I've been talking with some friends at a realself.com, where you can post before and after photos of your nose job or Botox or whatever, including who did it, how satisfied you are, and how much it cost.
The folks there think the doctor's office is a safer choice. "A medical spa has been established purely as a business with the goal of making money, as is the case with any spa," says Tom Seery, CEO of RealSelf.com. "While this isnít necessarily a bad thing, it does make doing your research and asking the right questions even more important than when you visit a doctorís office, although doing so at both is critical."
I think that you have to be careful no matter where you get a procedure done -- and here's what you should ask. But even when it sounds good, you have to do your own research and dig a little deeper.
Here's why. A plastic surgeon who owns a medical spa (supposedly a good sign) once advised that I get microdermabrasion to get rid of brown spots. It didn't work - and isn't supposed to for brown spots. But he had credibility with me BECAUSE he was a doctor.
He also gave me Botox injections personally (supposedly a good sign) in a room that had a dirty wax pot. Ugh. And he upsold me on some injections that I didn't need. This doctor was definitely out to make money. And even though it sounded good -- the doctor owns the medical spa and does procedures himself -- it WASN'T good.
Another time, I got filler at a day spa. The doctor didn't own the place, but she did a fabulous job. The room was impeccably clean, and it was a much more satisfying experience.
So buyer beware, and realself.com is an interesting resource for you as you figure out what procedures you want -- if any. Maybe you'll look at those boob job photos and think, like I did, that the "before" shots looked better!