American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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STATE | ASPS Works to Ensure Appropriate Esthetician Scope of Practice in Arizona

In January, estheticians in Arizona introduced a measure that would have permitted them to perform cosmetic laser procedures under indirect physician supervision. ASPS collaborated with several physician specialty groups in opposition to proposed requirements, arguing that direct physician supervision is a necessary patient safety protection measure. ASPS, the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, and the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery worked together to oppose the esthetician's attempt to expand their scope.

Numerous academic studies have demonstrated that when lasers are used by non-physician operators who are inadequately supervised a higher number of patients suffer complications. For example, a 2013 study found a recent and rapid increase in the number of malpractice claims filed against non-physician operators for botched cosmetic procedures utilizing lasers.