In a town where plastic surgery is as ubiquitous as kombucha, where and how one recuperates can be as vital as which board-certified doctor performs the operation.
“People are investing upward of $100,000 on cosmetic surgeries but choosing to skimp on the post-op care, and it’s not a good idea,” Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon Lisa Cassileth, who specializes in breast reconstruction, tells THR. “A lot can go wrong after major surgery, and having a friend or family member take care of you could set back the recovery and the result and ultimately affect how you end up looking.”
Postsurgical retreats have been a mainstay in L.A. for years, with Serenity Aftercare, a health-care facility in Santa Monica, reigning as the gold standard. But after it closed during the pandemic, a new crop of post-op hideaways has emerged, and they’re upping the ante thanks to partnerships with posh hotels including the Four Seasons, SLS Beverly Hills and The Beverly Hilton, where patients recover in luxe surroundings with room, nursing, meals and transportation included in the nightly fee.
Opened in 2021 by facial plastic surgeon Ben Talei, Aura AfterCare (auraaftercare.com, from $1,750 per night) now employs much of Serenity’s staff, including skilled nurses with more than 25 years of experience. It comprises four 3,500-square-foot condos, most with their own private balconies, in a luxurious residential building in the Wilshire Corridor. Nurses are on call 24/7, and there is an in-house chef who creates a customized menu of foods designed for optimum nutrition and recovery including Kosher, vegan and vegetarian options. The post-op center offers à la carte healing treatments such as an LED bed (said to help reduce inflammation); IV drip therapy (to boost hydration and provide vitamins); and a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. “The 60- to 90-minute sessions help increase the blood supply into the tissues after being disrupted by surgery,” says Talei.
There’s even medicinal leech therapy, which was approved by the FDA in 2004. “This is beneficial if the blood supply ended up being compromised after surgery, which can happen with a revision face-lift, nose job or tummy tuck,” says Talei. “It’s an old therapy that’s been around a long time and helps thin the blood to reduce swelling.”
Irina Brodsky (@laleeches) has been practicing this ancient treatment, referred to as hirudotherapy, for more than 10 years. “Leeches were the original antibiotics,” she says. “Their saliva, which is very compatible with the human body, is essentially a live pharmacy containing enzymes, amino acids, and proteins that are very healing and acts like a natural blood thinner, especially when there is bruising or if decongesting is necessary,” she adds. Each 90-minute session (from $200) is very tolerable and can also be effective for treating hormonal imbalances, joint pain, and even depression according to Brodsky. “There is a sensation of mild burning on the surface of the skin as the leeches work like little pumps, releasing natural blood thinner into the body, but there isn’t any pain,” she adds
Another newer aftercare spot, Calicia Care (caliciacare.com, from $2,000), co-founded by sisters Erika and Lexi Maldonado (Lexi is an RN), offers patients recovery time in plush guest rooms at The Beverly Hilton. “We take care of everything, and it’s always one-on-one nursing care,” says Erika. Treatments can include in-room lymphatic drainage treatments and reiki sessions, plus services like dog walking, manicure/pedicures and makeup/hairstyling “if patients want to go home looking fresh,” she adds.
Prestige Surgical Aftercare (prestigeaftercare.com, from $2,099), housed at the SLS Hotel Beverly Hills, has suites that include D. Porthault linens and automated voice control for the lights, beds and 55-inch flat-screens.
Aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon Payman Danielpour shares that his go-to for aftercare is Immortelle Healthcare Group (immortellemed.com, from $3,300), which has 12 rooms at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. “It has all the amenities and abilities of a mini hospital, and my patients love the white-glove, royal treatment and extra attentive care,” he says.
Sought after for elective and nonelective post-surgical recovery, Immortelle prides itself on a holistic approach to aftercare. “With every patient, we consider not only the internal medicine component and post-surgical care, but psychological support as well,” says co-founder Evan Pinchuk. “All three go hand in hand when it comes to helping improve patient outcomes.” And thanks to the extensive medical equipment they have on site, Immortelle can perform hospital-level interventions if necessary. Treatments include photobiomodulation light therapy, which promises to reduce inflammation, swelling, pain and anxiety. The 20- to 60-minute treatment (from $300 per session) doesn’t involve discomfort and “helps patients get better faster,” says Pinchuk, who adds, “We deliver Four Seasons level of care, experience and service.”
For patients looking to continue the healing once they are back on their feet, Pause Studio (pausestudio.com) has several Los Angeles locations and offers an array of treatments at their sleek outposts for anyone seeking a dose of restoration, including LED light therapy beds and compression therapy, which aid in repairing damaged tissues and decreasing inflammation (from $40 per session).
A version of this story first appeared in the June 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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