Parkbench Interview with Dr. DePasquale

Meet Dr. Kalpana S. DePasquale, DO at Avanti Medical Spa

Are you looking to combat the aging process of Mother Nature? If so, then you are at the right place. Avanti Medical Spa can help you reverse the hands of time and enhance your natural beauty. To revitalize your appearance, we offer the following cosmetic procedures:
Facials & Peels
Dermal Fillers
Visia Skin Analysis
Facial Waxing
To learn more about our spa services, contact us at 904.461.6797, or better yet come see us:
In St. Augustine, Monday thru Friday between 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (NOTE: Office is closed for lunch from 12 PM – 1:15 PM). Avanti Medical Spa St. Augustine is located on Anastasia Island, 1.5 miles east of Flagler Hospital at 1301 Plantation Island Dr, Suite 401A, St. Augustine, FL.

What do you love most about the neighborhood?

There are so many different people constantly moving into this area so I feel like we’re in a small, big town. I meet people from Europe, people who are on vacation who come to me with a specific problem sometimes, or people who’ve recently moved from the North or West Coast. I just love the melting pot of all kinds of people from diverse backgrounds–I think that’s my favorite thing!

Retail Madness

The National Retail Federation forecasts a 3.7 percent increase in holiday sales this year with U.S. spending at more than $630 billion or approximately $800 per person.  This is significantly higher than the 10 year average of 2.5 percent.  Additionally, close to 136 million Americans planned to shop on Thanksgiving weekend.  This year, I got an early start to my holiday shopping so that I could avoid the crowds.   I figured I could accomplish more in a shorter period of time without the mass crowds of shoppers.  Much to my dismay, the retail madness had already started.  There was no parking, plus huge crowds and lines made the experience intolerable. Unfortunately, I was too late to avoid it all.
I grew up in a different era.  Holidays were about spending quality time with family and life was simple.  The holiday season started with watching the Thanksgiving Day parade on television and making a turkey figure using a paper bag stuffed with newspapers for the body, a toilet paper roll for the neck, and balled up newspapers for the head.  Construction paper was cleverly utilized for feathers, wings, and other important turkey parts.  After that, we had a nice family dinner.  There was no television turned on to watch football and there was definitely No Shopping!
I am no opponent of capitalism and I certainly understand the retail industry’s desire to maximize the holiday season.  I also understand the excitement of consumers to get great deals on gifts and household purchases for themselves and their families.  It is important to realize there is a hidden cost to retail madness.  Close, personal family contact and unity can become eroded and replaced by the desire to accumulate material objects.  I am not sure if this is a cost that America can afford.  
I personally support the retailers who refuse to open on Thanksgiving Day – so their employees can have time off with family and friends.  Let’s think about the real meaning of the holidays…the spirit of love and kindness and generosity.  

Does Your Spouse Have Selective Hearing?

I just love when my patients tell me they have “selective hearing” as if it is a real medical condition. Although the medical literature doesn’t recognize selective hearing as a condition, the Urban Dictionary defines it as the ability that humans have (mostly males) to selectively hear what serves their interests.
Patients will state that they “don’t have hearing loss” and that they can “hear what they want to hear”. Apparently, being deaf is a choice. They can turn it on and off like a light switch. People with “selective hearing” are in denial about the real problem – hearing loss.  
Twenty percent of adults (48 million) in the United States report some degree of hearing loss. At age 65, one in three adults with hearing loss are in the work force or in an educational setting. They have many excuses about why they can’t hear:

  • Women speak too softly
  • Their grand kids mumble
  • They can hear if you talk loud enough (you need to scream)
  • The TV is on too loud because no one speaks clearly anymore

Studies show that seniors are three times more likely to have a cosmetic procedure performed than seek treatment for hearing loss.  A hearing test is as popular as a colonoscopy when it comes to routine health checks.
Why are seniors in denial about their hearing loss?

  • They don’t think their hearing is bad enough to warrant hearing aids
  • It’s part of aging  and not life threatening, so it’s no big deal
  • They don’t want to look old
  • They lack trust in hearing aids because they know people who have had poor experiences.

Seniors don’t realize how much hearing loss adversely affects their quality of life.  It results in depression, isolation, anger, and cognitive decline. They avoid people they can’t hear and situations in which they can’t hear.
As an Otolaryngologist, wife, and mother, I find this denial concerning. Hearing loss needs to be identified and treated.  The stigma of hearing aids needs to be removed because they are helpful when fitted and adjusted properly. Modern hearing aids are small and discreet.  They are actually less noticeable than glasses!
If you know someone that who has “selective hearing”, urge them to see an Otolaryngologist and obtain a hearing test. The proper diagnosis and treatment plan, in addition to the right physician, can significantly improve their quality of life and yours.

What Does Beige Say About You?

