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Plastic Surgery Complications in Florida: Risks, Injuries, and Legal Options

A women getting outlined for facial plastic surgery

The United States is one of the leading countries in plastic surgery, and Florida takes a sizable share of that. In fact, the state accounts for 6.2% of all cosmetic procedures nationwide. From Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBLs) – Florida’s most popular surgery according to Google searches – to tummy tucks, hair transplants, liposuction, and nose jobs, Floridians are seeking cosmetic surgeries in high numbers. While these procedures are common all around the world, it’s important to remember that they are neither simple nor risk-free. Brazilian Butt Lifts, for example, is particularly concerning. A recent study published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal revealed 25 BBL-related deaths from fat emboli occurred in South Florida alone between 2010 and 2022. The case study suggests factors like rushed surgeries and inadequate clinic environments may be key contributors to these fatalities. 

While every death is a tragedy, the specific causes can vary. Medical errors or overlooking a patient’s medical history can have fatal consequences. If you believe that medical negligence played a role in your loved one’s passing following plastic surgery, contact a Florida wrongful death lawyer to begin an investigation. 

Fat Embolism: Leading Cause of Death in Plastic Surgeries

The Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) is a popular procedure that involves liposuction to remove fat from unwanted areas like the abdomen or thighs. This extracted fat is then purified and injected into the buttocks to create a fuller, rounder appearance.

However, BBLs carry significant risks, especially when performed incorrectly. The biggest danger lies in fat accidentally entering the bloodstream. This can happen during the procedure itself.

Here’s a deeper look at the BBL process:

  • Liposuction: Under anesthesia, a surgeon uses a cannula, a thin tube, to suction out fat from areas like the abdomen, flanks, or back.
  • Fat Transfer: The extracted fat is processed and purified.
  • Re-injection: The purified fat is then injected back into the body, but this is where the risk arises. The surgeon uses a syringe attached to a cannula to re-inject the fat into the buttocks.

This re-injection is a critical and concerning step. BBLs are often referred to as “blind procedures” because surgeons rely on their experience and technique to place the cannula in the correct location within the buttocks.

There’s a risk of the cannula going too deep and accidentally puncturing a large blood vessel in the muscle. Even worse, fat can be directly injected into these vessels. This fat can then travel through the bloodstream to the heart and lungs, potentially causing a pulmonary fat embolism.

These embolisms can block blood flow and deprive the body of oxygen, leading to serious complications or even death within hours of the surgery, or even on the operating table itself. 

If you suspect medical negligence played a role in your loved one’s death, contact wrongful death lawyers immediately.

Common Plastic Surgery Injuries in Florida

Beyond the tragic possibility of death, plastic surgery can also result in serious injuries if negligence occurs during the procedure or post-surgical care. Here’s a breakdown of some potential complications and how a lack of proper care might contribute:

Scarring: While some degree of scarring is expected with most surgeries, excessive or keloid scarring can occur due to factors like improper incision placement, infection, or delayed healing. This can leave patients with permanent disfigurement beyond what was initially anticipated.

Infection: Strict adherence to sterile techniques is crucial in surgery. Negligence during surgery or improper post-surgical care can introduce bacteria, leading to infections that can be painful, require additional treatment, and potentially compromise the surgical outcome.

Paralysis, especially in the face: Facial nerve damage can occur during procedures like facelift or rhinoplasty (nose job) if a surgeon isn’t meticulous about nerve location. This can result in partial or complete paralysis, impacting facial expressions, speech, and even eye function.

Deformities that require corrective surgery: Uneven results, asymmetry, or unnatural-looking enhancements can necessitate additional surgery to correct. This can be emotionally and financially taxing for patients who trusted the initial procedure to achieve their desired outcome.

Nerve damage: Inadvertent nerve injury during liposuction, breast augmentation, or other procedures can cause numbness, tingling, pain, and even muscle weakness depending on the affected nerves. Depending on the severity, this may require additional surgery or physical therapy for recovery.

Burns: Incorrect use of surgical lasers or other energy devices during procedures like body contouring or skin resurfacing can lead to burns that cause pain, scarring, and tissue damage.

In case of complications or injuries following plastic surgery due to medical malpractice, contact Miami medical malpractice attorney to guide you through the process. Victims can recover damages for medical bills associated with treating the complications, lost wages due to missed work, and pain and suffering. 

Compensation for Wrongful Death After Plastic Surgery

If you believe medical negligence during plastic surgery led to your loved one’s passing, Florida law allows you to seek compensation for their wrongful death. However, you’ll need to demonstrate that the surgeon failed to uphold their duty of care and that this breach directly caused your loved one’s injuries and death. In successful wrongful death lawsuits, families can recover damages for various losses, including:

  • Lost financial support: This covers income the deceased would have provided.
  • Lost services: This includes household chores, childcare, or elder care the deceased provided.
  • Lost companionship: Spouses, children, and sometimes parents can claim compensation for the loss of love, companionship, and emotional support.
  • Emotional pain and suffering: The grief and emotional distress caused by the loss.
  • Medical or funeral expenses: Reimbursement for any medical bills or funeral costs incurred by the family.

Free Wrongful Death Case Evaluation After Plastic Surgery in Miami

At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP we understand the complexities of these cases. We offer free case evaluations to help you determine if negligence played a role and what damages you may be entitled to. Call us today at 305-371-2692 for a free consultation with Miami wrongful death attorney and let our experienced legal team fight for the justice you deserve.