An anesthesiologist for more than 25 years, Dr. Christina Kim became interested in aesthetic and noninvasive procedures about a decade ago, partly because of an injury she suffered herself.
“I saw many people suffering from pain even after surgery, and I myself had a problem with my knee where I went through surgery and still had pain, so I was looking for another approach,” she says.
That’s how she started learning more about Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP). Essentially, the procedure takes your own blood and puts it in a special centrifuge that is then reinjected into your body to promote cell regeneration. Platelets release growth factors and attract stem cells to repair damaged tissues.
The procedure was mostly used on patients with arthritis or tendon and ligament injuries, but after having great results with patients in those areas, Dr. Kim started using it for things like hair regrowth and other aesthetic needs for skin rejuvenation. PRP is common in other countries, but newer in the US. Dr. Kim’s clinic, the BU Wellness Clinic, is one of only a few in the Midwest with the most advanced PRP technology.
“There are other physicians using PRP, but not all PRPs are created equal,” Dr. Kim says. “The quality is very important to treat medical and aesthetic issues, and the procedures are not all the same. I use a closed system that provides highly concentrated PRP that gives better results.”
She started her own practice a year and a half ago in Hinsdale with the goal of promoting a healthy lifestyle and making patients feel good about themselves. The name “BU” is meant to encourage patients to “be yourself.”
“Beauty comes internally, not only from external appearances,” Dr. Kim says. “If you are happy, if you’re feeling well, then that completes your beauty. So, I try to focus on not only making men and women beautiful outside, but also by making them feel like themselves. Sometimes, that means using aesthetic medicine like
PRP to bring back hair growth or relieve pain.”
Dr. Kim completed her residency in anesthesia at the Loyola University Medical Center, going on to earn certifications from the American Academy of Procedural Medicine in Aesthetics, the International Association for Physicians in Aesthetic
Medicine for Weight Management, the American Osteopathic Association of Prolotherapy and Regenerative Medicine and Cell Surgical Network for the past 10 years. She worked at the Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center in Chicago for 25 years and also served as a chairperson in the Department of Anesthesiology for 15 years. She started working in aesthetics about three years
before opening her own practice.
BU Wellness Clinic offers several services aside from PRP, including Polydioxanone, or PDO thread lift. The lift uses synthetic absorbable surgical sutures to tighten the skin naturally. The sutures have small barbs, which grip underneath the skin and can be pulled in multiple directions to reposition skin instantly. The skin then builds new collagen on its own to secure the lift.
“There are a lot of injections that make people feel or look good, but a large part of the population does not want injections with chemicals into their face or body,” Dr. Kim says. “These noninvasive, natural, and regenerative approaches are a good alternative for loose and sagging skin.”
While Dr. Kim says there are some conditions only surgery can treat, there are many that PRP can treat just as well, and complications are far less and the waiting lists are much shorter.
“I see people suffer from surgical complications with long recovery time, but when we can treat them with PRP quickly and avoid unnecessary surgery, that makes me very happy,” she says.
What excites her most is that there’s still so much more that can be done.
“PRP is just a start, but with so much stem cell research lately, there will be opportunities to treat many more conditions like autoimmune disease and other diseases that have never had a cure. It’s fascinating and could really change the lives of some patients,” she says.
Dr. Kim hopes those hesitant about surgery or looking for a non-chemical aesthetic option will visit her clinic and learn more about how PRP works.
BU Wellness Clinic is located at 230 E. Ogden Avenue, Suite 200 in Hinsdale, 630-891-3131, buwellness.com.