How to Stay Off “Botched!” (Part 1)

Avoid the Discount Medspas

You’ve seen the horror stories on entertainment news shows, celebrity gossip sites and even from widely circulated news agencies. Patients ranging from full-time parents to A-list celebrities are photographed with frozen faces, over puffed lips, and burned skin after receiving an aesthetic medical procedure such as Botox, liposuction, and laser treatments. Some even fall ill, and a few of them have even died. But what’s really to blame? Is it the treatments themselves, or is it the providers who perform them in discount medspas?

In this article, we seek to educate you on how to achieve the look you’ve always wanted while protecting yourself from the kind of botched results we have all seen too frequently. Get the facts and know before you go with these tips.

Cosmetic Treatments are Still Medical Procedures

After botched facial treatments at discount medspas, many patients feel like they have to hide.

Botox and other cosmetic procedures are so common these days that people often forget these are medical procedures with very real risks involved. This becomes especially pertinent when cosmetic enhancements are performed by providers who don’t have adequate and specialized training, education and experience. Droopy brows, sagging cheeks, over-puffed lips, and faces that look frozen and unnatural are all consequences of procedures gone wrong. The culprits behind botched work are often discount medspas.

Why People Go to Discount Medspas

While it can be tempting to book appointments in discount medspas after seeing their offers on Groupon, surgical and even non-surgical cosmetic enhancements are no time to start clipping the proverbial coupons. Deep discounts are fabulous when it comes to eating out, buying clothes or even for your typical facial with an aesthetician, but not for medical treatments. If you want a successful procedure with optimal results, discount medspas typically aren’t the place you should go. After all, if they are good at what they do, why do they need to advertise deep discounts to get patients?

The Risks of Going to Discount Medspas

Lack of Education, Training, Experience and Oversight

State regulations vary, but in most states, medical spa providers don’t have the education, training, experience and physician oversight necessary to provide the best results with the highest level of patient health and safety in mind. Some problems noted in medical spas across the country include:

  1. Lack of Physician Oversight: Medical spas are generally not required to have a licensed physician on-site at all times. This means that your providers, which could be physician assistants and nurses,aren’t supervised and managed by licensed physicians. In some states, this could even be aestheticians with no medical training or licensing what-so-ever.
  2. Physicians Don’t Specialize in Cosmetic Treatments: When you see a dermatologic surgeon, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon, you know that they specialize in that area of medicine and surgery. With medical spas, however, this isn’t the case. Medical spas are often physician owned, but those physicians are rarely board-certified dermatologic surgeons, dermatologists or plastic surgeons. Instead, they are general practitioners, general surgeons, gynecologists and even dentists. In order to provide you with treatments like injectables and cosmetic surgery, they receive training from other aesthetic physicians and nurses. In some cases, this is during a weekend seminar or even online video training. Is that who you want performing your cosmetic treatments?
  3. Non-Physician Providers: In a medical spa, physicians often employ support staff who perform primary treatments. This includes nurses, physician assistants, and medical assistants who perform injectables and laser treatments. In some states, they can even employ aestheticians with no medical training to be injection specialists. Treatments performed by such providers have an increased risk of giving patients poor results and side effects.

Health Hazards of Discount Medspas

Aside from the risk of poor results or even mild, temporary side effects, going to discount medspas can be a health hazard for many patients who would have seen excellent results with far fewer risks of side effects if they had seen a true cosmetic expert, such as a board-certified dermatologic surgeon.

Think of it this way: If you need an allergy test, you see an allergist. But you won’t see the allergist when you need heart surgery. And you definitely wouldn’t look for either specialist on a discount website! The same holds true with cosmetic procedures. While a small cosmetic injection or laser skin treatment may not seem like much, patients who have seen providers who aren’t adequately trained and don’t specialize have found themselves with frozen faces and serious burns. When these same providers are performing liposuction surgery, the results have been even more disastrous.

Cosmetic Surgery on a Dime

Part of the reason discount aesthetic surgery and treatments have become so popular is there are very few people who don’t like a great deal. Many medical spas draw in customers through marketplaces like LivingSocial or Groupon. Hey, it can be hard to turn down a 50 percent discount on your Botox injections or cosmetic surgery! Though it’s perfectly fine to take a deal on something like a facial or a massage, it’s never a good idea to look at deals when it comes to actual surgery. Yes, injectables like Botox and dermal fillers count as surgery, as well as laser treatments and liposuction.

