Medical Spa Safety - Is your Med spa a medical facility with spa services or an unregulated business franchise?


Medical Spa  and Laser Hair Removal Safety

Is your Med Spa / Laser center safe?

Answer these questions about a medspa:


Is it owned and operated by a board certified physician who practices on site?
If the owner is not mentioned on the website, or if the owner is an aesthetician, business person, or someone  other than a physician - Beware.

Does the laser center have medical malpractice insurance?
A physician owned and operated laser center should have medical malpractice insurance. This helps to ensure that safety and efficacy is considered while lasers and other aesthetic medical equipment is being evaluated, before a center even opens.


Is this a true medical practice or a spa with a medical director?
A spa sometimes needs a medical director in order to purchase lasers, Botox, etc., but a medical director who does not own and operate the practice may not have the same oversight by the medical board of their state as a medical spa owned and operated by a board-certified physician.


Does the physician owner have admitting privileges to local hospitals?

If a patient has an allergy or any unforeseen reaction to a laser treatment or any med-spa service, and urgent medical care is required, a physician must have admitting privileges to local hospitals to provide hospital care to the patient.


Is the medical spa owned and operated by a board certified plastic surgeon?
Board certified plastic surgeons must adhere to the stringent ethical guidelines of the ASPS and must be truthful in advertising and promotion of their services.

Is there pressure to "sign up" or pay for a series of treatments up front?
This is a pervasive practice with many non-physician owned "med-spas". The first concern is of these businesses is often money, not what is best for the client. If you feel pressure, walk away and think about it.  Financing has no place in a true medical spa. A patient should be able to pay for individual treatments and discontinue treatments at will. Some people achieve a desired result sooner than others.  Therefore, it makes no sense to pay for packages up front.


Most laser hair removal treatments and other aesthetic medical services are safe, when up to date and well maintained equipment is used, and procedures are performed by well trained professionals.. But, there have been devastating consequences, including permanent disfigurement and even death when medical spas do not adhere to medical protocol . These problems almost always occur in environments that call themselves medical spas although they are not owned and operated by a physician. There is simply minimal, if any, oversight of these med spas and patient safety does not seem to be the highest priority.

Patient safety is the most serious problem in unregulated med spas, but patient dissatisfaction is the most reported problem. In a center not owned and operated by a surgeon, often the providers are on quotas and will perform a procedure even if  they know it will not provide the desired results


Do your homework and be sure your "Medical Spa" is a medical facility offering spa services, and not a spa  or med spa franchise without a physician owner on the premises.

Article by
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon