Queen of Botox
Story by Jessica Galán
Photography by Amy March, Coastline Imagery
In the 15th century, Michelangelo sculpted David and Botticelli painted Venus. Fast forward to the 21st century and we find Susan Coker, P.A.—a different artist of sorts—one who employs a precise and skilled hand. One who is able to create symmetry and balance in the field of medical dermatology… the very same techniques used by famous artists and sculptors.
Susan Coker, a Board Certified Physician’s Assistant, has made her claim to fame as the highly sought after “Botox Queen” here in the Lowcountry. Playing off of the shadows and lights on her clients’ faces with a variety of medical skin treatments is what’s led to her success. You wouldn’t imagine a Botox-filled syringe as a transformative agent of change, but when you realize the subtle, yet profound results that Coker’s precise hands offer, you understand that medicine and art do go hand in hand.
The visually stunning aesthetics of Lux, the medical spa where Coker delivers her magic, is in Bluffton. The white-on-white décor offers a beautiful environment in which to relax and catch your breath, and upon meeting Susan in person, one is immediately at ease.
Coker isn’t new to the medical field. With more than 20 years in the field, it is her strong rapport with her clients that has led to her success as one whom has carved a niche in the plastic surgery industry. “It wasn’t easy for my ego at first,” she says. “Here I was a medical professional in primary care and women’s health with 20 years experience, deciding to go into plastic surgery at the age of 50!”
Susan found herself at an emotional crossroads after a divorce and reaching 50. But in 2011, she swallowed her pride, and as Gandhi put it, Susan "became the change she wished to see." She says, “You have to seize the day...do something about life where you’re not fulfilled…be proactive.”
Physician assistants are able to perform routine exams, prescribe medicine, treat and diagnose. Susan spent six months training and shadowing under the mentorship of plastic surgeon Dr. Frederick Weniger. “The clinical procedures, learning to inject and being there for surgical followups, that was all part of the process.” What surprised Susan was how much she enjoyed her new career. “I even came in on Saturdays. I was that determined to learn,” she says. What motivates Susan to succeed? “I’m emotionally driven by the before and after. It’s a very visual profession—a satisfied client’s smile is the best ‘face lift’ of all,” Susan explained.
From Botox to laser resurfacing, Susan makes sure that she provides her customers with a conservative and gentle approach. “I’m rewarded when a patient’s feeling of self-doubt is erased; when they can go to a wedding or their high school reunion feeling and looking beautiful.”
Susan recently returned from The Georgia Dermatology’s Physician Assistants conference where she lectured on being confident while delivering precise skin injections. One would assume that the plastic surgery field is high stress. Not so for Susan, “It’s actually very calming, the process. I practice controlled breathing, a meditation of sorts because you’re so intentionally focused on delivering careful skin injections,” she says.
"Evolve" should be the word synonymous with Susan. She has composed a rich life; she’s become confident and has coached other colleagues in her field. “People notice what you emanate,” she says. “I believe in love, kindness and gratitude.”
Easy motivation: Her teenagers: Rachel and Owen. A successful woman is one who? “Is confident…and a little sassy, of course!”
Mentors: Dr. Frederick Weniger and Renea Morales, a registered nurse who listened to her dreams and supported her endeavors. Physical hurdle: Training and running for the Rock and Roll marathon and getting to the finish line with my friend, Renea.
Famous rock star she’d like to work on: Mick Jagger!
Innovative techniques in the future of dermatology: 1) Surgery that’s less invasive, more fillers. 2) Photo-facials with broad-band light that reverses the aging process. 3) Skin tightening through laser techniques, “Like pushing the re-set button on the aging process!”
Her biggest fear: “To not have lived the life I wanted to…saying, ‘I should’ve done that.’”