Patient Safety Advisory on Medispas and Medspas
Medi-spas, locations that can offer everything from facials and hair removal
to pharmaceutical injections and other medical procedures, are proliferating
across the country. Medi-spas may be located in a physician's office, like Dr. Hester's, or in
non-traditional locations such as shopping malls, store fronts and beauty
There are many excellent and convenient Medi-spas that offer safe, physician
supervised treatments. However, for those providing treatments outside of the
physician's office, there are no national standards for medi-spas, no recognized
definition of what constitutes a medi-spa, and no oversight organizations that
provide the information you need to make an informed, safe choice for your
As advocates for patient safety and healthy outcomes, The American Society
for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and The American Society of Plastic
Surgeons (ASPS) have created the following questions you should ask before
committing to any procedure or medical treatment in a spa or non-traditional
facility. It is important that you do your homework as you should on anything
that can affect not only your appearance but your health and safety as well. We
suggest obtaining the following information:
About the facility:
- Is the Medi-spa located within a physician's office?
While problems are infrequent, physician's offices
generally have medical personnel available if a problem develops.
- Is the Medi-spa located outside of a doctor's office in, for
example, a mall or salon?
If so, ask the name of the
physician responsible for oversight and when they are available for consultation
or questions before having any injectable, deep peel or laser treatment. Also
ask about the training of any other medical personnel. This is vital to protect
your health and insure an optimal outcome. These are generally safe procedures
with minimal recovery, but do have real risks.
About medical supervision and personnel training:
- Does your medi-spa have a physician who can help in determining your
goals, provide a treatment plan and direct your care?
- What are the credentials of the physician supervising your treatment
in the medi-spa?
on the State you're in, injections and deep peels may be performed by a nurse,
physician's assistant or nurse practitioner. However, never allow a non-medical,
unlicensed person to perform a medical procedure and be sure that the procedure
is supervised by a board-certified physician.
Your health and safety depend on it.
- Who is performing the injection?
About efficacy and risk of procedures and realistic expectations:
- How effective are facial injectables and what is the right product
- Injectables are generally very safe and
effective treatments. There are a wide range of products on the market that are
FDA approved and provide good outcomes. However, be sure to ask your provider
the following questions:
- Is the product FDA approved? Is it approved for this use?
- Can a medication, filler, or a device be used for a purpose
different from which the FDA originally approved it?
- Will injections last and prevent the need for a facelift in the
- Have you been fully informed of the possible benefits and side
effects of the proposed treatment and have you been apprised of possible
- Have all of your questions been answered
and are you are fully aware of the risk and rewards of the procedure?
About taking control of your own treatment options:
- What do I expect from my medical procedure?
- Am I taking the procedure seriously?
- Am I basing my decision on the best treatment option and not on
- Have you asked to see before and after pictures?
- What if I'm unhappy with the result?
- Have you been told who holds financial responsibility for any
revisions or if complications arise?