07/09/2009

Expert Profile - Elise Layzell


Elise Layzell is a Registered nurse living in Los Angeles, licensed to work in the United Sates and the U.K. Her specialty is Plastic Surgery, Burns and Dermatology. Originally from London, nowadays Elise consults patients and performs cosmetic procedures ranging from injecting Botox and fillers, to laser hair removal, facial rejuvenation and microdermabrasion. Elise's client base ranges from stay at home mums to movie stars, wannabe stars, and porn stars (this is L.A!) Directors, Doctors, Singers, Lawyers you name it…her patients do it. She has injected, lasered, poked, plucked and nursed all walks of life.

"I am very grateful that my experiences as a nurse have enabled me to meet some fascinating characters."

Elise is our 'Plastic Surgery Expert' and you can ask her questions here! elise@beautyisareligion.com

Elise, you're a 'cosmetic surgery' nurse in LA, how did you get into that? Who helped you and who inspired you?
When I left college I worked as a makeup artist for The Body Shop, I loved skin care and being artistic, but I grew increasingly fascinated with plastic surgery and people changing their looks permanently. When I saw a job application in the local paper for Assistant Nurses at the Billericay Burns and Plastic Surgery Unit in Essex, I was so excited and wanted to know more, luckily I was hired and spent a year assisting the R.Ns in all kinds of Reconstructive Surgery and Burns nursing, however I knew I had to go back to University to become and Registered Nurse if I was going to further my career.  I started working as a junior nurse at the Plastic Surgery Unit at Wellington Hospital where I stayed for 8 years, working my way up to Senior Staff. Now I work in Beverly Hills, California for Dr David Stoll a renowned Dermatologist and in a Medical Spa under the plastic surgeon Dr Yamini who also has an office in Beverly Hills and has been featured on DR 90210. There are two people who helped and totally inspired my career and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them and that is Sharon Dobbs who undoubtedly is the best laser nurse on the planet, she taught me all I know about lasers and Melanie Brodrick. Melanie taught me how to inject fillers and let me practice injecting on her and half her office staff. Thanks girls!!





What do you do day-to-day?
My day will start out with me making the coffee, then turning on my lasers and checking to see I have enough Botox and Fillers on hand for the day ahead. Then usually I hit the floor running as sometimes people just “drop by” unscheduled to have a last minute injection before an event at the weekend or a photo shoot or some reality show casting call…. Literally I have to be prepared for anything to happen. The key to being a good Aesthetics Nurse is assessment and integrity.
My job description… well that’s tricky as I’m not only a nurse but also a confidant and a therapist to most of my clients. If I were posting an application for my job it would be like this:
Experienced R.N needed to work in a busy Dermatology office. Laser Hair Removal and Injectable experience essential. Must be able to work independently and have confidence to make assessments.

"The result is no longer one of surprise or being caught in a wind tunnel."

What is anybody who is anybody in LA getting done at the moment?
Right now here in LA the trend for facial rejuvenation tends to be more subtle than it used to be, I think this is also due to the economy. Most people are spending less on plastic surgery and more on dermatology. The Liquid face-lift is now more popular as the expense is less. A softer look can be created with laser, fillers and a neurotoxin such as Botox or Dysport. The result is no longer one of surprise or being caught in a wind tunnel.

Where do you see these procedures going next the more that technology is advancing?
It is already possible to come and have a laser procedure in your lunch time and a quick shot of something in your brow on a coffee break, so I think as technology advances the recovery time and expense for procedures will be less, and more previously unattainable treatments usually deemed for celebrities will be more accessible to regular people.


Tell us a shocking surgery story...
The one thing I learned really early on in my career as a plastic surgery Nurse is to never be shocked at what you see, and never be judgmental. I have dealt with some really horrendous accidents with people coming in carrying their fingers and thumbs in a plastic cup…. The weekends were always the worst for DIY accidents, hedge trimmers and all sorts. One time a lady calmly walked into the unit with her finger that had a perfectly manicured red nail in a butter dish, she had chopped it off in a car door, instead of screaming hysterically she calmly said “ I’m so pissed off I've only just had my nails done this morning”

How old/young are your clients.. are they become more extreme on both ends?
Cosmetic Surgery is a whole different kettle of fish, from reconstructive surgery. If a young girl comes in with her mum and wants her ears pinned back because they stick out that’s appropriate, if she comes in at 12 and wants a boob job that’s unrealistic. A patient has to be 18 for consent to surgery or a parent or guardian can sign if under 18. In Los Angeles I laser girls as young as 13 for hair on their lip or a mono brow, In London I never lasered anyone under 18. I think it’s a bigger industry here in the States.

Would you go down the same career path if you could do it all again?
I feel the industry I chose is a guaranteed career path, there is so much money to be made in this industry everyone is keen to look younger and better. I will never be out of a job, and although I am pro surgery, I do feel there are limits and the key is to know when enough is enough.
As a RN I’ve emptied bedpans, been vomited on, worked 15hr days, nights, Christmas and New years eve, and weekends with hangovers, would I do it all again to get where I am today working in Beverly Hills and living it up in Los Angeles…. Of course!

"Dont smoke!! Apart from health issues it makes your skin look like an old handbag"

What is your motto? What rules do you (try to) live by? Can you give any advice to young girls out there that are insecure about areas on their body and are thinking about getting something done but no one will take them seriously?
I have several mottos, my main one is “have no regrets” I am happy and grateful I don’t have any!!!
I energize everything; you can have anything you want in this life if you really want it enough.
Treat everyone with respect and if its meant to be it will work out.

The biggest piece of advice I can give to maintain youthfulness is stay out of the sun, it is so damaging, don’t smoke!! Apart from the health issues it makes your skin look like an old handbag and eat good clean food, stay away from the burgers.

The best advice I can give is research  a good Doctor and have a sense of reality, unless it’s a medical condition no surgery is that important. If someone is wanting to change their body to think they will fit in better, or be loved more or get that perfect job they are wrong. Beauty is skin deep, its what is in the soul that matters.

I think its peer pressure that makes girls insecure about their figures and wanting surgery. When I was at school and growing up I used to be teased about my nose and called “ski jump” for years I wanted my nose fixed. When I started working in plastics it was the first thing I planned on having done. However the weirdest thing happened nearly every patient coming in for a Rhinoplasty consultation when asked what they wanted their nose to look like would always point at my nose and say, “like hers, did you do it?” it has been strange that so many people over the years have referred to my “ski jump nose” as the perfect ideal after I spent years at school being bullied for it. Now of course I don’t have an issue with my nose, I am so glad I never went under the knife to have it fixed.

Young people grow into their bodies; it’s more of a confidence issue than anything else.

A very glamorous celebrity once said to me “Darling you can never be too thin, too tanned or too rich” its interesting how we think we need to be all these things, and the closer we are to this ideal the more successful and perfect we feel.

Being taken seriously is a matter of being realistic with the “imperfection” we think we have, a good surgeon will be able to give constructive and non-biased advice. If it is a serious problem there will be a surgery out there to fix it.

Elise is our 'Plastic Surgery Expert' and you can ask her questions here! Anything ya like elise@beautyisareligion.com