MAIN SITE BLOG HOME

Archive for the ‘Patient Advocacy’ Category

Q & A: Personal Interview With Dr. G.D. Castillo – Part One

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Q: When you are not in the office, how do you like to spend your free time?

Dr. Castillo: Life offers so many options one should never be bored. It’s not difficult to be eIMG_0188ntertained when you like motor sports, music, the arts, nature, a nice glass of cabernet sauvignon with good friends.”

 Q: What is your biggest accomplishment?

Dr. Castillo: “Learning the art of discipline. My commitment to becoming a skilled surgeon meant staying focused and denying myself during my medical school days while my buddies were out partying. Going through medical school is a tremendous commitment.  You have to give up control of your life and your time during that period.  The disciple that I learned in medical school has carried through in every part of my life and I have reaped many rewards because of it including balancing a busy surgical practice with multiple locations, teaching, serving as the President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, raising my family, and attaining the highest level of licensing as a pilot.”

 Q: What could you not live without?

Dr. Castillo:  The warmth of a human heart.”

Q: How long have you been a pilot? 

Dr. Castillo: “I’ve been flying since my early twenties. It is a wonderful freedom and luxury. I strongly considered it as a primary career at one point in my life.”

 Q: If you had to choose a second career, what would you like to do?

Dr. Castillo:  “I would like to try my hand at Bronze Sculpture.”

 Q: If you could give one piece of advice what would it be?

Dr. Castillo:  “Enjoy every moment of your life.  And…don’t skip the gym, as it allows you to keep enjoying every moment of your life.”

 

 

 

 

R & R Re-Treat

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

 

cosmetic plastic surgery, skin rejuvenation, medical spa champaign il, Kankakee, bloomington, decatur Ahhhh vacation! There is nothing like a summer vacation to re-charge your body and mind and take a much-needed break from the demands of daily life.  Even though you return relaxed and ready to head back into the rat race, vacation often has the opposite effect on your skin.  I see a lot of concerned patients in the Skin Rejuvenation Suite at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center once they return from their summer vacation destination.

Long flights and changes in climate can dehydrate your skin making it even more susceptible to sun damage and other environmental stressors.  Too much sun, too many Pina Coladas on the beach, not enough exercise, or sunscreen and skipped skincare regimens may not help your case either.

So how can you revive your skin after a little R &R?

EXFOLIATE: Use an exfoliating cleansers and buff puff on your face, neck, décolleté to remove dry, dead skin cells that leave your skin looking dull and flaky.  Dead cells can even decrease the effectiveness of your skincare products.  Use a salt or sugar and coconut oil body scrub to exfoliate the rest of your body. After exfoliating, your skin will be ready for re-hydration.

As long as you are not sporting a sunburn, you might even consider scheduling a exfoliating microdermabrasion treatment at you local plastic surgeons office.  Within 30 minutes, your skin will look brighter and feel smoother. Dr. Castillo’s patient’s tell me that microdermabrasion in our office leaves them feeling so relaxed they feel like they have just a had a min-vacation.  You can even top off your treatment with a rejuvenating, hydration mask.

4311♦RE-HYRATE:  Apply an at home moisture mask to your face, neck, décolleté every two-three days for the first week after your vacation then follow with your moisturizer.  Apply coconut oil to the rest of your body.  If you are looking for a quicker fix than your home regimen can provide, Dr. Castillo or your local plastic surgeon will have effective solutions to boost your skin radiance.  ♦Increase your water consumption.

♦PROTECT: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from further damage.  Re-apply as needed.

**Remember to increase your water consumption, and consider investing in UV rated clothing and a wide-brimmed hat prior to your next trip.

