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Med Spas Without Medical Pros

By | Cosmetic Injury, Cosmetic Procedure Injury, Personal Injury | No Comments

I want to address a very disturbing trend that I am seeing emerge in the medical spa world.  Patients are being treated by unqualified office staff at medical spas, with no supervision by any medical professionals.

In my Cosmetic Procedure Injury practice, I have talked to a number of clients that report the same situation. They go to a medical spa for a cosmetic procedure, which they fully except to be performed by a medical professional such as a Physician, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant but they never actually meet with anyone other than non-medical staff members, who consult with the patients, perform the procedure, and even deal with post-procedure complications. The patient never knows that the person with whom they are dealing is not a medical professional. The office staff wear scrubs and speak authoritatively about the medical procedures. It is not until the patient gets injured and seeks the advice of an experienced attorney that they find out that the person performing the procedure is not licensed to do so.

To protect yourself, you should always check whether the person performing your cosmetic procedure has a Florida medical license with the Board of Medicine or any kind of license with the Department of Business & Professional Regulation.

In Florida, even electrologists who are licensed to work with lasers, to remove unwanted hair, are required to be under the direct supervision of a physician and the physician is required to personally meet with the patient for at least the initial consultation. It is logical that whenever someone is using a medical device to administer a procedure on a patient, they must either have a medical education or be under the close supervision of someone who does.

Unfortunately, as more medical products are becoming available for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, and cosmetic procedures outside of a plastic surgeon’s office are becoming more popular, physicians are feeling more comfortable delegating the task of administering these procedures to their non-medical staff. Physicians are driven by the money they save on lower-cost staff, which are much cheaper to employ than qualified medical professionals. Many medical spas are owned and managed by non-medical entrepreneurs that do not understand the need for a well-supervised practice, led by a hands-on medical professional.

Many times in my practice, I have seen a single physician “supervise” multiple medical spas around town, where the physician’s sole job is to sign charts without ever seeing a single patient. These absentee supervising physicians are completely oblivious to what is going on in the clinics that they “supervise” and do not know whether the employees performing the medical procedures are following protocol, properly administering the procedures, and adequately advising the patients of their risks.

In our practice, we have seen injuries that have resulted from a variety of cosmetic procedures including, CoolSculpting, lasers, chemical peels, injections of Botox and injections of fillers, just to name a few.

Treating patients without an appropriate license is not only dangerous, it is illegal. If you have been injured after undergoing a cosmetic procedure in a medical spa, call us today to discuss your case with our experienced attorney at 855-554-6534.

Medical Device Injury – Inherent Conflict of Interest

By | Cosmetic Injury, Personal Injury | No Comments

With the demand to stay looking young through minimally invasive cosmetic procedures medical spas (or med spas) are a great alternative to a plastic surgeon. These establishments may provide both medical and non-medical treatments to their clients and can be very lucrative to own. Med spas are expected to provide the most innovative technology to their patients and may offer services such as non-invasive fat reduction, laser hair removal, dermabrasion, laser tattoo removal, and even vaginal rejuvenation. Most of these types of cosmetic procedures are performed with medical devices. As a result, medical device manufacturers pursue med spas to sell their machines and systems to them, promising a huge return on their investment.

Yet, the purchase of a medical device comes with an inherent risk of conflict of interest. First and foremost the owner of the med spa may not necessary be a licensed medical professional. In our experience of representing clients who have been injured while undergoing a cosmetic procedure, most of the clinics were owned by businessmen and women, not licensed doctors, nurse practitioners or physician assistants. This creates a big problem in how the medical services which they provide to their patients are viewed. Business people view the sale of services as money making opportunities. In the case of med spas they just happen to be selling medical services. Therefore, any risk of adverse effects of a cosmetic procedure may be downplayed or simply not disclosed to the patients to ensure that the patient buys the services.

Secondly, regardless of who owns the med spa, medical devices are an expensive investment, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Med spas are pressured to sell enough services to get a return on their investment.  Therefore, any information regarding the risk of a procedure could discourage a patient from undergoing it, thereby leaving the med spa an unable to cover the cost of the device and profit therefrom.

We have represented clients who were  pressured into undergoing a cosmetic procedure after going into a med spa for a simple consultation. The staff selling these medical services are usually not medical professionals but trained sales people. They are trained to highlight and focus on the potential benefits of the procedure and downplay the procedure’s risks of injury.

Unfortunately, in some cases, the risk of suffering a permanent and serious injury is not worth the relatively small potential benefits of the cosmetic procedures.  But only the medical professionals administering these procedures know the truth.

If you have been injured as the result of undergoing a cosmetic procedure with a medical device such as Scarlet SRF, MAGMA, FormaTK, Agnes RF, NeoGen PSR, Viveve, ADVATx, vFit PLUS, CoolSculpting, you may be entitled to compensation for your injury. Call our attorney today at 407-622-1885 to discuss your case for free.

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