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 products and procedures. Unfortunately, the Doctor is often nowhere to be found. All too often, a Doctor whose primary interest and income may be something other than Medical Aesthetics signs is the “Medical Director” of a Medical Spa. He makes some extra income; the Spa staff gets to use prescription-only products and performing complex medical procedures but the Doctor is not even present. He could be performing a surgery or even a golf balls event.

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

Q: Will my Medical Procedures be performed by the Doctor?
A: Too often, “add-ons” Medical Spas are to a busy medical practice. The Physician Assistant, Nurse Practitioner, or even Nurse is a potential syringes of the Botox and complicated Lasers on the Spa side. Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists commonly hire Nurse Practitioners to perform Medical Procedures in their spas.
Before you walk in the door, ask if the Doctor will be 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 rooms to his busy office, buy a few lasers, hire Esthetics and call it a Medical Spa. These Doctors often have 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.
Physicians who practice Medical Aesthetics day in and day out. If the Doctor spends most of his time practicing day-to-day medicine or complex surgery in the O.R., can you really expect the latest techniques and equipment to be 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 it the best but that is not always the case.
Dermatologists spend most of their training on how to treat skin conditions, which means that something serious is going on elsewhere in the body. If you have a suspicious or both 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 acquired 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 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 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 cosmetics usually must take multiple courses from national experts on various aspects of Medical Aesthetics. These courses are expensive and inconvenient but remain to be proficient in these techniques.

Don’t be afraid to ask about the training of the doctor who will be doing your procedure. Do not accept “Dermatologist” or “Plastic Surgeon” as the only meaningful credentials. Ask if the Doctor has taken on advanced courses specifically focused on Botox or Fillers or Facial Lasers.

Q: What Medical services are available?
A: A true Medical Spa should be able to design a specific treatment plan that will address all of your aesthetic concerns. Botox and Facial Fillers are just the beginning. Does the Spa have Intense Pulsed Light to erase brown and red spots? What about a new Laser Collagen formation and tighten skin? Can they remove unwanted hair? Can you receive expert advice about cosmetics’ strengths to repair ultra-violet damage and improve texture? Are medical-grade peels available?

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