The last half decade has seen a tremendous increase of Medi-Spas nationwide, according to the International Spa Association which counts 1,750 U.S. facilities known as Medi-Spas or Medical Spas. Those are a cross between a typical day spa and a cosmetic surgery office.
In addition to the normal indulgences found in a regular day spa, people can also opt for Botox, chemical peels, laser skin treatments and other lightly done cosmetic services.
But the situation becomes more complicated as Medi spas offer more complicated, involved procedures like breast implants, tummy tucks and facial cosmetic procedures including:
- Face Lifts
- Chin augmentation
- Brow and eyelid lifts
Now, certain states – New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California and others — are creating various regulations to better protect consumers.
Florida for instance, now requires a liposuction procedure removing over two pounds of fat to be performed in a state-licensed surgical center equipped with life-saving machines.
Because not all the rules are the same, here is how one cosmetic plastic surgeon with 40 years experience would use a Medi-Spa or advise a member of his family on how to best do it:
- If a doctor’s name is on the Medi-Spa door, ask where he is. He or she could be on the premises, next door in a cosmetic plastic surgery office or maybe the next state.
- Ask if the facility doctor is a plastic surgeon, a facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist. Next, inquire about board certification to see if the doctor is actually a specialist in internal medicine, psychiatrist, radiology or some field other than plastic surgery. Some state laws require physicians who advertise their board certification status to say which board.
- If you want Botox, Juvederm, Restylane or other facial fillers, inquire who is giving the injections and what training and experience they’ve had. Also ask about that state’s regulations. Some, like California, say only M.D.’s, R.N.s and Physician Assistants can give injections.
- Keep in mind that chemical peels, micro-dermabrasion, laser hair removal and other less invasive cosmetic surgery are in a different medical league than facials, massages and other beauty treatments.