Florida law aims to make plastic surgery safer

May 30, 2012

Florida law aims to make plastic surgery safer
Florida law aims to make plastic surgery safer

The governor of Florida has signed into effect a new law aimed at keeping plastic surgery patients safer.

The Sun Sentinel reports Governor Rick Scott recently approved legislation that would make it illegal for physicians to perform liposuction procedures in unlicensed locations, such as some doctors' offices. Instead, the law will require most liposuction procedures to be done in a hospital or surgery center that is inspected by the state on an annual basis. In addition, any liposuction removing more than two pounds of fat must be done in regulated offices. It goes into effect on January 3, 2013.

Supporters of the law told the newspaper that ensuring offices are regulated means that doctors would have basic life-support training and certain life-saving equipment, which have been absent in some fatal cases. The legislation was filed in response to the deaths of more than a dozen people who underwent liposuction surgery in Florida in recent years.

The medical community in the state, including plastic surgeons, the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Board of Medicine, all backed the new law.

"Making these places get certified and inspected is a great idea," one plastic surgeon told the Orlando Sentinel.

Still, some say the changes may cause prices to increase. Supporters say that paying a little more is necessary to ensure patient safety.

"It's a safety measure to make sure people don't die," the president of the Palm Beach County Society of Plastic Surgeons told the Sun Sentinel. "The people who don't follow the [standards] now are just cutting corners to have a low price."

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, liposuction was the most commonly performed plastic surgery in 2011, with more than 300,000 patients having it done.

Individuals can help ensure their safety during liposuction and other cosmetic procedures by checking that their doctor is licensed and board-certified and that their procedure is done in an accredited hospital, surgical center or office-based surgical facility.

The mission of the Aesthetic Society 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 the Aesthetic Society, 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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