American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Consumers

Practice References

Practice References (formerly called Guiding Principles) provide a description of important considerations that support care delivery in emerging areas of practice or in areas where there might be conflict or confusion.

These tools are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for independent medical judgement. The contents of these documents are not intended to serve as a standard of care or legal advice. Information and regulations may change over time and ASPS Member Surgeons are solely responsible for complying with current applicable law and standards of care. Members are encouraged to consult legal counsel in the state of practice regarding local standards and responsibilities.

Preventing Venous Thromboembolism in Hospitalized Plastic Surgery Patients
Published 2023

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a complication of concern in plastic surgery. ASPS has developed this Practice Reference for preventing VTE as well as recording and communicating VTE risks. The document also reviews emerging evidence on VTE prevention and highlights opportunities for future research.

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Appropriate Business and Clinical Management of Medical Spas
Published 2023

Medical spas offer a variety of cosmetic treatments, including medical procedures. Because these procedures can pose certain safety risks for patients, the delivery of this care should involve proper physician oversight and supervision. ASPS has developed this Practice Reference to inform the appropriate business and clinical management of medical spas and provide state policymakers with benchmarks for policies that protect patient safety.

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Mesotherapy Injection Lipolysis
Published 2019

This policy statement evaluates safety and efficacy of mesotherapy and injection lipolysis, and stresses the importance of understanding the federal and state regulations surrounding each therapy's use, before pursuing mesotherapy or injection lipolysis in practice.

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Electronic Communication in Plastic Surgery
Published 2018

ASPS recognizes the increasing use of the electronic communications to enhance practice visibility and educate consumers. Before initiating an online patient relationship, physicians should be aware of the medico-legal aspects.

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Post-Mastectomy Fat Graft/Fat Transfer
Published 2015

Plastic surgeons' clinical interest in fat graft/fat transfer and fat injection procedures remains high and some applications are becoming increasingly mainstream in plastic surgery practice.

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Supervision of Non-Physician Personnel in Medical Spas and Physician Offices
Published 2011

ASPS recognizes that plastic surgeons may have a distinct role in the growth and development of the medical spa industry, but there are many medico-legal aspects to consider.

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Archived Practice References

Archived references are not accessible to the public, but ASPS Member Surgeons may download and view the documents after entering their ASPS login credentials.