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Popularity of medical spas raises regulatory and health concerns

The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 8, 2012

Over the last decade or so, thousands of "medical spas" have popped up around the country, enticing consumers with a name that suggests a surgeon's skill mixed with the pleasure of a massage. Few states license or inspect them, and they rarely seek accreditation. Any place can call itself a medical spa. Anybody can operate one. "There is a bit of a Wild West out there," said Leo McCafferty, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Pittsburgh who is president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Though providing a facial or chemical peel is fine, he said, for a more invasive procedure like liposuction, "I think the risks would increase exponentially if you are getting it in a place that is not following the tried-and-true guidelines that have been put in place for safe surgery."