Doctors voice concern over popularity of medi-spas
October 23, 2012
Plastic surgery has become more popular in recent years, so it may come as no surprise that the locations where patients can receive treatments like Botox injections or dermal fillers have expanded. However, some of these facilities are worrying board-certified plastic surgeons, as they may offer procedures carried out by untrained or unlicensed individuals, which puts patients at risk of medical complications.
Leo McCafferty, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), recently spoke to The Associated Press about the increasing number of medical spas in the U.S. Such facilities draw in customers by using names or posting advertisements that make them sound as though they can offer the same quality of plastic surgery one would receive in an accredited, safe facility.
"There is a bit of a Wild West out there," McCarfferty told the news source. He says some procedures, like chemical peels, can be performed in medical spas, but other cosmetic procedures should be reserved for medically trained professionals only. "I think the risks would increase exponentially if you are getting it in a place that is not following the tried-and-true guidelines that have been in place for safe surgery."
The news source cites a recent incident at such a facility known as Monarch Med Spa, in Timonium, Maryland. It was shut down after one woman died and two others were hospitalized following liposuction procedures, likely due to an infection. The spa was part of a chain of such facilities, all of which are now under investigation, the news source reports.
Perhaps even more frightening is that the website for the facility boasted of "board certified" surgeons, though it listed no affiliation with any of the medical boards that accredit plastic surgeons.
A plastic surgeon based in Philadelphia told the AP that he often sees patients coming in to correct procedures that they had done at a medical spa. He says these individuals were often looking to save money on their cosmetic surgery, but ended up getting botched or less-than-satisfying work. In some cases, he says, employees at the medical spas who conducted the procedure will call him and ask for help.
ASAPS urges patients to inquire about a surgeon's experience, accreditation and previous procedures. He or she can ask to see before and after photos to get an idea of what the surgeon is capable of. The ASAPS website offers a find-a-surgeon feature to help patients locate a professional in their area.
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.
Follow ASAPS on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ASAPS
Become a fan of ASAPS on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AestheticSociety
Become a member of Project Beauty: www.projectbeauty.com
Locate a plastic surgeon in your area: http://www.surgery.org/consumers/find-a-plastic-surgeon