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Innovations in Aesthetics

Innovations in Aesthetics

  • This story originally appeared in the March 2024 innovation and technology issue of COMO Magazine.
The front desk at Shock Plastic Surgery

With new technology constantly emerging, Shock Plastic Surgery & Spa prioritizes expertise over novelty.

Cutting-edge technology is often associated with robots, computers, and artificial intelligence, but many of its earliest adopters are far more focused on the human element. For mankind, aesthetics is intertwined with the sense of self, making businesses like Shock Plastic Surgery & Spa both technically advanced and uniquely human.

“I think of the business as being a full-spectrum approach to aesthetics,” says Dr. Leslie Shock, the eponymous physician and owner of the company. “We’re a spa that transitions into a medical spa, that transitions into a plastic surgery clinic, so we’re like three entities in one.”

Shock Plastic Surgery & Spa has a staggering amount of offerings to suit any client — breast augmentations, facelifts, Botox, facials, massages, the list goes on — which was Dr. Shock’s goal from the beginning.

Purposeful Planning

Originally from Jefferson City, Dr. Shock knew that she wanted to be a plastic surgeon from an early age. She wanted to use her training to benefit the mid-Missouri community and fill two specific needs.

The first was simple: being a female plastic surgeon. Many women feel far more comfortable with female physicians, especially for intimate procedures. 

“I think [being a woman] helps put some of my patients more at ease,” Dr. Shock says, noting that she can connect with many of her patients in meaningful ways. “I’m a mom, too, and it makes it easier to relate to patients about the changes that happen to your body after pregnancy and delivery. I understand what a lot of the patient’s concerns are and I can empathize with that.”

The second need was a bit more difficult to fill: building a full-service business that paired her skills with the capabilities of a medical spa and the relaxing services of a traditional spa.

The front desk at Shock Plastic Surgery
The front desk at Shock Plastic Surgery

“Growing up in this area, it drove me nuts not having a nice spa [where] I could go relax. There are some wonderful spots, but not very many have a lot of amenities,” Dr. Shock says. She explains that when the opportunity arose to build a clinic, she jumped at the chance to expand beyond just plastic surgery and med spa procedures and to create a relaxing spa experience, too.

At the time, med spas weren’t as popular as they are now, and Dr. Shock believed that many of her potential clients were intimidated by the idea. Drawing on her own experiences, she wanted to provide a welcoming environment where clients could feel relaxed, no matter their comfort level. 

On one hand, the hope is that clients who feel secure in the spa environment are comfortable enough to ask about other options to address their needs. On the other hand, it provides a holistic approach to the healing process, as Dr. Shock’s plastic surgery patients can use spa services to relax and feel at ease during the recovery period.

Health and healing are at the forefront of Shock Plastic Surgery & Spa’s method, which is why the building also houses a small retail area that offers supportive garments for those in the recovery period. 

“It’s another example of something I really wanted to be provided in Columbia,” Dr. Shock says. “After body or breast procedures, you have to wear certain garments during healing.”

Unsatisfied with the traditional hum-drum girdles and skin-colored compression tights, Dr. Shock offers garments that are both functional and fashionable. 

“I would much rather wear a cute pair of high-waisted yoga pants than uncomfortable surgical compressive devices,” she remarks. “We try to offer things that are cute but also functional to ensure compliance with aftercare.”

Shock Plastic Surgery retail area
Shock Plastic Surgery retail area

Shifting Perspectives

Though Shock Plastic Surgery & Spa is far more than just a med spa, Dr. Shock has noticed a rise in interest in med spa services both at her own business and in general. The reason why is hard to pinpoint, but Dr. Shock has a few theories. The first is what she calls “the Zoom effect.

“No, seriously,” she says with a laugh. “There have been studies done that have shown people got tired of looking at themselves on Zoom, and on camera, realized they look older or didn’t like their appearances and the industry has grown because of that.”

Another theory is that the stigma around cosmetic procedures has lessened. In the past, plastic surgery was seen by many people as shameful, but now, celebrities, influencers, and everyday people alike are far more open about the procedures they’ve undergone. As these procedures have become destigmatized, they have become more accessible to the masses and seen as a form of self-care.

“[People] are more in-tune with themselves — not in a self-centered way — but they’re focusing on their health and wellness,” Dr. Shock says. “If something is bothering them, functionally or cosmetically, they want to improve upon, I think they’re just more comfortable asking for it. There’s no timeline or benefit to wait for something to become a more serious issue.”

Shock Plastic Surgery
Shock Plastic Surgery

Tech and Expertise

New technology is introduced into the aesthetic industry every day, but Dr. Shock says that she and her team aren’t jumping to implement every new gadget into their already vast selection of service offerings.

“What we really try to do is become experts in everything that we’re offering,” she says. “I’m sure we’ll offer more products and services [in the future], but it’s important that we do our due diligence. Doing our research, making sure it’s actually an effective and safe treatment before we provide it to people.” 

Shock Plastic Surgery & Spa
3220 Bluff Creek Dr. Suite 107

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