As the cosmetic surgery industry continues to thrive there is no shortage of unqualified physicians looking to cash in on the increasing popularity. As new “medical spas” pop up in communities across the nation it is more important than ever to research the location that is providing care to you or your loved ones.
While there is nothing wrong with Medical Spas themselves (many are run by expert plastic surgeons, like the one offered by Dr. Mark Jewell) the ease of setting them up and lack of supervision can make relatively safe procedures potentially dangerous situations for patients. Many of these would-be “medical spas” don’t bother with facility accreditation or physician credentialing and call themselves such, despite the fact that they do not have the professional personnel to properly perform the cosmetic procedures they are offering. The medical spa world has become a bit of a free-for-all. It is literally, “The Wild West and the Sherriff is not in town” when it comes to regulatory oversight.
Many medical spas are offering everything from facial peels and Botox injections to more invasive medical procedures such as liposuction that require a steady handed surgeon. Without qualifications of staff, sanitation standards, and expert medical knowledge, procedures such as liposuction can be deadly.
Recently in Timonium, MD one woman died and two more were hospitalized after having liposuction performed at Monarch Med Spa. The site was quickly shut down due to their low standards for infection control. While situations like this are tragic, they are becoming more and more common. In Miami, FL reports related to unlicensed medical spas are so high the police department has created a special unit just to investigate these cases.
Fortunately there are some simple easy ways to ensure that the location you are going to have a cosmetic procedure done at is legitimate and safe.
- CHECK CREDENTIALS: The simplest way to ensure safety as well as the best results is to see if the supervising doctor is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). This is the elite board-certification for plastic surgeons. A doctor who has met the rigorous demands of the ABPS has proven him or herself to the top surgeons in the country. Not only will they have the skill necessary to provide excellent results, but they operate in the safest, cleanest locations in the industry.
Other important credentials to research are the accreditation of the facility and to inquire if the physician has credentials to perform the procedure in an acute care hospital. Facility accreditation by AAAASF, AAHC, or The Joint Commission is the gold standard for facilities. Equally important is that a hospital credentialing body has reviewed qualifications to perform specific surgical procedures. The combination of facility accreditation and credentialing offers patients the best expectation for safety and quality.
Dr. Mark Jewell’s Surgery center was re-credentialed in October 2012 by AAAASF, a national accrediting agency.
Dr. Mark Jewell is a world leader in the patient safety movement. He has authored numerous books and peer-reviewed scientific articles on patient safety and process engineering. He has taught patient safety courses at national plastic surgery meetings.
- CHECK THE INTERNET: Although putting a search in online such as “trouble with so-and-so” will bring back a variety of results, the best strategy is to check with the state medical licensing board’s web site regarding disciplinary actions and malpractice settlements (listed in Oregon.)
- TAKE NOTE OF THE LOCATION: When you go into to investigate a location make sure you take note of the cleanliness of the location. Many procedures such as liposuction are performed in less than sanitary venues such as treatment rooms, when a surgical operating room, like located in Dr. Jewell’s facility has a higher degree of sanitation.
- ASK ABOUT HOSPITAL AFFILIATIONS: Every cosmetic procedure comes with a certain amount of risk so ask the medical spa what their hospital and medical affiliations are. Any location should have a plan in place in the event of complications. If a location does not have one, steer clear.
- DON’T BE SWAYED BY LOW PRICE PITCHES: A common tactic for unqualified cosmetic surgery providers is to offer price discounts, financing, or incentives to schedule surgery with them. While patients are price-conscious, make certain that what you are buying is safe and that the doctor is not cutting corners to skimp on quality or your safety.
Medical spas can be an excellent choice for a cosmetic procedure when done right. Dr. Mark Jewell’s is an excellent example of a medical spa done right. Dr. Jewell is a board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience to his credit. Not only does he have an expert eye when it comes to body aesthetics, but he keeps current with all of the up-to-date techniques and practices in the cosmetic surgery world. When a person chooses to have a cosmetic procedure at such a reputable medical spa, they can rest assured that they are in good hands.
By following the tips above in researching your options before making the decision to move forward, a person can ensure not only great results but their personal safety as well.