Recently, a Miami doctor performed a plastic surgery procedure on a patient—commonly referred to as a Brazilian butt lift when the patient went into cardiac arrest and died. Kizzy London, a 40-year-old woman from Baton Rouge, had traveled to the area specifically for the operation. Similar to medical tourism where patients travel to other countries in search of a great deal on plastic surgery and other medical treatments, South Florida has become a popular destination for women seeking cosmetic surgery, however few have a sense of the danger.
Unfortunately, what happened to Ms. London is that her doctor mistakenly injected fat into her gluteal vein which then traveled to her lungs, which is not uncommon. The procedure is specifically called gluteal fat grafting, is actually one of the deadliest plastic surgery procedures with a surgical death rate of 1 in 3,000 people.
Beyond the risks of the surgery itself, consumers should be aware that doctors calling themselves “cosmetic surgeons” might have only completed a few short weekend courses on liposuction, breast augmentation, or even facelifts before promoting and performing the procedures on patients. Making matters worse, Florida law allows any doctor to perform any procedure, as long as they have a patient’s permission, in other words, a doctor might have no training whatsoever in a particular procedure.
The legal counsel for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Robert Aicher, Esq., points out that, “In the U.S., every medical certificate says physician and surgeon…I hate to say buyer beware, but the real expression should be buyer be educated.”
Thus it’s important to always check a doctor’s background and credentials before submitting to any surgery. Here are some links to helpful websites:
DocInfo.org (powered by the Federation of State Medical Boards)
PlasticSurgery.org (The American Society of Plastic Surgeons)
If you or a loved one were injured during a plastic surgery procedure—especially one that was performed by a medical professional who might be practicing outside of his or her expertise—it’s important that you speak with a skilled and experienced medical malpractice attorney to evaluate your case. Please contact us for a free and confidential legal consultation.