One Time or Lifetime Cosmetic Patient

By Catherine Maley, MBA

One time or lifetime cosmetic patient? Most plastic surgeons focus on surgery and that creates a “one-and-done” mindset.

Because if you’re a surgeon, it makes sense you want to perform surgery. So, you focus all of your efforts on finding prospective patients ready for plastic surgery.

However, it’s difficult to win today with that strategy. You will go broke trying to find enough “needle in the haystack” plastic surgery patients ready for surgery in today’s competitive world.

When you change your strategy and mindset from a one-time patient to a lifetime patient, your world opens up to new opportunities.

This might help…

Think of every single cosmetic patient as a $50,000 revenue stream.

One patient can be worth $50,000 when you consider what they themselves invest in your surgical and non-surgical cosmetic services, but also what their friends, family, colleagues and internet friends invest in your services as well…when done right.

When you look at it this way, you realize you don’t need to spend as much time and money on “one-and-done” plastic surgery patients because you have a steady stream of patients who return, refer and review.

Look at it this way, if your average surgical procedure is $8K, it takes 125 of them to make one million dollars. However, you only need 20 patients when they are worth $50K to you to get to the million-dollar mark.

Do you see how exciting that is? Now you can scale to multi-millions of dollars per year because you are working smarter and not harder on these one-time hits.

That sounds great but how do you do that?

How do you fill up your practice with more of these high worth patients?

The secret is to make your patients feel special because they are.

Treat your patients like your family and friends and they will reciprocate.

But don’t leave this to chance. It’s not your patient’s job to nurture a relationship with you.

It’s you and your staff’s job to treat these patients with friendliness, kindness, respect and continue to nurture these relationships for a lifetime.

Here are 3 ways to segment and nurture your plastic surgery patients:


After a patient has had surgery with you, invite them back for their post-op visit and let them know you have a gift waiting for them.

Also let them know you’ll be taking “after” photos and you would appreciate a video testimonial if they wouldn’t mind.

Now present them with a VIP card that entitles them to special perks for the next year. Some perks could include:

  • Valet Parking
  • No-Waiting Botox Appointments
  • Massage chair session in private room
  • 20% Off all laser treatments
  • Free Monthly Peel and so on



Hold fun catered events in your office after hours for your surgical patients and they are to bring a friend to introduce to you and your staff.

You can have special guests such as an author or artist or give a mini presentation on what’s new in the world of plastic surgery and non-surgical technologies.

Your patients who had surgery can show off their results and talk you up and their friends can bond with you and your staff and talk about the possibilities of surgery.

Offer the guests a complimentary surgical consultation gift card and offer to book their consultation at your event to save them time.


Offer something different for your nonsurgical patients so you keep that relationship going strong so when they are ready for surgery, they call you rather than your competitors.

There are many loyalty programs available such as Just be sure you choose one that is easy for your staff to implement and your patients to want to participate with.

Since the non-surgical side of your practice has been fairly commoditized, you don’t want to compete on price. Instead, offer a better patient experience and reward them for returning, referring and reviewing without discounting.

The point is to spend as much time building your practice from the inside out as you do trying to attract new stranger Internet patients.

So now that you know more, do you want a one time or lifetime cosmetic patient? Please say lifetime!

Catherine Maley, MBA is a cosmetic practice consultant, speaker, trainer, blogger and podcaster. Her popular book, “Your Aesthetic Practice/What Your Patients Are Saying” is read and studied by plastic surgeons and their staff all over the world. She and her team specialize in growing plastic surgery practices using creative patient attraction, conversion, follow up and retention strategies as well as staff training to turn team members into converting rock stars.

Visit Catherine for Free resources at or Instagram @catherinemaleymba.

Click below to read “Today’s Cosmetic Practice Growth Funnel ” in its original format in Aesthetic Society News Spring 2020, volume 24, number 2