USA Today has an eye-popping story on discount plastic surgery centers in Miami run by four felons. The story contains gruesome details—at least 13 women have died after receiving plastic surgery and many more suffered disfigurement and other injuries.
The story called these facilities “assembly lines” where clients would go to receive body sculpting such as a Brazilian butt lift or a tummy tuck. The work was so poorly done that many patients suffered kidney failure, collapsed lungs, and other medical emergencies that landed them in the hospital. Nevertheless, these clinics remain very popular, with clients travelling from around the country.
No State Response
Although the state of Florida has a duty to protect its citizens, the state has done very little to regulate plastic surgery centers. The USA Today story highlights some of the failures:
- Convicted felons can obtain a license to open these centers although felons are often barred from receiving licenses to practice other professions. For example, to get a license to practice law, a felon would have to show that he or she has been rehabilitated and undergo a grueling background check. No similar procedures are in place if you want to open or own a plastic surgery center.
- The state did not pass laws to regulate the centers even after the death count continued to climb. Legislation has been introduced four times already but has never passed.
- The state has actually put money behind campaigns to promote Florida as a top destination for medical tourists, including those who are seeking plastic surgery.
A legislator has introduced another bill to give the state the power to shut down these discount plastic surgery centers. The stumbling block has been that non-doctors often own these clinics. If a doctor commits malpractice, she can lose her license. But there’s no current way to prevent a non-doctor from running a plastic surgery center.
How to Protect Yourself
If you want plastic surgery, you must thoroughly research your surgeon and the center. Check online, visit the Better Business Bureau, and speak to anyone you know who has had work done at the facility. Also take control of your care. If you don’t feel right after surgery, go immediately to the hospital. Don’t wait around for your plastic surgeon to contact you to address your symptoms.
Also speak to an attorney at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein. We are experienced Miami medical malpractice attorneys who have gone up against many centers. We can fight to get you the compensation you need if you call us today, 305-371-2692. We offer a free case evaluation.