Med spas, spreading like wildfire in Florida, offer cosmetic procedures

September 18, 2012

"Any Bozo can inject Botox;" to do it well requires training

According to the Miami Herald, medical spas are offering nonsurgical and sometimes even surgical cosmetic procedures. These procedures are usually administered by plastic surgeons and dermatologists. Today, dentists, gynecologists, physician assistants and so forth are jumping on this lucrative bandwagon.

A Coral Gables plastic surgeon says it’s a matter of supply and demand. There is a huge target market that is looking for anti-aging treatments and with an increased demand for cosmetic enhancements, the supply increases. When you pair that with an increase in nonsurgical procedures, such as injectables, and a decline in reimbursements for insurance-based noncosmetic medicine, you have a perfect storm that results in a growing onslaught of youth- and beauty-enhancing practitioners.

“Buyer beware,” advises a Florida plastic surgeon, “Any Bozo can inject this stuff,” he said. “However, to do it well and do it safely requires an art and training.”

With med spa fever reaching new heights, even dentists are taking part. One dental boutique in Fort Lauderdale is offering everything from conventional dentistry to injections, massages, facials and chemical peels. A “Bubbles, Botox and Trunk Show” occurred in the office earlier this month, offering neck massages, eyelash extensions, eyebrow threading, Botox and more.

According to ASAPS, medical spas should be supervised by an on-site physician who is trained and board-certified in an appropriate specialty. A patient can have an allergic reaction to an injectable, so the med spa must be equipped to handle such emergencies. Further, patients need a medical evaluation for the procedures they will undergo.

The term “med spa” may lead you to believe you’re not really visiting a doctor, you’re going to a spa with aromatherapy and soothing music. That is why you have to be sure of what you’re doing and who is doing it to you. Laws differ from state to state but, in Florida, anyone with a medical license can practice in any medical field.

Leo McCafferty, MD, President of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) doesn’t think med spas are bad, he just advises you to be careful about the hands that are treating you and the facilities you’re being treated in. 


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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