What Is a Medical Spa?

What is a medical spa, also known as a med spa, medi spa or medspa?

A medical spa is a combination of day spa type services provided in a medical setting under the supervision of a doctor who specializes in medical aesthetics, usually a plastic surgeon. The difference between a medical spa and a day spa is that because a doctor supervises medical spa treatments, more effective, complex, medical aesthetic procedures such as lasers, IPL, injectable dermal fillers and Botox can be used.

Is a doctor present at your medical spa?

For your safety and to get the most effective medical aesthetic treatments at a medical spa, you should be certain that the doctor who is supervising the med spa is present or readily available for supervision of your treatment.

A Word of Caution about Medspas

Unfortunately there are few national or state standards for medical spas. Not all medical spas have a doctor present or readily available. In some cases the supervising doctor is in a different town but has signed on as the supervising physician. The medical board of California published the following:

“Medical spas are marketing vehicles for medical procedures. If they are offering medical procedures, the must be owned by physicians. The use of the term medical spas is for advertising purposes to make the procedure seem more appealing. In reality, however, it is the practice of medicine.”

If you are seeking treatment at a medical spa questions you should ask are:

  • Who will perform the procedure? If a doctor, is he/she board certified in Plastic Surgery? If an aesthetician is she/he trained in medical aesthetics.
  • Understand the risks involved in the procedure. You should be given an informed consent for any medical procedure.
  • Scrutinize the medical spa facility. It should be clean, professional and a medical environment.
  • If you have complications or problems who will take care of you? Qualified physicians are credentialed and privileged at hospitals and you should ask about the credentialing of the doctor who will treat you for any problems.
  • Do not shop price at medical spas. Low prices, bargains and steep discounts offered for medical spa services usually indicate that you are not getting what you pay for. Cheap laser treatments, photo facial, skin peels, and other medical aesthetic procedures that are truly effective are costly for the doctor and if the price seems too good to be true it probably is.

What is Medical Esthetics or Medical Aesthetics?

Medical aesthetics is a medical subspecialty which provides advanced nonsurgical medical treatments for cosmetic, anti-aging or beauty enhancement of the face and body. Medical aesthetics includes the use of prescription topical anti-aging skin creams, injectable treatments such as Botox®, Dysport®, dermal facial fillers, lasers, IPL or photo rejuvenation treatments, nonsurgical skin tightening, fat removal, cellulite removal and stretch mark removal. Medical aesthetics is most commonly practiced by a board certified plastic surgeon.

What is a Medical Esthetician or Aesthetician?

A medical esthetician is a skin care professional who provides specialized medical skin care treatments under the supervision of a physician usually a plastic surgeon. Medical aestheticians provide advanced medical skin rejuvenation, anti-aging and cosmetic enhancement techniques for patients. Medical Estheticians also work with patients to help them get ready for and recover from plastic surgery procedures both cosmetic and reconstructive. Medical estheticians in Massachusetts must pass an esthetics licensing examination after a 300 hour training program at an esthetics school approved by the Massachusetts State Board of Registration in Cosmetology. Following formal esthetics training candidates who wish to become medical estheticians must do further training under the supervision of a physician practicing medical esthetics usually a plastic surgeon. In addition 600 and 1200 hour medical esthetics training programs are available at some selected estheticians schools.

Schedule a Consultation Today

Boston Plastic Surgery Specialists is a renowned plastic surgery practice and medical spa, led by board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Brooke Seckel. Dr. Seckel offers a wide range of safe, effective medical spa treatments to help his patients look and feel rejuvenated and youthful. If you would like to learn more about the medical spa treatments available, contact Dr. Seckel today at 617-455-2859.


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