The New York Times, Letters to the Editor

Surgery at the Spa

To the Editor:

Re “Surgery at a Spa? Buyer Beware” (Thursday Styles, Nov. 5), about invasive procedures performed at spas:

It sheds light on a growing public health issue: who should be allowed to perform certain cosmetic procedures at unaccredited facilities.

The public sees “M.D.” after a name and assumes the doctor has the training and qualifications to perform all procedures, surgical and nonsurgical.

But how can a doctor take a weekend course in liposuction, for example, and be qualified?

Unfortunately, nonsurgically trained doctors are finding weekend courses to learn complicated cosmetic procedures. That’s the equivalent of the car-detailing guy reading a pamphlet to fix your brakes.

Our organizations call on the New York State Legislature and other state bodies to follow countries like France and Germany that stringently regulate who can perform plastic surgery and other invasive “cosmetic” procedures.

Foad Nahai, M.D.

Renato Saltz, M.D.

Dr. Nahai is president of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Dr. Saltz is president of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

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