Perfecting the art of aging

Story by Amy Geiszler-Jones - Photography by Kacy Meinecke

At Ageless MedSpa, the focus is on aging well and aging less.
    “I really do want people to age well,” said Dr. Melissa Hodge, a Wichita obstetrician and gynecologist who is the medical spa’s owner and medical director.
    “And to look themselves as they age beautifully,” added Victoria Jacob, one of the spa’s two certified medical aesthetic providers. 
    Medical spas – which differ from day spas in that they focus on body treatments ranging from Botox injections to body contouring procedures to various laser therapies offered in a clinical setting – have become a booming business nationwide. Advances in anti-aging technologies and treatments mean customers nowadays have a variety of nonsurgical options to age gracefully and to look better without traditional cosmetic surgery. 
    Several of those treatments have seen huge increases since 2000, according to data released last year by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The data compared the growth of procedures between 2000 and 2015. In the U.S., Botox injections increased by 759 percent during that time frame, and laser hair reductions increased 52 percent. 
    At Ageless MedSpa, those two procedures are among the most popular with patients, said Regan McGee, patient coordinator. Another popular service is the spa’s facials that use the SkinMedica line of skin care products, she said. SkinMedica is available only through licensed physicians.
    Cosmetic injections are popular with today’s medical spa clients because they tend to be “easy for the patient with instant results,” said Jacob, who has 30 years of experience in clinical and surgical settings related to ophthalmology, oculoplastics, dermatology and medical aesthetics. 
    Recent photos on Ageless MedSpa’s Facebook page show Jacob herself undergoing a Kybella injectable treatment by Hodge. The procedure permanently reduces the fat cells located under one’s chin, the pair explained.
    Ageless MedSpa also offers two different therapies, one using ultrasound and another heat, to help lift skin and reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Ultherapy uses ultrasound to target the neck and face area, while Venus Freeze, contrary to its name, uses heat to produce body contouring and skin tightening. The spa also offers various skin care services, including sophisticated exfoliation procedures, and skin corrective treatments for conditions such as acne scarring, brown spots, hyperpigmentation and more.
    The staff works closely with patients and with Dr. Hodge to ensure patients receive individualized treatment plans, with the goal of creating a realistic, natural look, Jacob said. Customer service and building relationships with little touches – like McGee offering to manage each customer’s participation in the spa’s rewards program – are key to the business’ success, she said.
    Depending on the type of procedure, appointments can range from 15 to 90 minutes. Some do require repeat visits for best results.
    “Medical aesthetic treatments tend to take more than one treatment since we continue to age,” Jacob explained.
    About a year ago, Ageless MedSpa started offering FemiLift, an innovative, corrective procedure for the vagina without surgery, anesthesia or downtime. At her private practice, Hodge was seeing patients who complained of issues such as incontinence and painful intimacy so she started researching medical therapies that could provide relief. The FemiLift treatment, which uses a carbon dioxide laser, provides an alternative to surgery or hormone treatments.
    “It’s surpassed my expectations,” she said of the minimally invasive treatment. “After three treatments, women feel their lives and relationships are back.”