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What You Should Know About Your Medical Spa

Q: Who is the Doctor in charge and where is he?
A: Medical Spas are supposed to have a Physician present to provide medical-grade products and procedures. Unfortunately, the Doctor is often nowhere to be found. All too often, a Doctor whose primary area of interest and income may be something other than Medical Aesthetics signs a contract to be the “Medical Director” of a Medical Spa. He makes some extra income; the Spa staff gets to use prescription-only products and perform complex medical procedures but the Doctor isn’t even present. He could be performing surgery or seeing patients in his own office or even hitting golf balls.

If you are contemplating receiving a Medical Procedure at a Medical Spa, find out if the Doctor will actually be there during your visit.

Q: Will my Medical Procedures be performed by the Doctor?
A: Too often, Medical Spas are revenue “add-ons” to a busy medical practice. The Doctor may be busy seeing medical patients on the medical side of the office while an Aesthetician, Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, or even a Nurse wields potent syringes of Botox and complicated lasers 長者護理  on the Spa side. Even Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists commonly hire Nurse Practitioners to perform Medical Procedures in their spa.
Before you walk in the door, ask if the Doctor will actually be the injecting the drugs or performing the Medical Procedures. If the answer is something like “No, our Nurse does that, but she’s very good,” do yourself a favor and look elsewhere.

Q: How experienced is the Doctor?
A: Commonly, a Doctor will simply add on a few nicely-appointed rooms to his busy office, buy some lasers, hire an Aesthetician and call it a Medical Spa. These Doctors often have no real interest in Medical Aesthetics and rarely perform any of the procedures themselves. They may be physically nearby but they are generally not well-versed in what works well and what doesn’t.
You should only trust your face to a Physician who practices Medical Aesthetics day in and day out. If the Doctor spends the vast majority of his time practicing day-to-day medicine or performing complex surgery in the O.R., can you really expect him to be up on the latest techniques and equipment used in Medical Aesthetics?

It’s perfectly all right to ask, “How many times per week does the Doctor actually perform this procedure?”

Q: What kind of Aesthetic Training has the Doctor had?
A: Many people assume that Board Certified Dermatologists or Plastic Surgeons make the best Aesthetic Physicians but that isn’t always the case.
Dermatologists spend a majority of their training learning how to treat diseases of the skin and how to recognize when a particular skin condition means that something serious is going on elsewhere in the body. If you have a suspicious or bothersome lesion or rash, you should visit a Dermatologist. If you want to soften a few wrinkles and look more refreshed, a Dermatologist may not always be your best choice.
Plastic Surgeons acquire many complex skills during their extensive training period including hand surgery, breast implants, facial reconstruction, scar revision and complex skin grafting techniques. Plastic Surgeons can work wonders for patients with those sorts of major problems. They may not be the best choice, however, for someone with facial sun damage or pigment irregularities.

Actual training in Medical Aesthetics is absent or only a very small part of many Dermatology and Plastic Surgery training programs. Most physicians who wish to become proficient in the appropriate use of Botox, Facial Fillers, Lasers, and prescription grade cosmeceuticals usually must take multiple courses from national experts on the various aspects of Medical Aesthetics.