Bargain-basement liposuction booted out of Florida

May 9, 2012

No more cutting corners in liposuction procedures.
No more cutting corners in liposuction procedures.

If you’re a Floridian whose bikini-clad body needs a little tweaking, you will now have a much better chance of undergoing a safe liposuction procedure. The April 27 Sun-Sentinel  reports that Governor Rick Scott of Florida just signed legislation mandating that doctors can no longer perform most liposuction procedures in unregulated offices. These tougher restrictions, which take effect on January 3, were backed by plastic surgeons, the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Board of Medicine, which oversees doctors.

This may drive up prices of some Florida liposuction procedures. Addressing the cost issue, the president of the Palm Beach County Society of Plastic Surgeons said, “The idea is not to make people pay more. It’s a safety measure to make sure people don’t die.” The medispas and doctor’s offices that were charging less were able to do so because they cut corners to bring prices down.

According to the Sun-Sentinel, in recent years some doctors and unregulated beauty businesses performed liposuction without administering appropriate anesthesia. Instead, they used sedative pills or creams. After 14 Floridians died as a result of medical distress during liposuction in the last decade, Senator Eleanor Sobel filed the legislation.

The new law states that when a liposuction procedure removes more than about two pounds of fat it must be performed in a regulated office. Such an office is equipped with a doctor who has lifesaving training and lifesaving equipment and procedures. Moreover, the office facility would have to be inspected by the state or become accredited.

A Fort Lauderdale plastic surgeon speculates, “Some internists and nonsurgeons who had been doing liposuctions at the unregulated offices may choose to stop rather than try to meet the stricter regulations.”

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), cosmetic surgery can be safely performed in a hospital, a surgicenter or an office-based surgical facility. Data shows that accredited office-based facilities have a safety record comparable to that of hospital ambulatory surgery settings. But, most office-based surgical facilities are not accredited. ASAPS requires its members to operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities. To ensure your safety, if you undergo surgery, make sure your surgery occurs in such a facility.

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

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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 nonsurgical 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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