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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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Should Medical Spas Perform Invasive Procedures?

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According to the International Spa Association, there are 1,800 medical spas in the United States. Medical spas offer a more “relaxed” atmosphere than doctors’ offices, but still provide medical treatments like laser hair removal and liposuction alongside the traditional spa services such as massages. In recent years the industry has experienced a boom: from July 2007 to December 2008, the number of medical spas increased by 85%. However, the recent death of Rohie Kah-Orukotan, a 37-year-old nurse who had a liposuction procedure performed, is raising concerns over the safety of medical spas.

In fact, there is proposed legislation that would require owners of medical spas to have certain credentials. Furthermore, the proposed legislation would also dictate which procedures can be performed in medical spas, as well as setting a minimum level of training for someone to perform particular procedures on medical spa patrons. The proposed legislation is now travelling through several state medical boards in Massachusetts, New York, Florida, and Utah.

The issue of most concern for many “traditional” plastic surgeons is the lack of training or experience of some employees at medical spas. For example, according to Dr. Darrick Antell, a plastic surgeon in Manhattan, an employee of a medical spa may start out performing one procedure and move to another more difficult procedure without much experience. Indeed, lack of experience with certain medical procedures has resulted in serious consequences for some medical spa clients, such as Kah-Orukaton. However, more minor consequences can also result, such as second-or third-degree burns from improperly conducted laser hair removal procedures. Overall, the proposed legislation does not want to sway consumers from getting these procedures done. Rather, they simply want to ensure that the procedures are performed safely and by someone with the correct training.

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  1. Elsy says:
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    Hi Mr. Mittleman:

    On your recent article you state: “In fact, there is proposed legislation that would require owners of medical spas to have certain credentials. Furthermore, the proposed legislation would also dictate which procedures can be performed in medical spas, as well as setting a minimum level of training for someone to perform particular procedures on medical spa patrons. The proposed legislation is now travelling through several state medical boards in Massachusetts, New York, Florida, and Utah.”

    Could you kindly provide URLs or names of the proposed laws in the state of Florida more specifically?

    I tried emailing you from this site, but the site returned an error message. Many thanks in advance

    Elsy Coronado