Florida cracks down on dangerous plastic surgery centers

MIAMI –– Ricardo Martinez mentioned he grew to become obsessive about trying good. He determined to get liposuction and shelled out $6,500 for the process at an upscale North Miami clinic. It was a great deal, he initially thought, since most locations have been charging a whopping $18,000.

However that call, he mentioned, nearly value him his life.

The plastic surgeon, who was ultimately disciplined and fined, by chance perforated his intestines within the 2013 surgical procedure and he ended up within the hospital for 3 weeks, combating to remain alive.

“Dwelling in Miami, mannequin metropolis … I simply grew to become infatuated with the billboards, the clinic, and what I believed I may find yourself trying like,” Martinez mentioned.


South Florida’s obsession with beauty has made it a prime vacation spot for affordable plastic surgery – but it surely has additionally drawn a rising variety of facilities that exploit these looking for smaller waistlines or extra noticeable property. Dozens of individuals have been critically injured – some have even died – by the hands of unlicensed medical doctors with shady practices.

Martinez shows a picture of himself after the emergency surgery at the hospital, after his liposuction procedure

Martinez exhibits an image of himself after the emergency surgical procedure on the hospital, after his liposuction process
(Elina Shirazi/Fox Information)

Now, the state is attempting to crack down on unscrupulous cosmetic surgery clinics after a number of affected person deaths which have attracted nationwide consideration. Florida State Sen. Anitere Flores sponsored a invoice that grew to become regulation giving the state the ability to shut a clinic or take again its registration if there’s motive to imagine the ability is harmful to clients.

“Proper now we ask sufferers to do homework earlier than they go in and get a surgical procedure like this completed. However as a result of we’ve not had these legal guidelines in place, it was actually tough for them to determine the place the problematic clinics have been,” Flores mentioned. “So now we’ll have a uniform, very excessive normal, that each one clinics throughout the state might be held to, and so you will not have that worry that has existed beforehand.”

From tummy tucks to breast implants to botox, you identify it, folks from internationally journey to South Florida to go below the knife. And a rising cadre of clinics have popped as much as meet demand — however not all have the {qualifications} and experience to take action.

In keeping with an investigation printed by USA Today, previously 10 years no less than 13 girls have died after surgical procedures at these clinics operated by felons. A couple of dozen others have been hospitalized with important accidents. A number of unlicensed clinics have been compelled to close down solely to reopen weeks later below a unique identify.

The brand new regulation plans to verify they don’t open their doorways once more.

Beneath the brand new regulation, Florida will impose a $500 positive per day for non-compliance and can sanction people who aren’t licensed or lower than requirements. Each the medical doctors and the clinic should register with the Florida Division of Well being, and any clinic or doctor discovered responsible of malpractices can’t work or function for 5 years.

Florida State Sen. Anitere Flores said the state has become a hotspot for people willing to pay a price to look perfect. But when they find a bargain they could be putting their life at risk. 

Florida State Sen. Anitere Flores mentioned the state has develop into a hotspot for folks keen to pay a worth to look good. However once they discover a discount they could possibly be placing their life in danger. 
(Elina Shirazi/Fox Information)

The brand new Florida regulation is a part of a better effort to tighten laws on Florida’s skyrocketing cosmetic surgery trade. Flores mentioned regulators now have stronger instruments than many different locations.

The state joins seven others, and Washington, D.C., which have various ranges of penalties to maintain clinics in test. They will vary from fines and felony penalties, like in California, to getting your license revoked in Pennsylvania.

“Now we’ve got not simply our state, however different states all trying to Florida as what’s going to hopefully be a mannequin for methods to regulate these workplace clinic surgical procedure clinic facilities in a approach that’s uniform and that could be a very excessive normal,” Flores mentioned.

However some suppose the regulation goes too far and will affect respectable companies.

“It’s a knee-jerk response, I feel – 5 years is a bit a lot. You could be drunk driving, you possibly can commit all types of malpractice. That’s simply approach an excessive amount of for one thing that may be a minor infringement,” mentioned one physician from the Florida Beauty Surgical procedure Middle, in reference to the five-year penalty rule that will take away a clinic’s license. The physician didn’t need to be recognized.

Florida now joins seven other states plus Washington, D.C. that have varying levels of penalties to keep clinics in check. They can range from fines and criminal penalties like in California, to getting your license revoked in Pennsylvania

Florida now joins seven different states plus Washington, D.C. which have various ranges of penalties to maintain clinics in test. They will vary from fines and felony penalties like in California, to getting your license revoked in Pennsylvania
(Elina Shirazi/Fox Information)


Flores mentioned the regulation is required to avoid wasting lives. She solely regrets extra wasn’t completed to avoid wasting these killed by botched plastic surgical procedures.

“Whereas this regulation would by no means carry the one you love again,” she mentioned, “there’s a small sense of vindication figuring out that the one you love’s loss of life wasn’t in useless.”

The invoice handed in Could. The governor signed it into regulation in early June and the stricter requirements will take impact in January.

As for Martinez, he ended up submitting a lawsuit in opposition to his physician for $1 million. The physician filed for chapter shortly afterward and reopened her companies below a brand new identify.

“Now, we’ll be capable of cease that,” Flores mentioned, “as a result of the Division of Well being won’t concern a license to anybody for no less than 5 years in these horrible circumstances.”

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