 

♥Yours Truly,

 

 Roxanne Leopard jacket

 

Roxanne Grace Hammond, RMA
Skincare and Laser Specialist
G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY   https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK:  http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery

READ PATIENT REVIEWS: http://www.gdcastilloreviews.com

VISIT MY BLOG:  https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/blog/

800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington

 

 

 

 

Cosmetic Plastic Surgery’s Traveling Staff

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Patients sometimes don’t realize that you can call any of our numbers and reach us wherever we are, and it’s not just our phones that follow Dr. Castillo.  Our staff members do as well!   Our patients can be assured that they will hear that same familiar voices on the phone and experience our traditional warm greeting when calling or entering either of our Illinois facilities – Savoy or Bloomington.

What can you, our patient, expect from us?

    • With the same experienced staff traveling between both of Dr. Castillo’s facilities in Savoy, (Champaign-Urbana area) and Bloomington, Illinois, this maximizes location convenience while maintaining unrivaled continuity of care.
    • In a very short time, our patients develop a warm and comforting relationship with all of our staff members.
    • You’ll recognize who you are talking to and understand both their relationship to Dr. Castillo and your care.
    • At the same time, we’ll come to know you, identify with your concerns and dedicate ourselves to your end goal.
    • You’ll quickly discover that you can trust our sincerity – YOU are our valued patient and our chief concern is your wellbeing.
    • It’s comforting to know that the same compassionate, knowledgeable people will       be assisting you throughout your Cosmetic Plastic Surgery experience –  from our first meeting while taking the initial medical history,  assisting with your first examination by Dr. Castillo, the pre-operative history/physical, and throughout your entire post-operative appointments  for 3-4 months following your procedure.
    • You’ll  never experience an aloof response to your questions or concerns.
    • You can depend that we will identify with, and understand your feelings and concerns – and you will feel our strong desire to help you in anyway that we can.

Our patient’s confidence in Dr. Castillo and Cosmetic Plastic Surgery is the highest compliment we receive.  As you come to know each and everyone of us during your visits, you’ll understand that obtaining the best possible outcome for your procedure or treatment is always our end goal, and will benefit from the cocoon of positive energy encompassing Dr. Castillo’s practice – our patient’s trust and confidence is a privilege we earn each and every day.  It’s our pleasure!

 

 

Ask Our Expert – Outpatient Surgical Facility Vs. Hospital

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

 

Question: Why do you prefer to perform surgery in an outpatient facility rather than the hospital?

Dr. Castillo’s state-of-the-art outpatient surgical facility.

Answer – Dr. Castillo: Actually, about 90 percent of cosmetic plastic surgical procedures are now done in outpatient surgical facilities for the following reasons:

 

Safety

The surgical procedures done in an outpatient surgical facility are done by a staff which is dedicated to doing only outpatient surgical procedures, so they are better focused, the staff is better experienced and dedicated to a single task.  This increases safety and provides the patient with knowledgeable people that are experienced in state-of-the-art outpatient surgical procedures.

*    Infection

The rate of infections in hospitals varies anywhere between 2 to 12 percent.  The rate of infection in outpatient surgical facilities is much smaller.  In fact, in our outpatient surgical facility, infection is a nearly non-existent problem and we say that because it only presents itself every few years.  That is, the rate is so small that it is difficult to quantify.  You may ask yourself, why?  The reasons are multiple but for the most part it has to do with carrying out procedures that are done in patients who are healthy and not suffering from disease and/or infection.  Also remember that in our facility, we do not do what is referred to as a “dirty case,” that is, procedures that involve entering the intestine, colon or areas that typically have bacteria.

*     Cost

The cost of care in a hospital facility is often unknown and extremely high.  The reasons have to do with hospitals having fees that are much higher than the real expenses to be able to cover the uninsured and establish artificially high rates that can then be applied to different insurances.  The reason why this is possible is that generally insurance have no choice but to pay a fee while in our facility, the choice is yours.  That is, you are the patient and you elect whether to pay or not pay the cost you know beforehand to be – that is, you approve of that cost.  What this results in is a great competitiveness and a much reduced cost for the surgical procedure.

