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Many “Medical” Spas Lack Proper Oversight.

Friday, August 29th, 2014


The Hampton Roads (VA) Virginian-Pilot (8/29, Simpson) reports on the growing trend of spas “tacking the word ‘medical’” onto their business’s name and “pitching invasive services,” often without “proper doctor oversight.” The paper writes that the trend is a result of a few factors, including “aging baby boomers, people looking for a cheaper alternative to plastic surgery and elective enhancements, and doctors looking for a way to replace shrinking insurance reimbursements.” Cases have begun to pop up, the latest of which occurring in Virginia when a Norfolk physician “received a state reprimand and a $5,000 fine” form the Virginia Board Of Medicine “for letting an unlicensed person use his prescription information to obtain medication for erectile dysfunction at a local medical spa.”

Other spas pay a non qualified off site physician to write prescriptions for other prescriptive medications including skin care products and then sell these without physician supervision. The Obagi Nu-Derm system is an excellent example as this system definitely requires oversight. Other spas are using lasers and other semi invasive machines without physician oversight. These too require oversight and the state of North Carolina where we are also requires this oversight. 

The Center for Plastic Surgery and Medi-Spa has been operating with more than the required oversight for over 14 years. All prescriptive skin care, such as Obagi, is personally supervised by Dr. Buchanan who also carefully oversees or personally does all invasive procedures, including lasers, IPL’s and major peels.