Summary: The Aesthetic Society is reaffirming its commitment to patient safety and supports stricter aesthetic surgery regulations globally, spurred by concerns over the lack of oversight highlighted in a recent Los Angeles Times article, echoing calls for improved regulations nationwide and emphasizing the dangers of unqualified practitioners in office-based settings.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The Aesthetic Society underscores the importance of education and training in ensuring patient safety in aesthetic medicine.
  2. The absence of standardized regulations in office-based aesthetic procedures underscores the urgent need for stricter oversight.
  3. The disparity between the oversight of office-based clinics and hospitals/ambulatory surgery centers highlights potential risks to patient safety.
  4. Advocates emphasize the critical role of accredited residency training in mitigating risks associated with cosmetic surgery.


In response to the recent statement issued by the California Society of Plastic Surgeons (CSPS) regarding the urgent need for improved regulation of outpatient aesthetic surgical services, The Aesthetic Society is reaffirming its commitment to patient safety. It supports the call for stricter rules in California, the United States, and globally.

This renewed call to action follows a recent Los Angeles Times article titled “She Died After Liposuction by a Pediatrician. Doctors Warn of Cosmetic Surgery’s ‘Wild West.’” The article sheds light on the concerning absence of regulation for physicians conducting outpatient aesthetic surgeries in California.

Office-Based Aesthetic Procedure Risks

Unfortunately, this is not a problem isolated to any one state, according to The Aesthetic Society. Currently, state regulators across the United States give doctors broad discretion. In California and many other states, licensed physicians can practice in any medical area, and investigations are often only triggered by complaints or deaths. 

Providers doing aesthetic procedures in their offices can skip the rigorous evaluation needed for hospital admitting privileges, according to officials from The Aesthetic Society. While not all office-based surgery is risky, it’s safe when done by trained doctors in accredited facilities, they add. But surgery, including cosmetic procedures, is risky if performed by unqualified practitioners. Hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers enforce standards for doctor privileges, but office-based clinics lack this oversight, according to The Aesthetic Society.

Global Drive for Surgical Safety

Melinda Haws, MD, president of The Aesthetic Society, emphasizes the importance of patient safety and the need for stringent regulations in aesthetic medicine. “Patient safety is our utmost priority, and our goal is education,” says Haws. “We fully support the efforts of the California Society of Plastic Surgeons in advocating for regulations that ensure doctors do not practice outside the scope of their training and education.”

To quote Amanda Gosman, MD, president of the California Society of Plastic Surgeons: “Patients are dying because they are undergoing risky procedures by physicians who lack accredited residency training in surgery, specifically cosmetic surgery. We stand with CSPS, and we must do all we can to protect patients. We advocate for similar regulations across the entire U.S. and are working with our international partners to achieve such safety regulations globally.”