JAN-FEB 2016

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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COMPASSIONATE CARE 44 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016 | Med Esthetics delicate balance of supervision and empowerment, and a lot of energy to make sure people work cohesively," he says. Dr. Few also trains young plastic surgeons through an ASAPS- acknowledged fellowship program at The Few Institute. "That may eventually open the door to bringing in or collaborating with another physician," he says. Incorporating Noninvasive Care Dr. Few's interest in—and research on—noninvasive technologies dates back more than 15 years. He was the fi rst researcher to study the use of hyaluronic acid on skin of color. "At the time, there was concern that injecting fi llers into someone with darker skin would be a problem due to the risk of keloids," he says. That research opened the door to more studies. "I became recognized as a person who could design and execute studies safely and effectively. So I was able to do more innovative stuff," he says. "I also saw what noninvasive treatments, such as fi llers, Botox and lasers meant to patients—it made them extremely happy. As technology became more available, I did more research, which led me to being more creative in applying these technologies." Among his most successful innovations are his trademarked "stackable" treatments—a technique whereby he strategically combines several nonsurgical modalities in a specifi c order, rather than breaking the treatments up into several sittings. "The common thinking is that nonsurgical treatments don't do enough," he says. "But I show patients that they can get substantial improvement." For example, he may combine Ultherapy, injectable fi llers and laser resurfacing treatments to deal with the three main issues of aging: wrinkling and loss of elasticity, deep-tissue sag- ging and loss of volume. "I target all three at once, in one session," he says. "By doing that, I get results that exceed what could be achieved if I had done each treatment alone. I use non- invasive tools like a surgeon uses a knife and surgical instruments." It's Only Natural His knowledge of facial anatomy has helped Dr. Few develop a reputation for enhancing, but not changing, his patients' appear- ance. He emphasizes preserving ethnic characteristics and has developed proprietary techniques to treat skin of color to avoid bruising, darkening and excess swelling. The idea, he says, is that everyone wants to look their best but still look like themselves. "When I was growing up, the thought among African Americans was that plastic surgery would make you look white. So it was shunned. People did not feel comfortable pursuing plastic surgery," he says. " I f providing cosmetic services was the only thing I did, it would be easy to get cynical. My work in the community allows me to think about my life in a holistic way and has changed the way I practice." Dr. Few will turn patients away if they ask for procedures that he feels are not in their best interests. He estimates that about one-third of potential patients are not candidates for treatment or surgery. "I have to be incredibly delicate— I don't want to make them feel bad—but if a potential patient wants surgery or nonsurgical treatments that would be to their disadvantage, I have to tactfully tell them I won't do it," he says. Among such requests: One woman had multiple surgeries and fi ller injections in another state, and she wanted more. She came to Dr. Few asking for additional fi llers. "If I had my way, I would have taken some away," he says. "Over-fi lling ages the skin, so I won't do it." The Few Initiative Despite the long hours required to perform surgeries, see clinical patients and manage a plastic surgery practice, Dr. Few is determined to focus on more than practic- ing medicine. In 2013, he founded The Few Initiative for Children. "Growing up during the Civil Rights period, there were times that I was in situations where I felt I didn't have a voice," he says. "That is why I wanted to provide a voice to these very bright young men and women. I want to empower them to develop programs that will benefi t their community on a larger scale." The nonprofi t organization gives young men and women— who are named "Few Initiative Ambassadors"—fi nancial assis- tance and resources so that they can, in turn, design programs to help others in their community. The idea is to inspire Chicago's disadvantaged and at-risk youth and give them the tools and leadership skills they need to succeed. Dr. Few regularly hosts "Night of Beauty" events with speakers and demonstrations on the latest nonsurgical tech- nologies. Proceeds from treatments and products purchased at the events directly support The Few Initiative. These philanthropic efforts boost awareness of Dr. Few's practice, but that is not his main goal. "The Few Initiative lets me engage more in the community as a whole, so it's part PR but it's part therapy, too," he says. "It takes my head into a totally different space, which is refreshing. "If providing cosmetic services was the only thing I did, it would be easy to get cynical. My work in the community allows me to think about my life in a holistic way and has changed the way I practice. My focus is not just growing the practice," he says. "My focus is to have a rich life." Maryann Hammers is a freelance writer specializing in the medical, beauty and spa industries.

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