My practice is not a medical spa.
Medical spas have no dermatologist or plastic surgeon present in the clinic/building, nor do they directly supervise the staff on a daily basis. The corporation could be owned by a dermatologist 3000 miles away or perhaps they they have a plastic surgeon as a medical director, in another state, or maybe just owned by a business person, or a Internal Medicine doctor. They may have a board of dermatologists, who are not on site. If the doctors are not present in the building and seeing the patients, and taking responsibility for the patient safety and outcomes - that is a medical spa.
Medicine is a 1:1 relationship. Credentials matter. Learn the differences in education levels among practitioners.
A chain med-spa business may be "number 1" yet have very inexperienced young injectors who are just starting out.
My nurses receive about 3-6 months of education and training from me personally, daily, before they are allowed to inject patients with fillers.
Dr. Marla Klein opened her private practice in 2002 and during the recession of 2005-2009 her practice stayed open while many med spas went bankrupt and closed their doors overnight. When those med spas closed, they did it without warning and they took their clients' down payments with them and vanished.
There has been a 45% increase in the number of med spas in the USA in the last 2 years. We are in another recession now. It is reasonable to expect that many small med spas will go out of business in the next 2 years.
Klein Dermatology & Associates has had an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau for 20 years.
As a cosmetic patient, you must be careful, check for red flags (Board Actions) at the Oregon Medical Board about the doctor in charge of a med spa before going there. To check on a Nurse Practitioner or Nurse one has to check with the Board of Nursing. There is no regulation for med spas.
We do not encourage anyone to up-sell to our patients with the use of commissions, but many med spas do.
Spas often pay their employees in the form of commissions, the injector's pay is determined directly by their ability to sell a patient more services. Ever wonder why some people have so much filler in their face?
Too often, I am asked to help someone who was treated in a med spa, who had a problem, and the med spa did not know how to treat the complication.
If you are thinking of going to a med spa for filler, ask these questions first:
1. Do you have hyaluronidase in the office? What is its expiration date? How many bottles?
Correct answers: Yes, always. Not expired. At least 8 bottles.
2. Did you know there have been cases of blindness caused by filler?
If they say no, or act surprised, then they don't know much. They should be able to quickly list the danger zones for filler injection. Micro-cannulas have given med spa injectors/specialists a false sense of security. Cannulas CAN result in blood vessel occlusion, just like needles can. Cannulas do not make the procedure safer. Cannulas have much more swelling and tenderness after the procedure than needles do. I've got 25 years of experience, and I know what I'm talking about.
3. What parts of the face are the highest risk areas for causing blindness or stroke?
The answer is forehead, glabella (between brows) the nose.
4. Can you recognize and treat an infection? Med spas have a lot of trouble with this one. Yes, as a dermatology office, we can recognize (and know how to prevent) infections from cosmetic procedures.