Spas Meet Surgery, Results Not Always Pretty

Hybrid medical spas face increasing scrutiny after death
By Jen Paton,  Newser User
Posted Nov 5, 2009 10:41 AM CST
Mixing pedicures and liposuction may not be a brilliant move.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Medical spas offering pedicures alongside plastic surgery are gathering steam, their numbers swelling 85% from mid-2007 to the end of last year—and coming under scrutiny. The death of a Florida woman undergoing liposuction at one of the nation's 1,800 such spas has added fire to proposed legislation in several states that would regulate what procedures a spa can perform, and, critically, the training required to do so, the New York Times reports.

According to her attorney, the woman suffered seizures after taking propofol, a sedative believed to have contributed to Michael Jackson's death. Questions arose about her doctor's training for liposuction: A three-day course. This is not uncommon, admits a plastic surgeon: “Someone may start out doing laser hair removal, and next thing you know they’re doing treatments for cellulite.” Buyer beware: “Just because someone is in a white coat, it doesn’t mean he or she is qualified to perform a procedure on you,” says the head of a spa association. (Read more medical spas stories.)