Karen and Jenessa

Karen Janitell, left, runs the operations part of Advanced Image Med Spa, while her daughter, Dr. Jenessa Iannitelli, is the physician/director. They are both on duty during the spa’s business hours. (Photo by Carolyn Dryer) 

Jenessa Iannitelli had an epiphany while she was working as an accomplished surgeon in a trauma unit: She wanted a better work-life balance.

But it was more than the job that inspired her to leave. Her mother, Karen Janitell, was going through her own life change. She was diagnosed with stage three blast cancer, or cancer in her cleavage. Eventually, she underwent 12 surgeries, 37 radiation treatments, three rounds of chemotherapy, job loss and “a complete abandonment of the identity” she once knew.

To help clients look their best, they opened Advanced Image Med Spa at 7942 W. Bell Road, Suite C2, in Glendale four years ago. Among its services are high-definition liposuction, facial fillers, wrinkle reduction, laser hair removal, and treatment of sun damage or age spots.

Janitell, who worked in sales and marketing for 35 years, visits Advanced Image daily.

“I inherited her. She’s not really able for large companies anymore,” Iannitelli said.

“She’s been gracious enough to take over the operations for the spa. People wonder how we can work together every day. We complement each other. As a side benefit, she’s an extremely beautiful woman and a former model. A lot of external changes didn’t reflect what she started to feel when she recovered.”

Cancer free for seven years, Janitell can speak for Advanced Image’s treatments, as she received them as her daughter’s “test patient.” Janitell said she began to see a dramatic difference in how she felt and how people were reacting to her.

“Some people think we just do Botox and aesthetics,” Iannitelli said. “But PRP (platelet-rich plasma, a blood component that contains proteins) regenerative medicine … we have more tools to be able to help people fix issues. It’s not all straight aesthetics.

“We have a cool team – all girls in here. We’re lucky to have a great dynamic, plays out for our patients. We have high-level service and make sure everyone’s experience is the best possible.”

Advanced Image Med Spa has a lot of women in their 70s come for treatment.

“The beautiful thing about aesthetic medicine is the whole gamut of options we offer, depending on how aggressive people want to be,” Iannitelli said.

She said lot of things in the past required major surgery. That’s not so today. New techniques are minimally invasive. Skin tightening can take 10 to 15 years off someone’s face.

“It’s nice, we try to stay very natural, not the plasticity overdone,” Iannitelli said.

She finds that appealing. The services do not require general anesthesia, so there are great results with minimal downtime, even for those with medical conditions.

There’s no age limit for patients. Iannitelli said a wide range – from teens with acne to individuals in their 80s – walk through the door. The bulk of patients are in their 50s and 60s, Iannitelli said.

“Women in their 80s keep coming back,” Iannitelli said. “We have a really happy older generation.”

The times have also erased the stigma dealing with aesthetic procedures, Iannitelli said.

“Because we have these techniques available, women who age look in the mirror and see that doesn’t match them internally,” Iannitelli said. “We have great results. They grow old gracefully and are able to do procedures that make them feel useful and sexy. Skin is the largest organ in our body, and it needs love, too.”

Advanced Image works with a diverse population, including several transgender patients to help them through their transitions. Iannitelli said they work with all ethnicities and research the nuances of different skin tones. The staff focuses on learning about their patients and the reasons behind their desires for change so they can make the best recommendations.

She said they will turn away people who insist on procedures they do not feel are good for them.

“Ethnic skin is very tricky, very sensitive,” Iannitelli said. “If you don’t have technicians well versed in ethnic skin, you can do damage. All women and men are welcome – gay, lesbian, transgender welcome.”

What sets Advanced Image Med Spa apart is the pleasant staff.

“A lot of medical spa facilities have medical directors, but they’re aloof, they’re on paper sort of,” she said,

“I’m here all day, trying to make sure our patients have the best treatment. I monitor and oversee all the treatments. I’m always checking the certified medical laser technician and aestheticians, and continuing education on how to improve things. I help chart the best course for our patients.”