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Medical Aesthetician Services in Cosmetic Surgery Practices

David Fuller

Last Updated On: March 27, 2024

We often relate medical aesthetician services with simple skin care procedures. However, these services can play a major part in any surgical practice. Since facial rejuvenation treatments, both surgical and non-surgical, are highly sought after, medical aestheticians have become an integral part of any cosmetic or plastic surgical practice, medical spa, dermatology clinic, specialty clinic, etc. For example, if you’re performing an eyelid lift on a patient, an aesthetician can be responsible for administering BOTOX® after blepharoplasty, thus improving the rejuvenation of the eye area and enhancing the effectiveness of your surgical work. 

That is why medical aestheticians and other doctors could benefit from working together in the field of cosmetic surgery, especially now that the number of cosmetic medical procedures has increased dramatically over the past decade. Aestheticians offer immense support in pre- and post-operative treatments, accelerating healing, increasing patient comfort, and improving the patient’s overall appearance. In this article, we will explore how medical aestheticians can be a valuable asset in every surgical practice.

Key Takeaways

  • Medical aesthetician performs non-invasive cosmetic procedures and provides support to the professional medical team in a medical setting.
  • Medical aesthetic services have become highly sought after in many medical settings. Those include a cosmetic or plastic surgery practice, medical spa, dermatology clinic, or specialty clinic.
  • The term aesthetician applies to a medical professional who performs non-invasive medical skin procedures, while an esthetician focuses on cosmetic and cleaning procedures.
  • Aestheticians can get certified to administer BOTOX®. Without certification, they can assist doctors in administering the treatment.

What Does a Medical Aesthetician Do?

Simply put, a medical aesthetician performs non-invasive cosmetic procedures and supports the professional medical team in a medical setting. In such settings, medical aestheticians can:

  • Advise patients on skin care before treatment 
  • Provide additional information about skin protection
  • Obtain the patient’s medical history
  • Maintain the medical charts
  • Coordinate patient care with the professional medical team
  • Take charge of pre- and post-operative care
  • Assist the professional medical team during the procedure
  • Conduct a comprehensive patient follow-up following their treatment or discharge

It is extremely important to understand the role these professionals perform to determine how they can be a valuable asset to medical practice.

Aesthetic Services in Cosmetic Surgery Centers

Plastic surgeons at cosmetic surgery centers largely depend on certified medical aestheticians for many tasks, including preparing patients for surgery. Apart from explaining the process, these professionals also prep the patient before their procedure. Although aestheticians do not diagnose patients, they are often the first ones to spot an issue or concern. In this way, the cosmetic surgeon and the licensed medical aesthetician work together as a team to provide the patient with the knowledge and treatments to achieve the desired results. Apart from achieving the desired results, this collaboration ensures the patient feels taken care of every step of the way.

In other words, the licensed medical aesthetician offers so much more beyond skin care treatments. The enhanced service that stems from this collaboration leads to greater patient satisfaction, which is one of the most important factors for people who seek these kinds of services. Besides offering medical aesthetics services, aestheticians provide support, which could be key for people seeking facial rejuvenation. These professionals can help in calming the patients who become anxious in anticipation of the outcome of the procedures and also teach the patient about appropriate before and after surgery skin care, to speed up the healing process.

In addition to medical support, here are other services the medical aestheticans can provide:

  • Skin treatments before and after surgery (mesotherapy, PRP, dermal fillers)
  • Home skin care maintenance with progressive supervision
  • Postsurgical camouflage makeup to hide bruising
  • Preoperative and postoperative lymphatic massage therapy
  • Nutritional guidance

It is also important to note that the licensed aesthetician must be thoroughly familiar with the patient’s medical history, skin type, and all the other information related to the surgical procedures. They should also have the knowledge and experience regarding treatments such as microdermabrasion, bioactive peeling agents, cosmeceuticals, and aesthetic and reconstructive procedures in general.

Aesthetic Services in Dermatologist’s Office

Medical aestheticians working in a dermatologist’s office primarily focus on minimizing the visual impact of various medical conditions related to the physical changes that occur with certain medical conditions. These conditions include acne, hyperpigmentation, eczema, or skin changes related to traumatic injuries, such as burns. Medical aestheticians can also be responsible for laser treatments and vascular lesion reductions.

