Spa Treatments

Aestheticians are forbidden from performing Liposuction

Only plastic surgeons may!

If aesthetic clinics do not have a plastic surgeon, they can be closed by the Ministry of Health, depending on the procedures they perform.

Aesthetic clinics are prohibited from applying liposuction, plastic surgeries, vaginal rejuvenation, among other procedures if they do not have a surgeon specializing in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery.

This is true after the publication of the new profile that defines the functions of the plastic surgeon, prepared by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Costa Rica, together with various specialty associations.

Currently in the country, 58 specialists are active in plastic and reconstructive surgery, so the collegiate body asks citizens to be careful when choosing a place to undergo aesthetic procedures.

“They (plastic surgeries, liposuctions, etc.) cannot be applied in aesthetics if the doctor’s functions are not within their profile, so the procedures cannot be performed,” said Mauricio Guardia, prosecutor of the Medical Association.

“These profiles come to mark the field (of the doctors) to know what they can do and what not,” added Guardia.


The profile of plastic surgeons indicates in Article 1 that they perform repairs, reconstruction or replacement of physical defects of form or function that include the skin, the skeletal muscle system, the maxillofacial skull structures, the hand, limbs, trunk and external genitalia.

“Plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery is a specialty that treats acute and non-acute conditions, which can be congenital or acquired as a result of trauma, disease, degeneration or aging in patients of both sexes and all ages. Its objective is the restoration, recovery of function and improvement of appearance in favor of emotional well-being”, the profile reads.

Much has been discussed, resolving that those who apply some aesthetic procedures are general practitioners.

When asked about the procedures that can be performed by plastic surgeons but not general practitioners, Mario Alberto Quesada, vice president of the Costa Rican Plastic Surgeons Association, said that if a doctor wants to apply plastic surgery, it is best to specialize in plastic surgeries, because that does not limit your right to work, but it regulates it in favor of the patient’s health.

“In this case we consider, from our professional point of view, that general practitioners will no longer be able to perform implantation procedures, rhinoplasty, facial rhytidectomy, neck plasty, blepharoplasty, chin implants, otoplasty, reconstruction of the auricle, mammoplasties. increase (placement of breast implants) and reduction, mastopexy with or without implants, dermo lipectomy (lipoabdominoplasties), tummy tucks, liposuction, liposculpture and lipoplasty, gluteus pexis (buttock augmentation), vaginal rejuvenation, among others,” he detailed.

He also clarified that the profile is not limited only to aesthetic plastic surgery, but also to reconstructive plastic surgery procedures of the specialty.

The Governing Board sustained this, in addition to some other medical-surgical procedures that will be established in the future, in curricular meshes and academic studies.

Quesada said that the profile strengthens Article 46 of the General Health Law, which stipulates: “Professionals who are duly specialized and registered as such in their respective schools may carry out activities specific to their specialty.”


The Medical Association does not have the authority to close aesthetic clinics in case of any anomaly, since it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, but when they receive complaints about any anomaly and verify that they do not keep the appropriate personnel, they report it to that entity so they can act immediately.

This article was translated from the original Spanish version at

Molly Bright

As a fitness fanatic, Molly Bright knows a thing or three about the subject. She’s the proud owner of some second-hand gym equipment that she uses religiously. At least she does when she’s not researching, and penning, great health and fitness articles!

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Molly Bright

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