Counterfeit botulinum toxin has injured hundreds of patients who went to discount medspas.

It’s definitely worth questioning how the medspa can offer such deep discounts. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Are they saving money by using inferior products, diluted product or even counterfeits?
  • Do they not have to pay their staff very much because the workers providing treatments don’t have specialized training or certification?
  • Is the equipment being used out of date and/or unsafe for patients?

Running a quality dermatologic surgery center that has the technology, tools, and appropriate staff and physicians to give treatments in the correct manner isn’t cheap. Those deeply discounted procedures advertised on coupon sites come with a huge chance of being sub par. To avoid a botched job, you should avoid cheap cosmetic treatments and surgery.

Risks of Botched Procedures

There are many things that can go wrong when someone who isn’t an experienced professional performs cosmetic enhancements. In the wrong hands, the following treatments, which are usually safe in the hands of a board-certified dermatologic surgeon, can have disastrous results.

  1. Injectables can cause facial paralysis, lumpy skin, droopy eyelids, and bruising and swelling that lasts much longer than normal. You also have an increased risk of allergic reaction that could have been avoided if a licensed medical professional took the proper health history. Laser treatments gone wrong can leave you with scarred or burned skin. In the most severe cases, your skin can even be permanently damaged.
  2. Laser hair removal, something many think is extremely safe, can also go wrong when not performed by a board-certified dermatologic surgeon. The problems behind excessive amounts of body hair often must be diagnosed by a physician and cannot be detected or diagnosed by a nurse, laser tech or aesthetician. For instance, if off-balance hormones are the reason for your hair issue, then repeated laser treatments will do more harm than good. Unless you’re working with a dermatologic surgeon, you won’t find out the reason as to why the treatments aren’t working.
  3. Laser skin resurfacing is often a highly talked about treatment that goes terribly wrong in the hands of the wrong provider. Even so called certified laser technicians may not have had enough training on the proper application of laser skin treatments. Seeing a board-certified dermatologic surgeon ensures that your provider has the highest level of experience and training, minimizing the risk of serious burns.
  4. Non-surgical body contouring seems like a simple and harmless process, but some physicians hire medical assistants to perform these treatments. However, unless your provider is also a dermatologic surgeon who has the education, training and licensing to perform a surgical liposuction, they shouldn’t be performing a non-surgical liposuction alternative. There are many stories of uneven and even excessive fat reduction with non-surgical technologies, leaving patients seeking reconstructive assistance from a dermatologic surgeon for more extensive (and expensive) correction. Such corrections aren’t always possible.

Avoid Day Spas and Salons

The place where you get your mani-pedis, massages and a brand new hairstyle is not a place where you want to have aesthetic injectables, laser treatments or other non-surgical or surgical cosmetic enhancements. It’s illegal for day spas and salons to provide injectables and other aesthetic surgery, but many skirt the law and put the public in danger. If you come across a salon providing illegal treatments, alert your state’s medical board so they can take the appropriate action. It’s definitely best to avoid treatments or services of any kind from an establishment that offers illegal cosmetic surgery.

Choose a Board-Certified Dermatologic Surgeon

Unlike family practice physicians, dentists, gynecologists and general surgeons, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon has received the necessary education and specialty training to perform skin surgery, laser skin treatments, injectable procedures and aesthetic surgeries, like liposuction. A board-certified dermatologic surgeon is a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), a group of subspecialty surgeons who have pioneered many of the treatments in use today. They are lecturers, educators and have conducted clinical trials on treatments for cosmetic and general dermatology. Finally, many provide skin cancer diagnosis and treatment, making them some of the highest quality experts in the field of aesthetic medicine.

Trust Your Skin to Experts

The Laser and Skin Surgery Center of Indiana is a specialty outpatient facility that’s equipped to provide cutting-edge cosmetic enhancements, aesthetic treatments, general dermatology and skin cancer treatment. Our team of skilled experts is led by Dr. C. William Hanke, a top dermatologic surgeon and founder of the LASSI.If you’re in Indianapolis or the surrounding area, contact our team today for a consultation.