Aesthetic Services in Medical Spa

Medical spa aestheticians might see clients with hyperpigmentation, scarring, or other skin conditions. In this medical setting, these professionals can be responsible for the following:

  • Chemical peels
  • Laser tattoo removals
  • Discolouration corrections
  • Permanent makeup 
  • Microdermabrasion treatments
  • Laser acne treatments 
  • Vascular lesion reductions
  • Laser cellulite reductions

The Difference Between Medical Aesthetician and Medical Esthetician

The roles and responsibilities of an aestheticians and medical estheticians can sometimes overlap since there isn’t a universal standardized acceptance of the definitions of these roles. In some cases, these two terms are even used interchangeably. However, even though the two have similar duties, the term aesthetician applies to a medical professional who performs non-invasive medical skin procedures. At the same time, an medical esthetician focuses on cosmetic and cleaning procedures in a plastic surgery setting.

Why Should You Offer Medical Aesthetics Services in Your Cosmetic Surgery Practice

In addition to all the benefits mentioned above, adding a medical aesthetician to your practice is also an investment in your future business. Since these professionals provide non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments, you will see patients returning long after their surgery. Your business will benefit from selling skin care products, skin treatments, and other services that provide a higher retention rate, thus leading to greater profitability. 

The aesthetic plastic surgery industry is highly competitive, and to stand out, surgeons must offer much more than just skill. Therefore, being able to provide comprehensive skin care along with surgical services will keep patients coming back to your practice. It justifies and keeps sustained investments in non-surgial technologies such as radiofrequency microneedling, intense pulsed light, non-ablative lasers, and electromagnetic muscle toning devices for facial plastic surgery practices, and here is where an aesthetician plays an important role.

Medical Aesthetician Training and Scope of Practice

The role of a medical aesthetician is to help improve the appearance and health of their skin. However, the specific roles and responsibilities vary from practice to practice and state to state. This is due to differences in state laws regarding the scope of practice of aestheticians.

While some states have state-specific exams, many states in the U.S. use the National-Interstate Council on State Boards of Cosmetology (NIC) for practical and written examinations. This exam consists of a section on scientific concepts and a section on esthetics practice, including cleansing and steaming the face, facial makeup, facial mask, hair removal of the eyebrows, etc.

There are also certain states that utilize a two-tier aesthetician licensing system (Washington, Virginia, Utah, and the District of Columbia). An esthetician can obtain additional training and take the National Advanced Esthetics Practical Examination (NCEA) to be designated as a “master aesthetician.” The advanced exam covers additional subjects, including manual lymphatic drainage, ultrasonic exfoliation treatment, chemical peels, particle microdermabrasion, facial treatment with LED, electricity and electrical equipment, and body treatments such as dry exfoliation and mud mask.

Conclusion

Medical aesthetician services have become one of the most critical assets in plastic surgery practice. They are certified to perform non-invasive procedures, help patients with pre and post-operative treatments, and provide support during the healing process. Thus, the surgeons and medical aestheticians have developed specialized partnerships the supplement each other’s talents and enhance the outcome of facial rejuvenation surgeries. Each of these dedicated professionals brings a unique skill to the surgical procedure, affecting a positive patient result.

FAQ

What treatments do aestheticians do?

Medical aesthetician performs non-invasive medical procedures that promote skin health and beauty. They can also assist clinicians with more complex treatments.

What is the difference between medical aestheticians and medical estheticians?

An aesthetician is a medical professional who performs non-invasive medical skin procedures. Medical estheticians are focused on cosmetic services.

Can aestheticians do BOTOX®?

Licensed, certified aestheticians can administer BOTOX®. Without certification, they can assist doctors in treatment administration.

References

Costeloe A, Newman J. Aesthetician Role in Facial Plastic Surgery and Systemic Therapy for Healthy Skin. Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics of North America. 2023;31(4):557-566. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fsc.2023.05.007  

Practice PS. The Role of the Medical Aesthetician. Plastic Surgery Practice. Published September 18, 2005. Accessed February 13, 2024. https://plasticsurgerypractice.com/client-objectives/rejuvenation/injectibles/collagen/the-role-of-the-medical-aesthetician/ 

NYIB. Estheticians in Cosmetic Surgery – The Role of Estheticians. New York Institute of Beauty. Published December 1, 2016. https://www.nyib.edu/estheticians-in-cosmetic-surgery-centers/

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