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Are Cosmetic Surgery Clinics Safe?

November 17, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

She went in for a routine cosmetic surgery on August 12, 2013, but by the time her surgery was over, this 18-year-old mother was left with a disabling traumatic brain injury. How did this happen, and could it happen to you? What the statistics on Florida’s cosmetic surgery clinics say may keep you out of these surgery centers.

The Dangers Of Cosmetic Surgery In Florida

This 18-year-old mother went under the knife three years ago, but she couldn’t have guessed how this surgery was going to change her life. Problems after surgery caused this woman to fall unconscious, and it took over 30 minutes to stabilize her. However, while she was being resuscitated, her brain wasn’t getting enough oxygen. She spent the next few months in a coma, and when she awoke, doctors told her family that she had permanent brain damage, and she would never be able to care for herself again.

The woman’s mother claims the anesthesiologist assigned to her daughter’s surgery didn’t respond aggressively enough when her daughter needed resuscitation. She has contacted legal assistance and is pursuing avenues to help support her daughter and grandson—both of whom she now takes care of—but will she find justice for her family?

Are Cosmetic Surgery Clinics Safe?

Unfortunately, this 18-year-old’s experience was not a unique one. A woman from Fort Greely, Alaska came down to Florida to undergo liposuction, and she went home with a six-inch lump on her buttock and disabling pain. A woman from Hialeah, suffered three respiratory arrests after her liposuction procedure—she was hospitalized for eight days during her episode. In May, a woman from West Virginia died when fat clots shut down her heart and lungs during a fat transfer procedure. These are just a few of the people who have suffered at the hands of cosmetic surgery clinics here in Florida, and they are not alone.

Between 2000-2010, 46 people have died in office surgery centers here in Florida. It is a startling trend that has the Florida Department of Health (FDoH) constantly policing doctors—and unlicensed practitioners—who have ruined people’s health and lives. However, are the FDoH’s efforts enough?

The anesthesiologist involved in the 18-year-old’s case was convicted of drug trafficking in 2006, but he was able to get his license back after he served his time. After the incident with the 18-year-old, the FDoH merely fined the doctor and forced him to take 15 hours of continuing medical education. He has completed both punishments and is now practicing medicine in Florida again.

Is this how our state should handle medical malpractice? Do you think the FDoH should go further to protect people from cosmetic surgery centers? Let us know on our Twitter and Facebook pages, and keep following our personal injury blog to read the legal stories that matter to you.