*        Scale

When you go to a hospital, you immediately become part of literally hundreds or even thousands of people who may be at the hospital for one reason or another.  That makes you one of many and the services are going to be diluted, meaning you are not likely to have individual care.  In comparison, an outpatient surgical facility like ours has staff that is dedicated to only you and no other business to take care of during the time that you are at the facility.  Consequently, you have a staff member that remains with you throughout your surgical procedure.  There are no delays and this results in expedient care and a much reduced level of anxiety.

*     Comparative Services

Are the outpatient surgical facilities like ours able to take care of you in an emergency?  The answer is yes.  Our facility is equipped to respond to an emergency in the same manner as a hospital would be.  That is, our facility is accredited by The Joint Commission https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-plastic-surgery/accreditation.cfm, which is the accrediting body for most hospitals in the nation.  This means that the level of response, equipment, drugs and supplies is par with a hospital.  What the outpatient surgery facility has that the hospital does not, is the experience to deal with the type of surgical procedure, that is, cosmetic surgery, which you are going to have.  This is an area, like in most areas, where expertise is not only important but is often the determinant for the degree of satisfaction and success that the procedure has.

So regarding the question, are you better off having your surgical procedure in a dedicated outpatient surgical facility doing cosmetic surgery only?  The answer is a qualified yes for the above reasons.

 

G.D. Castillo,M.D., FACS
Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Center

 

 

MEDICAL CREDIT – ARE YOUR RESOURCES PROTECTED?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

 

          A medical credit card (dedicated solely to health purchases) can be a handy item in our wallets.   Like most existing lines of credit, it allows us to obtain the services we want, when we want them, and separates an inconvenient outlay of cash into smaller payments made over time.  Unlike procedure-specific (one time) medical financing, once this line of credit has been established, as the debt is repaid, the line of credit is available to you for reuse according to your needs and desires.

Maybe you’ve been considering a procedure with Dr. Castillo, such as facelift, tummy tuck, breast augmentation or liposuction; or perhaps you’ve been waiting for the “sun season” to end and want to schedule the laser resurfacing skin rejuvenation that you’ve dreamed of.  Sometimes patients request financing options or want to take advantage of an interest-free credit offer.

At Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic, Illinois Plastic Surgeon, G. D. Castillo, MD, investigated all the revolving medical credit card possibilities before choosing Care Credit as the only dedicated-medical-use card that we process.  Of prime consideration in this decision was the level of financial security for our patients built into their system.  How secure is your Care Credit purchase at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, you ask?  Extremely secure, we answer!

You’ve probably become accustomed to the cavalier acceptance of credit/debit cards and bank checks that has become commonplace.  Have you wondered why your bank check is given back to you at the time of purchase from some larger merchants?  It’s because using a check at these establishments is similar to utilizing a debit card.  The tendered amount is electronically confirmed as available at the register, and deducted from your account at the time of purchase.  The advent of immediate electronic fund transfers has all but made ID checking obsolete.  This may protect the merchant during the exchange, but how does it protect you?  When was the last time a cashier asked you for identification when you handed over your bank check or credit card for payment?  In my personal experience, it’s been rare for a very long time and that’s not a good thing.   I make it a point to say “thank you” when a cashier takes the time to look at my credit card signature or ask for additional ID.

When it comes to personal finances, purchasing convenience (although important) is not my first concern.  What is most important to me is:

 

  1. Security
  2. More Security
  3. ADDITIONAL SECURITY

Did you know that every Care Credit transaction must be done in person by an authorized cardholder and requires two additional forms of identification to be presented at the time of purchase?  Did you know that the person processing the transaction has to record the IDs utilized during this step and that the cardholder has to acknowledge via signature that this additional security step has been taken.  This process is required for each and every transaction, regardless of how familiar the cardholder is to the processor.

For these reasons, if done correctly, you should never experience over-the-phone Care Credit transactions and you should never hear “that’s okay, your information is on file.”

I know that this may sound inconvenient to some in our fast-paced, “I want it yesterday” society, but when it comes to personal finances, security trumps convenience every time – our patient’s investment in themselves both deserves and demands our protection of their financial resources.

So, when you call in a mail order and are told that we no longer have access to the credit card number you utilized yesterday, or you see me glance at the front and back of your card before processing payment, please understand that your security is our prime concern.

