Three arrested for running underground cosmetic surgery ring

August 4, 2011

Three arrested for running underground cosmetic surgery ring
Three arrested for running underground cosmetic surgery ring

Liposuction remains one of the most common cosmetic procedures, with more than 289,000 individuals undergoing the surgery in 2010, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

However, patients need to be vigilant in choosing a doctor to perform liposuction procedures, as underground clinics are popping up around the country due to the procedure's popularity.

In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a 19-year-old woman was recently rushed to the hospital following a procedure done in an apartment by unlicensed, unqualified individuals.

According to WMBF News, doctors say the woman is lucky to be alive following the surgery. She was brought to the hospital in hemorrhagic shock, with cuts on her stomach, arms and legs that were not sutured closed.

"The incisions were not closed. They were open and draining," Dr. Ralph Cozart, who was on-call at the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center at the time, told the news provider. "But the problem was she wasn't given the proper fluids to replace the fluids that were suctioned out. The equipment was not sterile. They did not have sterilization equipment at all. They were using bleach to decontaminate the instruments."

Police arrested three people in connection with the case and charged them with running an underground cosmetic surgery ring out of a bedroom.

Liposuction is a high-demand surgery for many who cannot eliminate fat with exercise and a healthy diet. During the procedure, fat is removed from the body through a hollow metal tube inserted into a small incision. The procedure, when done by a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, leaves only minute scars, often as short as one-half inch or less in length.

While complications from liposuction surgery are rare, it is essential for those considering the procedure to ensure their doctor is a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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