By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
MELBOURNE -- Nestled on the corner of Strawbridge Avenue and Oak Street in Historic Downtown Melbourne is Artful Awakenings, a full-service plastic surgery office.
Opened by Dr. Frank Filiberto and his wife, Christine in December 2011, Artful Awakenings offers its patients a range of cosmetic surgery options with the utmost care.
Dr. Filiberto has practiced in Brevard and Indian River counties for nearly 30 years as an ear, nose and throat surgeon, and still sees ENT patients at his Palm Bay office.
"Before we opened Artful Awakenings, Dr. Filiberto was the chief surgeon for Lifestyle Lift in Orlando from 2007 through 2010, where he worked for four years and trained physicians," said Mrs. Filiberto, office manager and partner. "He has assisted and trained other physicians in the latest and greatest techniques for facelifts, necklifts, upper and lower eyelifts and browlifts, which give a natural, youthful appearance."
What also sets Dr. Filiberto apart from other Brevard County plastic surgeons is that he was awarded a nationally superior rating in patient satisfaction after performing more than 1,000 facelifts in 2009 for Lifestyle Lift.
When a patient calls to have a procedure done at Artful Awakenings, their point of contact is either Mrs. Filiberto or Jason Goodwin, assistant office manager. The full-service plastic surgery office also has professional consultant, Lucy Williams, on staff.
"We identify what their needs are going to be and set them up for however much time they are going to need," Mrs. Filiberto said. "Some people want to have the full body done and some people just want their eyes or breasts done."
When a patient arrives for a consult, they are brought into the consultation room, where Dr. Filiberto discusses the patients wants, needs and goals.
Artful Awakenings is very conscious about offering Dr. Filiberto's surgical expertise at a competitive price to help patients look as young as they feel.
"Plastic surgery has to be affordable, so we offer Care Credit, which is a wonderful program, with zero percent interest for patients with great credit," Mrs. Filiberto said. "We also offer other credit programs for our patients, who may not have the best credit scores."
Another way Artful Awakenings keeps the cost of its services lower is by not putting patients under general anesthesia.
"There are a lot of plastic surgeons, who still put people under," Mrs. Filiberto said. "Instead of anesthesia, we give them a relaxation sedative, which is a shot that makes the patient feel completely relaxed."
Once the patient is at ease, they are brought into the surgery suite, where Dr. Filiberto numbs all of the areas that will be operated on.
"Patients sleep throughout the procedure, and they don't need to have a tube down their throat and an anesthesiologist helping them breathe," Mrs. Filiberto said. "Anesthesia is the most dangerous part of surgery, so using a local anesthetic has proven to be much safer for patients than general anesthesia."
Mrs. Filiberto added that Dr. Filiberto chooses not to use general anesthesia because plastic surgery focuses on the surface, not cutting into major organs.
Another benefit of foregoing anesthesia is that the patient is able to go home shortly after surgery.
While most patients might initially feel uncomfortable not being under general anesthesia, Mrs. Filiberto is a firm believer in her husband's practice.
"It works beautifully," she said. "We take pride in the fact that Dr. Filiberto makes sure the patient is safe and they aren't having someone else breathing for them. Recovery time is affected by not going under, as well, because you do not have to recover from anesthesia."
With all of his incredible accomplishments, including being a two-time recipient of the National Physician of the Year award by the U.S. Olympic Boxing team, the care and happiness of Dr. Filiberto's patients are of the utmost importance.
"We are a small office, so we concentrate on one patient at a time -- we aren't a mill that turns people over and over," Mrs. Filiberto said. "We operate on our patients' time. Artful Awakenings is family-oriented, and our patients leave as our friends."
Artful Awakenings is located at 400 E. Strawbridge Ave., Melbourne.
For more information, call (321) 676-3101 or visit www.artfulawakenings.com.