 

 

 

THE PAPER TRAIL – INSURANCE AND MEDICAL NECESSITY

Friday, June 28th, 2013

In Illinois Plastic Surgeon, G. D. Castillo, MD’s  practice, we do help patients whose cases qualify as medically necessary procedures; i.e., upper blepharoplasty https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/eyelid-surgery.cfm for vision constriction (excess skin obscuring vision),  or septoplasty https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/rhinoplasty.cfm  to correct a nasal obstruction that interferes with proper breathing and causes recurring sinus-type ailments  or breast reduction https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/cosmetic-surgery/breast-reduction.cfm to correct gigantomastia (overly-large breasts) resulting in postural changes causing neck and back pain, mastodynia (breast pain), dermatitis (skin irritation) and difficulty with movement.

When submitting a predetermination of medical benefits for these patients, insurance companies do ask for proof of medical necessity.  What does this mean for our patients?

What insurance companies are looking for is proof (a written medical record and/or diagnostic tests) that the patient will not obtain relief from their symptoms via conventional (non surgical) treatment such as medications, physical therapy and/or life-style changes.  Let’s take two hypothetical cases and examine the process and possible outcomes.

Patients Jane and Jenny Doe present for consultation with complaints of large breasts that are causing increasing discomfort .

Examination by Dr. Castillo discloses gigantomastia resulting in postural changes causing shoulder strapping (deep bra strap grooves from the weight of the breasts), neck pain, and back pain https://www.cosmeticplasticsurgery.com/patient-stories/.  They have difficulty with everyday movement and exercise.  They have painful, aching breasts (mastodynia) and suffer chronic dermatitis from breasts chafing against the chest wall.  Their body mass index (BMI) is within the normal range and both will require the insurance standard of 400+ grams of tissue to be removed from each breast.

Jane has suffered in silence for years.  She has not sought professional medical attention for her symptoms in the past and has treated her conditions (dermatitis, neck/back pain, etc.) with over-the-counter remedies – none of which have offered her the long-term relief she desires because they do not address the underlying source of her discomfort – gigantomastia.

Jenny, on the other hand, has been proactive in seeking professional assistance with the goal of long-term relief.  She has sought advice from her primary physician and has undergone treatment with both physical therapy (exercise to strengthen her musculature) and medications, all of which are documented in her medical history.  Upon determination that conventional treatment will not alleviate her problems, her physician has made a recommendation for breast reduction surgery and referred her for consultation with Dr. Castillo.

Our office submits a predetermination of medical benefits request to each of their respective insurance companies.  Jenny’s insurance company replies that the procedure of breast reduction surgery qualifies for benefits according to the limits/levels of her individual policy.  Jane’s insurance company replies that they require additional proof of medical necessity (unsatisfactory response to conventional therapy) and attaches a list of their requirements prior to breast reduction approval.

Both women have the exact same medical situation but Jenny’s efforts have resulted in a positive reply from her insurance company and she is able to schedule her surgery right away.  Jane is faced with the prospect of enduring her symptoms while she begins the medical documentation process or absorbing the financial responsibility alone.

I wish I could say that we’ve never experienced these scenarios, but we have.  It’s important to not ignore your medical symptoms and to seek professional advice from your physician.  The “paper trail” of medical necessity can be the difference between obtaining relief versus continuing on the spinning wheel of discomfort.  Arming yourself with the documentation you need for medical insurance coverage just makes good sense while suffering in silence is counter productive.

Do you have questions regarding insurance coverage or medical necessity?  If so, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800-252-7123.  We are strong advocates for our patients and are happy to help.

