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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

BOTOX - Coming to a Mall near you.

(courtesy nytimes)
Thanks in part to television shows like “Extreme Makeover” and “Nip/Tuck,” the number of Americans seeking chemical peels, laser procedures, Botox shots and wrinkle-filler injections is soaring. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, such “noninvasive” treatments have increased more than 700 percent since 1997. Botox received Food and Drug Administration approval in 2002.
The stampede of doctors and entrepreneurs rushing to fill that demand has left some doctors and plastic-surgery trade groups wondering about the expertise of some of the people providing these services. For many Americans, price and convenience come first, with few questions about the experience and qualifications of the person injecting the treatments.

For its part, Sleek MedSpa says some of its outlets have on-site physicians while others have doctors as medical directors off-site, and nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants who handle day-to-day treatments. If there were an emergency a nurse couldn’t handle, the nurse would call 911, Mr. Rudnick said. He added that no such emergency had ever arisen.

Kim Wanderley, 39, a stay-at-home mom from Parkland, Fla., said she thought it was “great” when she spotted a Sleek MedSpa at the Town Center mall in Boca Raton in 2006. “If it had been in Ohio, people might have blinked twice, but this is South Florida,” where vanity rules, she said. “People do not take aging lightly, without a fight, here.”

While Sleek MedSpas lack the feng-shui ambience of a traditional beauty spa, they don’t exude the sterile atmosphere of a doctor’s office, either. The spa in Boca Raton is contemporary and sophisticated, Mrs. Wanderley said, with videos of cosmetic procedures streaming across a flat screen, skin-care products lining another wall and before-and-after picture brochures scattered around the waiting room.
And it’s convenient. “I can be in and out in a half-hour,” she said, and “it gives me an excuse to go to the mall afterward to do a little shopping.” If a procedure causes redness or bruising, the spa offers a convenient back-door exit to the parking lot.

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