Plastic Surgery Center Safety Bill Gets Full Support

Mar 11, 2019

Credit Docteur Spitalier Philippe / Flickr

Plastic surgery has become more and more common. But some don’t end up going as planned. Sometimes it can result in death. Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami) presented a bill she believes will save lives.

Jasmine Smith, Heather Meadows, and Kizzy London are just some of the names Flores listed as victims of botched plastic surgery.

“So what all these victims have in common, what do all these people have in common, is that they came to Florida for something that should have been simple. Something that should have left them feeling better about themselves but they were never able to go back home, because they died,” said Flores.

The victims she named were not Florida residents, but came from other states to receive plastic surgery in Miami.

“This isn’t just a Miami problem, and this isn’t just a Florida problem. I mentioned all those names so you can see that this is really a national problem." said Flores. "Since filing this bill we’ve had an outpouring of victims, attorneys, doctors from across the country who have reached out to us from Missouri to West Virginia to South Florida talking about either how they’ve been victims, their family has been victims or their patients have been victims.”

To fix the issue Flores is proposing multiple changes to the regulations an office must follow in order to perform plastic surgeries.

"So we know that we can’t change all the bad actors. Those who will be motivated by money rather than safety, they’ll never be completely stopped. But we can give the department of health the tools they need to shutdown these butcher shops, because that’s really what they are,” said Flores

The changes would require Florida’s Department of Health to:

  • Impose standards and regulate facilities that perform cosmetic surgeries the same as they do surgical centers.
  • Make sure the facility as well as the doctor show financial responsibility to pay claims when they are at fault.

Also it allows DOH to suspend registration of a facility who is not in compliance with the standards.

“That’s particularly important because what we found is that many of these clinics, someone will die at one of their clinics, and the next day they will open back up and take new patients as if nothing happened,” said Flores.

The proposal also gives the DOH the discretion to put a 5-year ban on a facility or physician whose licensed has been revoked, making sure they can’t open a new facility under another name. Flores says she knows the bill doesn’t fix everything but she hopes that DOH and Department of Medicine can create rules to specify traingin requirements for certified office surgery center health care practicitioners, and others who are not regulated by a board.

The bill passed unanimously an identical bill in the house has yet to be heard.