 

THE WEEKEND FACELIFT

Friday, November 30th, 2012

 

So you probably have heard the term “weekend facelift” and you’re having a difficult time imagining what it is.  Could it be a facelift that’s done on a weekend or is it a facelift that is easy to recover from in a weekend?  The procedure is remarkably effective at improving the jaw/neck line and removing the double-chin deformity.  There are some caveats that one needs to know and understand that it is not a procedure that can be carried out in all patients.  In order to have a so-called weekend facelift, typically our patients need to be under the age of 55, and have a weak (recessed) chin.  Many of these people have a family history of double chins, they are quite familiar with fatty tissue in the neck at a young age in their family and they begin to have issues in the mid thirties.

 

The procedure is carried out through a very small incision, typically smaller than 1 inch, right underneath the chin which is not visible. Through this incision, the fatty tissue in the neck area up to the jaw line is removed and sometimes a small amount of fatty tissue can be removed from the jowl area.  Through the same incision, a tight pocket is created just in front of the jaw to place chin implant. This portion of the procedure is referred to as a mentoplasty.  Through this same incision the muscle structure in the neck area is tightened.  The result is a neck, which is svelte with good definition in the jaw/neck line area, and an improvement in the facial symmetry because the lower third of the face is better represented, more proportionate after the procedure.

 

Those people who are not good candidates for a weekend facelift are typically people above the age of 60 and people who have a very significant amount of loose skin in the neck area with significant wrinkling in the neck and/or folds. These individuals are usually better candidates for a traditional facelift.

 

The term minimally invasive surgery has been used to describe this procedure because there is little interference with the tissues during the procedure and it is easy to recover.  Usual side effects are mild pain in the chin area for 2-3 days, bruising in the lower portion of the neck, some swelling in the anterior jaw area, and the neck area as well.

The Beauty of Revolving Medical Credit

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

We have all done it at some point in our lives – purchased that 5 in 1 miracle cream advertised utilizing  20-something television models and glossy, airbrushed magazine beauties, only to find that we don’t look 20-something again and apparently the airbrush is the missing component to our make-up kit.

We’ve spent hundreds of dollars on over the counter products that aren’t doing what we want in an effort to invest in ourselves, whether affordable or not.  So our collection of partially used creams continues to grow while we remain frustrated by what greets us in the mirror every morning.  Yet, we continue to throw away our money because we’re hesitant to invest in a larger outlay of cash.

What if there was an interest-free option to spread the expense of of quality, scientifically proven, medical-grade products that both treat to correct existing problems and protect from future problems? What if our investment in ourselves didn’t have to collect dust on the shelf or adorn our trash cans?

The good news is that there is just such an option offered to you by G.D. Castillo, M.D. at Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, Skin and Laser Institute!  It is a six month  INTEREST-FREE  payment program available through Care Credit.  This program allows you to spread the expense of Botox or Dysport, dermal fillers like Perlance or Radiesse, or medical-grade skincare into monthly payments that are very affordable and interest-free!

Example #1:  A VIP medium Dysport treatment is $270.00, and with the $50.00 manufacturer’s rebate like the ones frequently available in our office, this fee is reduced to $220.00.  That’s $36.66 per month – about the cost of a family pizza dinner out!  Even better yet – Dysport actually does what it’s suppose to do, so you will receive the return on your investment that you have been missing.

Example #2: A typical anti-aging medical-grade skincare program may entail an initial outlay of $300.00.  That’s $50.00 per month for a scientifically proven skincare regimen that is designed specifically for your needs and skin concerns. Additionally, you have access to our Skincare and Laser Specialist, Roxanne – who will help you assess your skincare goals and tweak your program according to your personal lifestyle.  Imagine the luxury of your own skincare specialist to pamper and restore your skin to the glowing softness you deserve!

The Care Credit medical credit line is revolving, so as you pay over time the credit limit is available to you to be used again.  Medical credit is a resource, why not put your great credit history to work for you?

So next time you’re tempted by advertising gimmicks, why not give us a call at 800-252-7123 and let us help you help yourself!

 

G. D. Castillo, M.D.
COSMETIC PLASTIC SURGERY

 

RECOMMEND US ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DrCastilloCosmeticPlasticSurgery
800-252-7123 (within IL)
217-359-7508 Savoy (Champaign-Urbana)
309-662-0436 Bloomington