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Medical Spas in Need of Regulation Across the Board

Posted: June 17, 2013
Medical spas

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"It's made us a better business," she said. "I was running a top shop. I was going over and above what I did anywhere else. And even then, I fell short."

She said she believes her shop is safer now, and she also works as a consultant helping other medical spas operate within the code. She does question, however, how many medical spas operate outside the law.

It's a concern for a number of organizations, including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Academy of Dermatology. Both have issued guidelines to help people choose safe treatments.

While severe complications are rare, they do happen. In Maryland, a 59–year–old woman died of an infection last September after a liposuction treatment at a medical spa.

Florida and California, hot spots for medical spas, toughened laws after complaints of complications and deaths. Florida now authorizes the state to inspect any clinic that removes more than 1,000 cubic centimeters of fat during liposuction. California has set up agencies to inspect and accredit outpatient surgery settings, including medical offices and spas.

Richard Rosenblum, who has a plastic surgery practice and medical spas in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, said patients should educate themselves and become informed, not just about a procedure but who is providing it.

"Every procedure has a risk to it," he said. "We wish they had zero risk, but there's always a risk. If you have someone with little to zero cosmetic experience doing it, you may not get the desired effect, and if there's a problem you don't have a doctor to correct it."