Who is Qualified to Administer Cosmetic Fillers?

The Spa that I go to has 2 MDs (family doctors) and a nurse performing these "filler" procedures. Are the doctors qualified to do these procedures or do I stay away from them and go to a dermatologist or other specialist?

Arlene L.

Doctor Answers 2

Depends on the state

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Depends on the state. In Illinois only MD. RNs and PAs only under direct doctor supervision.

There are many medical practices offering Botox and feelers injections. Before making a decision about choosing one practice above the other, you should research and seek the best in your area. It is always safe to go with the experienced, board certified plastic surgeon. There are many resources to help you to find the one. I would also get some referrals from the Allergen website, the company that makes Botox and many fillers. Look for high volume providers -- platinum and above.

Who should inject dermal fillers?

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The leadership in the specialty of Plastic Surgery believes that injection of semi-permanent fillers to change the contour of the face or reduce folds or wrinkles should be done by a physician.

The impact of misapplied filler, compared to over- or under-treatment with Botox, for example, is more significant. Too superficially injected leads to bumps and nodules; too deeply injected lessens the power of the filler to correct lines and wrinkles.

With training, anyone can successfully and safely inject fillers for cosmetic applications. As in any specialty, the number of treatments the doctor performs, the better he becomes. Specialists like Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists perform a large number of these injection treatments. They have the experience and judgement to apply the therapy with finess and adjust the technique to obtain the best result for you.

Dan Downey, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.