Spa or Medical Practice?

In recent times I note there has been a rapid increase in the number of facilities that call themselves a medical spa or medi-spa.

The occurrence has arisen from the United States and particularly from areas such as Florida where the transition from medical practice to beauty salon has become extremely vague.

People are becoming aware that there are an increasing number of cosmetic procedures ranging from injectable to skin care treatments and even surgical procedures being offered in non-medical practices particularly in the state of Florida.

Safety is paramount of course and my advice would be one of buyer beware.

Certain procedures in Australia can only be performed by medical practitioners and certainly procedures are being performed that are not fully regulated.

Is it the wild, wild west out there or am I as a plastic surgeon being defensive of my industry?

I think above all as a doctor my job is to ensure patients’ safety.

I do become concerned when I hear stories of patients receiving treatments with adverse outcomes where they were not informed of the possible downside.

To have a surgical procedure is an invasive event and it needs to be performed in a fully accredited facility.

The loose use of terminology such as a spa that offers medical procedures is intentionally designed to play down the invasiveness of the procedure.

People are being lured by marketing and sales pitches into having treatments performed in non-accredited facilities and Florida recently had a monatorium banning liposuction in such facilities due to a number of patient deaths.

In short, is it a beauty salon, is it a day spa or is it a medical practice – is a question patients need to ask themselves before undergoing treatment.


Dr Jeremy Hunt

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