(NBC, October 16, 2013 http://www.nbcnews.com/health/laser-sur ... 8C11406916
A study conducted by the University of California studied medical claims for botched laser surgeries between 1992 and 2012. Researchers found that of 175 legal cases related to botched cosmetic laser surgery, 75 of the cases were due to the operations being performed by someone other than a doctor. Between 2008 and 2011, the instances of a nurse, intern, medical assistant, or technician operating the laser more than doubled. In 2012, the percentage of suits against non-doctors was 78 percent. In 2008, the percentage was 36 percent. The most commonly-problematic surgeries were laser hair removal, rejuvenation (which targets the face with pulses of laser light), and leg vein treatments. Most of the cases were against medical spas offering the procedure.
Risks Of Cosmetic Laser Surgery
Laser surgery may seem like a risk free procedure, but individuals without proper training can cause serious injuries and irreparable damage to patients. According to Dr. Murad Alam from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, even minor procedures like laser hair removal are not without risks. Common injuries include eye injuries, burns, and scaring. Less-likely injuries can include hypopigmentation (permanently lightened skin) and burns too deep for the body to heal effectively.
Current Laws For Cosmetic Laser Surgery.
There are unclear regulations on cosmetic laser surgery across the nation. The state of Maine only allows doctors to operate lasers. However, Nevada and many other states require no medical certification at all to operate the laser. Some certification programs may only last one or two days, according to the FDA. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association has stated that when laser procedures are done by anyone other than a doctor or other health professional, that “the supervising physician shall be physically present on-site, immediately available, and able to respond promptly to any question or problem that may occur while the procedure is being performed.”