Unlicensed plastic surgery centers a growing problem in California

December 10, 2010

Unlicensed plastic surgery centers a growing problem in California
Unlicensed plastic surgery centers a growing problem in California

Officials in California are warning consumers to be aware of the dangers posed by plastic surgery centers that are not certified by the state. There are only about 45 state-licensed centers, the Los Angeles Times reports, and those that aren't certified pose serious health risks to patients who go there seeking treatment.

One individual who suffered the consequence of unknowingly visiting such a location was 39-year-old Maria Garcia. The mother of five went in for what should have been a routine outpatient procedure, but ended up dying after she suffered a puncture wound during the course of her surgery.

As it turns out, the facility had only been open for 90 days, and the news source reports that it did not meet the state's requirements for use of general anesthesia nor was it state licensed, Medicare certified or privately accredited.

"There are a lot of facilities that completely ignore the law and are not accredited or licensed or anything," chief of surgery at St. John's Health Center told the news provider.

In order to avoid entanglements with less-than-reputable health care centers, prospective patients should make sure to select board-certified surgeons such as members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.


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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