California clamps down on medi-spas

August 7, 2012

California clamps down on medi-spas
California clamps down on medi-spas

California's governor has signed a new law that aims to increase supervision on "medi-spas" offering cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections and laser hair removal. Such facilities have in the past been accused of failing to ensure patient safety by allowing untrained individuals to administer the cosmetic treatments. The new law increases penalties such as fines on such facilities if there is a lack of doctor supervision, reports Bakersfield Now.

There were some regulations in place concerning medi-spas in the state, but advocates of patient safety argued they fell short of what was necessary to make sure all procedures were done safely and under the supervision of a certified doctor. There have been previous efforts by California lawmakers, but this is the first to be signed into law by the governor.

"Although there may be a doctor name attached to the facility, sometimes it's in name only. There's no one there, no physician there who can jump in and help with the problem that occurs and it's happened quite a bit," one California-based cosmetic physician told Fox40.

The law, which goes into effect on January 1, 2013, could increase penalties for medi-spas up to $50,000 for failing to comply with medical rules. Doctors who lend their name to a medi-spa without overseeing treatment, consulting with patients or conducting the procedures themselves also face legal action.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, patients who are considering a cosmetic procedure, whether it be a Botox injection or something more invasive, like liposuction, should be sure to speak with a board-certified plastic surgeon operating out of an accredited facility.

Individuals who feel that the setting of their consultation or the surgery itself is unsafe should voice their concern and, if necessary, seek an alternative surgeon or doctor. Consultations are the best way to ensure that both patient and surgeon are on the same page concerning the procedure, results and recovery time.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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