Nonsurgical Does Not Mean Non-Medical

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New York,
NY (November 13, 2002) — The increasing popularity
of nonsurgical 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

  • 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. Nonsurgical 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. Parties and
    group events may compromise results.
  • Emergency Plans: Nonsurgical
    procedures may occasionally result in unforeseen
    consequences. Plans should be in place to
    handle these.
  • 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 nonsurgical - should be done
under the care of properly credentialed and
trained medical professionals.

The following is a representative list of
ancillary (nonsurgical) medical procedures:

Chemical skin peels, including:

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

Injectable treatments, including:

Laser hair removal

Laser treatment of leg veins

Skin resurfacing, including:

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


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 nonsurgical 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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