Non-Surgical Does Not Mean Non-Medical

The increasing popularity of non-surgical cosmetic procedures has led to a growing complacency about where procedures are being performed and by whom, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). It is the ASAPS position that ancillary procedures, such as skin resurfacing or Botox injections, while not surgical, are medical procedures and should only be done in appropriate facilities under the supervision of a qualified physician who has been trained in the particular procedure.

  • Medical History: Before any medical procedure is undertaken, a medical history should be provided in order to determine appropriateness. This is especially important to avoid allergic reactions and to identify underlying medical conditions that might pose risks.
  • Alternative Treatments: One purpose of pre-treatment consultation is the thorough evaluation of each patient and the exploration of alternatives, including no treatment.
  • Informed Consent: A discussion of the benefits and risks of any medical procedure is required for full informed consent. Non-surgical procedures do not always result in less "downtime." A plastic surgeon can explain the pros and cons of various treatments.
  • Appropriate Setting: Medical procedures require sanitary surroundings and sterile instruments, as well as authentic equipment and medications. It is important to remember that parties and group events may compromise results.
  • Emergency Plans: Non-surgical procedures may occasionally result in unforeseen consequences. Ask your surgeon if plans are in place to handle emergencies.
  • Follow-up Care: Follow-up care is an important part of the doctor-patient relationship and is necessary to assure optimum procedure results.

It is ASAPS' position that all medical procedures - surgical and non-surgical - should be done under the care of properly credentialed and trained medical professionals. To find an ASAPS member-surgeon in your area, click here.

The following is a representative list of ancillary (non-surgical) medical procedures:

Chemical skin peels, including:

  • Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA)
  • Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA)
  • Phenol

Injectable treatments, including:

  • Botox
  • Collagen
  • Fat
  • Sclerotherapy (treatment of leg veins)

Laser hair removal

Laser treatment of leg veins

Skin resurfacing, including:

  • Ablative Lasers (Carbon Dioxide, Erbium)
  • Nonablative Lasers (N-Lite, Cool Touch and others)
  • Intense Pulsed Light
  • Dermabrasion
  • Microdermabrasion
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