Medical Spas vs. Traditional Cosmetic Surgery Clinics

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Are you wondering whether you should visit a medical spa or opt for cosmetic surgery? We are presented with so many options for beauty enhancement and aesthetics, spanning from non-invasive treatments to surgical interventions. In this landscape, medical spas and traditional plastic (or cosmetic) surgery clinics stand out as two major clinic types, each offering special services designed to cater to a variety of aesthetic desires.

As we navigate our choices, understanding the differences between these establishments becomes pivotal in making well-informed decisions about our cosmetic paths. Generally speaking, medical spas focus on non-surgical or minimally invasive techniques to rejuvenate the face while plastic surgery clinics offer surgical interventions for more significant and long-lasting results. How do they truly measure up? What specific services do they provide? And how does pricing compare? Let’s delve deeper into this comparison to gain clarity and insight.

Body Fat Reduction

When contrasting medical spas with traditional plastic surgery centers, examining the body fat reduction services they provide can offer valuable insights into their unique approaches.

Medical Spas:

CoolSculpting: This non-invasive procedure freezes and eliminates fat cells through controlled cooling, targeting stubborn pockets of fat.

Profound® Skin Tightening: With Profound®, Radiofrequency (RF) energy is used to heat and break down fat cells, stimulating collagen production and tightening the skin in the treated area. Profound can be used on the jowls, neck, legs, and stomach. It can also target cellulite.

Kybella: Kybella® injections use a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid, a compound the body naturally  makes to absorb and destroy fat cells. Kybella injections target fat cells in the chin (double chin) to slowly melt them away.

Plastic Surgery Clinics

Liposuction: Traditional liposuction involves surgically removing excess fat deposits using a suction technique, providing more immediate and extensive fat reduction compared to non-invasive alternatives.

Tummy Tuck (abdominoplasty): This surgical procedure eliminates surplus skin and fat from the abdomen while also firming and flattening the midsection by tightening the underlying muscles.

Body Contouring Surgery: Procedures like body lift, thigh lift, and arm lift are performed to remove excess skin and fat, sculpting and reshaping various areas of the body after significant weight loss.

Liposculpture: Similar to liposuction, liposculpture involves more precise fat removal and contouring to achieve desired aesthetic results, often combined with other surgical procedures for comprehensive body enhancement.

Brazilian Butt Lift: This surgical procedure involves removing fat from one area of the body via liposuction and transferring it to the buttocks to enhance volume and shape.



Another key difference between the two types of clinics is the facelift procedures with medical spas focusing on non-invasive and low-pain treatments. Here are some of the most common (and innovative) ways to get a facelift at each clinic.

Medical Spas:

Non-Surgical Face Lift: Medical spas may offer non-invasive procedures such as ultrasound therapy, radiofrequency skin tightening, or microcurrent facials to lift and firm the skin without surgery.

Thread Lift: Some medical spas provide thread lift procedures using dissolvable threads inserted under the skin to lift and tighten sagging facial tissues, providing a subtle lifting effect.

Injectable Fillers: Dermal fillers like hyaluronic acid or collagen stimulators can be used to restore volume, contour the face, and minimize the appearance of sagging skin, creating a rejuvenated appearance.

Chemical Peels: Certain chemical peels, such as trichloroacetic acid (TCA) or phenol peels, can improve skin texture, reduce fine lines, and promote collagen production, resulting in a more youthful complexion.

Diamond Glow Facial: This microdermabrasion exfoliation technique removes dead skin cells and stimulates cell turnover, improving skin tone and texture while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Laser Resurfacing: Laser skin resurfacing treatments, such as fractional CO2 or erbium laser, can improve skin texture, reduce wrinkles, and stimulate collagen production, enhancing the results of a facelift and improving overall skin quality.

Plastic Surgery Clinics:

Surgical Facelift (Rhytidectomy): Plastic surgery clinics perform traditional facelift procedures to address sagging skin, wrinkles, and jowls by surgically tightening underlying facial muscles and removing excess skin, resulting in a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.

Neck Lift: Often combined with a facelift, a neck lift targets loose skin and excess fat in the neck area to create a smoother and more defined jawline and neckline.

Mini Facelift: Plastic surgeons may offer mini facelift procedures, also known as “weekend facelifts” or “S-lifts,” which involve smaller incisions and less extensive tissue manipulation compared to traditional facelifts, suitable for individuals with mild to moderate signs of aging.

Fat Transfer: During a facelift, plastic surgeons may perform fat transfer procedures to restore lost volume in the face by harvesting fat from other areas of the body and injecting it into targeted areas, providing natural-looking results.

Cost Differences

Medical spas typically provide non-invasive or minimally invasive cosmetic procedures, such as chemical peels, laser hair removal, and dermal fillers. These treatments often come at a lower price point compared to surgical procedures, making them more accessible to a broader range of clients. The pricing in medical spas is often based on individual treatments or packages, allowing clients to customize their experience according to their needs and budgets.

In contrast, traditional aesthetic/plastic surgery clinic’s upfront costs are usually higher. They offer surgical procedures aimed at enhancing or altering a person’s physical appearance. These procedures, such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, or liposuction, involve more intricate techniques and carry higher costs due to factors like anesthesia, operating room fees, and surgeon’s expertise. Pricing in these clinics tends to be comprehensive, covering preoperative consultations, surgical procedures, post-operative care, and follow-up appointments.


Here is a general price comparison:


Procedure Medical Spa Pricing Plastic Surgery Clinic Pricing
Botox $200-$600 per area $300-$800 per area
Dermal Fillers $500-$1,500 per syringe $600-$2,000 per syringe
Chemical Peel $100-$300 per treatment $200-$600 per treatment
Laser Hair Removal $100-$500 per session $200-$800 per session
CoolSculpting $750-$1,500 per area $1,500-$4,000 per area
Liposuction Not offered $2,000-$10,000+ per area
Tummy Tuck Not offered $6,000-$12,000+ for full abdominoplasty
Breast Augmentation Not offered $5,000-$10,000+ for silicone implants
Rhinoplasty Not offered $5,000-$15,000+ depending on complexity
Facelift Not offered $7,000-$15,000+ depending on technique


Note: Prices may vary significantly based on factors such as geographic location, provider experience, facility fees, and specific patient needs. These are general estimates and should be confirmed with individual providers.

For those aiming to enhance their natural beauty, medical spas present an appealing alternative with non-invasive procedures. These treatments offer reduced discomfort and a genuine appearance, contrasting favorably with conventional surgery. They are also a more feasible and cost-effective choice for achieving natural-looking and subtle yet significant aesthetic enhancements.

La Belle Vie Medical Care & Aesthetics in Draper, Utah, offers a comprehensive array of services tailored to your unique needs. We have a team of experienced medical practitioners dedicated to providing personalized care and delivering exceptional results. Take the next step towards realizing your aesthetic goals by scheduling a consultation with us today. Let La Belle Vie Medical Care & Aesthetics be your partner in enhancing your natural beauty and confidence.

Kelly Lance
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