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.