Aesthetic Medicine
Aesthetic Medicine


7 MIN READ TIME

Sitting pretty

It’s easy to imagine that Dr Preema Vig’s regular patients consider her more of a friend than their provider of injectables. She has a kind, soft energy that makes you feel listened to and cared for, and coupled with her clinical expertise, it’s no wonder some of her patients have been with her for more than 15 years. Dr Preema’s journey to success in the industry has been quiet and organic, gradually growing her private aesthetics practice over the years without any need for the limelight. But now, with her dream clinic on London’s Park Lane and regularly touted as one of the country’s best aesthetic doctors in the glossy consumer press, she’s firmly established herself as “name” in aesthetics.

“I originally started injecting when I qualified as a GP 18 years ago,” she says. “At that time I was throwing myself into general practice with the NHS, locuming all over the country. When I went on an injectables course and got my certificate I had no patients, so it started really slowly.” The next eight years of her career saw Dr Preema continue in general practice while she slowly built up her aesthetics work.

SLOW AND STEADY

An association with a private GP practice in Kensington, London, was when the injectables really started to take off: “They let me put my picture on the wall advertising injectables and I started getting patients. In the beginning, I’d have three patients every two weeks if I was lucky, but it was OK as I wasn’t actually depending on it for an income,” she says. “I then moved to number 9 Harley Street, and around the same time I answered a little ad in the British Medical Journal that was looking for doctors for toxin and filler with not much experience needed. I thought, ‘That could be me’. I got the job and it turned out to be at Beyond MediSpa in Harvey Nichols. So, I joined them in 2006 for the opening.”

Within six months, Dr Preema was promoted to medical director and was then working two days per week at Beyond, in addition to general practice plus one and a half days of her own small, private injectables practice in her rented room at 9 Harley Street. When she describes the room as “small”, she really means it: “I had one cupboard. I had to take my product in, my sharps bin, my Botox on ice, everything,” she says. However, she did find a skin therapist who she took on two days per week to work out of the room next door, which allowed Dr Preema to begin to develop her own aesthetics practice.

Her next step was to take out the first lease of her own on a clinic in Devonshire Place, with three treatment rooms for herself and her therapist and a “little, tiny” waiting room.

Dr Preema stayed at Devonshire Place for two years. The move to her second clinic in Chandos Street was bought about in 2017 when she was struggling with the pressures of planning her upcoming wedding in addition to trying to continue to see as many patients as possible. “I was so busy at that time that patients were asking when they would be able to book into clinic. My private patients started coming to see me at Beyond and I thought, ‘This doesn’t make sense, this doesn’t really work.’ So, I decided to resign from Beyond after 10 and a half years,” she says. “I’d been through different owners and all kinds of other experiences there. It was brilliant learning and I left on good terms.”

She explains that the bigger Chandos Street clinic was only supposed to be a “steppingstone” for a few months while she looked for a space that better met her needs. However, three clinic locations fell through in as many years. “Looking back though,” she says, “none of them would have been right. I wouldn’t have been able to grow, and I didn’t want to keep moving clinics all the time.”

WORTH THE WAIT

Then, typically, when that dream space eventually revealed itself almost two years later, covid hit just as Dr Preema’s offer was accepted. “I don’t make vision boards, but I make vision lists,” she says. “I made a list around when I got married in June 2017 about my dream clinic. On that list I wrote ‘a W1 postcode – ideally Mayfair, at least six treatment rooms, a staff room, laundry room, not on the lower ground floor, light and airy, and west-facing. I didn’t look at that vision list until about few months ago, and guess what had happened? I’d described my new clinic.”

“It’s amazing how loyal patients have been. They’re really excited, they’ve shared my journey. Some of them have even been with me from the very beginning when I first started injecting”

She explains that it was actually her husband, Ashley, who found the Park Lane unit, though it wasn’t actually on the market. “It had been empty for a year and a gynaecologist was supposed to be taking it but they pulled out because of the costs, which were also initially going to be too high for us, too.” As luck would have it though, a lawyer firm moved across the corridor and was able to re-negotiate the business rates, as Ashley kept on the case. “It was a commercial space, very open,” says Dr Preema. “There was no training suite as you see now, but what is now our little laundry room was a kitchen, and the treatment rooms were all there as individual offices, so it was near perfect, structurally. Plus, the location at the Marble Arch end of Park Lane is just ideal, because the opposite end is much busier and harder to park.”

While the clinic’s planned opening was delayed by covid, the pandemic didn’t stop Dr Preema and husband Ashley doing everything they could do keep the refurb underway and get the space as ready as possible for patients when they were eventually able to visit.

Despite the setbacks after waiting so long for her dream space, she stayed positive and, like many practitioners and clinic owners, came to see lockdown as a gift of time to work on parts of the business that had been neglected for a while. “I decided to re-do the whole website, so that kept me busy, and I’m a night owl so I was doing all-nighters like when I was in university,” she said. “You never normally have the time, and those things take much longer than you think.” Elements of the clinic re-fit were inevitably delayed too, “but it was fine because we were in and out of lockdowns anyway,” she says. “The re-fit eventually started in November 2020 and my husband became my handyman because of course, he couldn’t work as normal.”

Other friends who could help were called in where covid restrictions allowed, and when the clinic was habitable for patients, Dr Preema opened medically (following guidance) for those who felt comfortable. “I built up quite a long waiting list while I was between clinics – it’s amazing how loyal patients have been. They’re really excited, they’ve shared my journey. Some of them have even been with me from the very beginning when I first started injecting,” she says. The first month the clinic was ready to fully open, June 2021, was Dr Preema’s best ever month of injecting. “I got tendonitis in my injecting hand because it was constantly in use after having a break for so long –I couldn’t even hold a kettle or brush my teeth with that hand,” she says.

ALL THAT GLITTERS

Dr Preema’s personality is everywhere in the new clinic’s interior, which looks and feels just like a plush Mayfair apartment, minus the snootiness. The open-plan waiting and reception area is airy and soft, with light charcoal and nude tones accented by beautiful white flowers in vases. Dr Preema is particularly proud of her reception desk, custom made with a plush, padded texture and inspired by the bar in one of her favourite hotels just along Park Lane; while anyone who knows her will be familiar with her love for designer heels, celebrated with watercolour paintings in shiny silver frames around the clinic.

Given that Dr Preema has become particularly well-known for her bodycontouring expertise and early adoption of some of the newest and most effective technologies, it figures that she offers a whole collection of treatments in what she calls her Body Suite. These include muscle sculpting – she was the first in the UK to combine BTL’s EmSculpt with Cutera’s TruSculpt Flex in a package – fat freezing with her two CoolSculpting devices which allows multiple areas to be treated simultaneously, cellulite reduction with BTL EmTone and Endymed Intensif, skin tightening with Venus Legacy; and skin resurfacing with a range of body peels, Endymed or her newest treatment, Body Profhilo.

“I’m completing some of the first UK case studies on Body Profhilo,” she says, “I’ve been performing the treatment on the body for a long time but it’s great to now have the ideal syringe. I’m also looking at what we can achieve by combining Body Profhilo with Secret RF microneedling radiofrequency from Cutera to really work on remodelling the skin from all angles. I’m so excited to deliver these results to my patients.”.

This article appears in the February 2022 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine

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COPIED
This article appears in the February 2022 Issue of Aesthetic Medicine