We live in a world of conformity. No one wants to stand out or be different. Fitting in feels like hanging out in your favorite pajamas. Beige is neutral so we wear it, paint our walls with it, cover our floors in it, and even drive in it. No other color makes a more unoriginal statement than beige.
What if we all had beige personalities? Beige means dependable, conservative, and flexible, as well as neutral, calm, and relaxing. But beige is boring as h#$*.
Here is what goes through my mind when I see someone who is beige:

  1. They are afraid to be unique. Being beige is the perfect way to fit in and not get noticed. This works especially well if you are uncomfortable in your own skin and don’t have a sense of who you are.
  2. They are safe and conservative. Beige people will not take risks. If you can’t take a small risk with your wardrobe, how can you possibly be interesting?  This is not the person you want to invite to a party, unless you need furniture for the corner.  
  3. They have no sense of style. If you have a burning desire to wear beige, please coordinate it with a bright accessory or a bright wardrobe piece that has a significant spark of color. Don’t wear beige because it matches everything, and it allows you to be lazy.  
  4. Their house is beige so they can sell it easily.  The walls are varying shades of beige, and so are the carpets and floors. Most likely the residents are wearing beige, so they can adequately morph into their surroundings.

My advice to anyone who just can’t break their beige habit is to move out of their comfort zone and get uncomfortable.   Embrace color with your own individuality so that the world can benefit from your unique contribution.  Remember, beige is boring…are you?

Is a Cosmetic Procedure Right for You?

The decision to have a cosmetic procedure is a very personal and complex decision for each individual. This decision requires the individual to accept the aspects of their appearance that make them feel older, less confident and even vulnerable; and then make the decision to change it. Most people desire a cosmetic procedure in preparation for an important event, a life change or a new career. Others just want to look the best they can, despite their age. The realization of the dissatisfaction often makes the individual feel as if they are narcissistic or vain, and neither of these qualities is socially acceptable. This is a common misconception and this, along with the decision to make a change, often brings fear and uncertainty. The average person will consider the possibility of having a cosmetic procedure for almost a year before booking a consultation. Many of them will first turn to the Internet to seek information on different types of procedures and various locations that these procedures are offered.
For those who have friends or family members that get treatments at a medical spa, the decision is often easier as they have better insight about the medical spa and the physician performing the procedure. The rest of the patients are left to decide on where to have their procedure by advertisements or a website. When investigating a medical spa, potential patients should consider several important factors.
Booking the consultation can tell you quite a lot about the medical spa. Is the staff professional and knowledgeable? Are they friendly and courteous? Did they answer your questions and make you feel comfortable? Keep in mind that all questions cannot be answered over the phone and most of the time a consultation is necessary to answer detailed questions. Upon entering the medical spa or practice, make note of whether you are greeted politely. The environment should have a comfortable clean environment, but does not need to be over the top in the décor.
The consultation process should begin with questions about what you are dissatisfied with and what you are trying to improve about your appearance. The consultation typically starts with an esthetician to determine what your concerns are and what treatments are indicated to enhance your appearance. Photographs should be taken as part of the “physical exam” in order to better understand the areas of facial enhancement you are interested in. These photos also help to track your rejuvenation progress over the course of the treatment plan. In our office we use a Visia Skin Analysis machine to obtain an in depth evaluation of the skin integrity and obtain an overview of the face. This machine helps to identify skin conditions that are not visible to the naked eye. Additional photos may be necessary to focus on specific areas of concern. From this evaluation, we can identify your overall skin health (percentage of wrinkles, UV damage, brown spots, etc.) in comparison to other people in your age group.
The next portion of the consultation should focus on the procedures and products available to enhance your appearance and overall skin health. Several options should be given from less aggressive to more aggressive depending on your comfort level. The esthetician should be able to discuss general risks and benefits to each procedure. If you are interested in facials, peels or skin care products, you would generally continue to see the esthetician in most medical spas. If a more aggressive procedure such as Botox, Xeomin, dermal fillers, or laser procedures are desired, you should have an additional consultation with the physician or the physician assistant.
It is extremely important that your medical provider shares the same vision as you regarding the type of results you are expecting. Some people are interested in an obvious improvement and others are more interested in achieving natural results that make them look refreshed and less tired. At our medical spa, we focus on natural appearing results and usually attract patients that desire the same. However, there have been times where we have referred patients elsewhere because they desired an appearance that was not aligned with our philosophy. The provider should also listen to your concerns and devise a plan to enhance your appearance and skin health based on your budget. Depending on your expectations of rejuvenation, sometimes one procedure is needed to achieve the desired effect and other times several procedures may be necessary. For patients with budget concerns, Care Credit is available or the patient may prefer to have procedures performed over a longer time frame.
Once the consultation is complete, you should feel comfortable with the options you are presented with and the decision you have made to invest in a cosmetic procedure. Your procedure should leave you feeling confident and refreshed.