Gallaher Plastic Surgery & Spa MD

Choosing a Medical Spa You Can Trust

Story by Dr. Tom Gallaher  |  Photography by Nathan Sparks

Recently, a patient came in to Gallaher Plastic Surgery & Spa MD who had previously gone to a different local medical spa to take advantage of an injectable filler special. Several days after the treatment, the patient noticed a significant and alarming amount of swelling. After days of call attempts and in-person drop ins in hopes that the injector who placed the filler would see her for a post treatment follow up, the patient was refused service. To this day, she’s never heard back from that medical spa.

The patient eventually made an appointment with us here at Gallaher Plastic Surgery & Spa MD. After an evaluation by Donna, our nurse practitioner, it was determined that the patient had an infection in the area where the filler had been placed. We went right to work to treat our new patient. Had she continued the wait, the situation could have been a lot worse.

Dr. Tom Gallaher, MD

Finding the right medical spa isn’t an easy task anymore. There are numerous spas to choose from, all with varying levels of experience within them. But there are some tried and true methods to selecting one that you can trust and count on.

First and foremost, check a medical spa’s credentials. Medical spas in Tennessee require a medical director—always a physician. In addition, the spa must be registered with the state’s health professional boards. The Medical Spa Registry is listed on the state’s health department website. It’s a great place to start.

When it comes to who performs medical care at the spa, such as injection of neurotoxins or fillers, as well as the use of lasers and other invasive aesthetic procedures, you’ll want to make sure that the physician supervising the spa actually participates in the care delivered there—and performs the procedures they supervise. There are only two recognized medical board specialties that have core training in these aesthetic procedures as part of their residency training programs—dermatology and plastic surgery.

There are indeed physicians who have dedicated a great deal of effort into learning aesthetic medicine and surgery that are not dermatologists or plastic surgeons, and while some of these providers may be capable enough, their level of training and involvement in the spa can surely vary. Keep that in mind. Your best assurance that quality care is being delivered in a proper fashion at a medical spa is to make sure that the medical director is a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist and active in the practice.

Once you have determined that the spa is registered and who the medical director is, you will want to ensure you research the spectrum of services offered. A spa with a narrow scope of service is likely not to have all of the options available to treat your particular concern. Medical spas associated with plastic surgery practices tend to have the largest scope of services including referral to the surgeon. 

In addition, learning more about a spa’s overall interest in serving you post-visit is vital. You’ll want to ensure there are follow-up appointments, check-ins, and that you maintain a relationship with any place that is tasked with providing you care.

As our patient found out earlier this year, taking the time to do your research can make all the difference. You deserve to be treated well as a patient, and the medical spa you choose should see to that. 

At Gallaher Plastic Surgery & Spa MD, we are a partner in your care and want you to feel confident in your decision to work with us. We don’t want to simply provide bandaids for the challenges you face. Rather, we want to understand your goals and challenges and offer comprehensive evaluations and solutions to support those. And we do all of this with the intention of delivering you the highest quality care we can provide.

GOLD: Plastic Surgeon
SILVER: Facial
BRONZE: Hair Removal – Laser & Wax

5508 Kingston Pike – Suite 110, Knoxville

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