Checking Out the Safety of a Medical Spa

What questions should you ask to ensure that your treatment will be a positive and safe experience?

With the advent of medical spas, the concept of beauty treatments has expanded to include nonsurgical and noninvasive healthcare procedures designed to not only improve appearance, but to enhance a sense of well-being and rejuvenation. With the proliferation of medical spas throughout the country, it is important to choose a facility wisely to ensure personal safety as well as desired results. This is particularly true because there are no national standards for medical spas and no organizations to oversee their quality of care.

Treatments Offered by Medical Spas

A great variety of treatments are offered at medical spas, all of them safe when administered correctly by trained professionals. Medical spas may offer photofacials, BOTOX®i injections, hydrafacials, laser skin tightening, chemical peels, laser hair removal, and brow and lash tints. All of these procedures, administered correctly, are safe and produce aesthetically pleasing results. As with any processes, , if the person performing the task is not well-trained, inexperienced, or inept, they can be unpredictable, even dangerous results.

Important Questions

The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) have created a list of questions customers should ask before undergoing any treatment at a medical spa. The answers you receive should be complete, accurate, and reassuring before you commit to any treatment.

  • Is the medical spa in a doctor’s office? (Beware of spas in shopping malls or salons)
  • What are the supervising doctor’s credentials?
  • Does the doctor specialize in plastic surgery?
  • How have other personnel been trained in all offered procedures?
  • Are there any side effects or risks to the procedure you are considering?
  • How are complications handled if they arise?
  • Are any injectables used by the facility FDA-approved?
  • How long will the effects of the procedure last?
  • Can you see before and after images of the procedure?
  • What happens if you are not satisfied with the results?
  • If any complications arise, who foots the bill?

Things To Remember

If you are promised 100 percent guaranteed results, you are being misled and should reconsider using the particular facility that is overselling their products and procedures. Also, don’t base your choice of facilities on price alone. As in other areas, you are likely to get what you pay for. “Bargains” that will affect your appearance and health are likely to be poor investments. You may regret your penny-wise and pound-foolish decision for a long time. Because medical spas are a relatively new category of healthcare, it is especially important that you do your homework to ensure that your expectations are met and your safety is protected.  In considering going to a medical spa you should have a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon.