients across Latin America and Asia.
Developing innovative techniques in medicine, however, requires the promotion of clinical trials, which, according to Rosengaus, has been a slow and complicated process. Although Ultimate Medica is currently performing clinical trials, merging with Ultrabody is not a possibility at the moment, and therefore Rosengaus is seeking ways in which Ultrabody can bring clinical trials in facial plastic surgery to Mexico.