While Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery founder Dr. Gregory A. Nikolaidis and his team of physicians have been beautifying faces and bodies across the Lone Star State since 2002, the Houston native has been likewise embellishing the architectural landscape by focusing on office design that speaks to his — and to his patients’ — inner Zen.
Austin’s Michael Hsu Office of Architecture and Matt Fajkus Architecture are among the high octane architectural talents that he has tapped to create his clinics, which in the interior resemble more a sleek W Hotel than medical office and on the exterior there is a soothing modernist approach. Thoughtful design is at the core of his medical philosophy.
“To me, it’s a commitment to the environment and the esthetic not only in the results (of the medical procedures) but in the place where the work is being done,” Nikolaidis tells PaperCity during a Zoom interview from his Austin headquarters.
“In architecture and design, the common thought is that the environment can lift you up. It’s amazing to me that the field of medicine as a whole hasn’t caught up with that.”
“Ever since we started, we put design as one of the forefronts of our esthetic and our values,” Nikolaidis says. “There is something very reassuring about that. I think it makes people not only feel better when the place they go to is nice, but then these touch points are references back to style, order, and simplicity and that’s what we are trying to deliver.”
In fact, he allows that when contemplating his first office, he trailed through a Giorgio Armani store taking photographs for inspiration. He recalls the impressive limestone wall without grout and the monochromatic color scheme. Today, that inspiration comes from the warm tones of a Bruno Cucinelli boutique.
Westlake’s Rapid Expansion
Of course, it’s not just the esthetics of the clinics that have sent Westlake’s business soaring. As the largest privately held dermatology firm in the country, Westlake boasts 30 dermatologists, including Nikolaidis, and five plastic surgeons (“all at the top of their game”) across 16 locations. The most recent openings including one in San Antonio‘s happening Alamo Heights and another in Dallas’s swank Highland Park just this past fall.
Before his 2019 expansion to Houston in a Michael Hsu-designed building, clients made regular pilgrimages from the Bayou City to Austin for Westlake Dermatology services. The Houston office is doing so well that plans are in the works for a second Houston location on Westheimer in the River Oaks area. Nikolaidis expects that office to open early next year.
Westlake is one of the few dermatology offices that also has plastic surgeons on staff. From Nikolaidis’ viewpoint, one is a natural outgrowth of the other. During his studies at Baylor College of Medicine, dermatology and cosmetic surgeon students often had meetings together He adds that there is only so much that can be done with skin tightening and injectables. After finding himself frequently recommending certain patients to plastic surgeons, he decided to bring the talent on board.
“In some cases, surgery makes more sense than fillers but that’s on an individual basis. For some people it will happen in their thirties, for others it will happen later in their sixties,” Nikolaidis says. “Everybody has a different curve. Good doctors, good genes, good lifestyle. I don’t know what the difference is but some people just age really well.”
For those who are putting off surgery for as long as possible, Nikolaidis has promising news. In addition to the array of injectables such as Juvaderm, Radiesse and Restylane, new products are coming down the line including injectable products that will last up to a year. Within the next two to three years, look for injectables that stimulate not only collagen growth but also stimulate bone growth and muscle growth.
A spectacular new product, Endo Qwo, a non-invasive injection that reduces moderate-to-severe cellulite in the buttocks of adult women, will be available at Westlake in March, making the Texas group one of the earliest to offer the procedure. Nikolaidis describes it as an “amazing” product that coagulates an enzyme that breaks down the collagen that creates the cellulite dimple.
Another new procedure that should be introduced by next year is Recros, a minimally invasive skin contouring procedure the involves tiny scalplets boring into the skin.
Nilolaidis and others are looking forward to the release of Revance, a new filler similar to existing fillers, yet this product is said to give a more natural esthetic because the filler moves as the patient moves. The filler, he says, dynamically integrates with the tissue.
Even the good doctor is into dermatological procedures, apologizing for his reddened face (which was hardly apparent on the Zoom call) and explaining that he had had a laser treatment a few weeks prior and a peel to tighten up the skin. He looked fabulous.