Anitere Flores wants to curb deaths by butt lift
Photo via American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Rash of plastic surgery deaths could prompt new regulations.

A rash of deaths during butt lifts and other cosmetic procedures prompted lawmakers to consider a new wave of regulations.

The state Senate Health Policy Committee on Monday considers a bill (SB 732) that will put new requirements on the plastic surgery industry.

And now, a strike-all amendment gives the Department of Health the authority to enforce existing rules and levy fines on clinics that are not in compliance with current law.

Sen. Anitere Flores introduced the bill, she told the Naples Daily News, because of a spike in deaths from apparent malpractice. She said some surgeons using new procedures often end up sidestepping regulations.

“Some of these procedures didn’t exist even a few years ago, and people are dying from it,” she told the newspaper.

The issue came up after four women died in Miami, a butt lift capital, during medical procedures. The fatalities occurred after doctors injected fat too deep into muscles, sparking the creation of deadly embolisms.

The men and women who died came from all over the country, including West Virginia, Louisiana, New Jersey, Georgia.

Flores’ legislation redefines “ambulatory surgical centers,” a category that today excludes office surgery centers. It would require doctors operating in such offices to register with the Department of Health.

Her legislation defines clinics to include centers where these cosmetic surgeries are performed. This ensures that the clinics are registered with the state and follow existing Health Department and Board of Medicine rules.

And if necessary, the bill would empower the department to revoke certification for a center or physician failing to comply with state provisions. Any doctor disciplined by the medical board couldn’t own or work at an office surgical center for five years.

She filed the legislation this year after Gannett published an investigation in USA Today and the Naples Daily News. The report detailed deaths at Miami clinics owned by Dr. Ismael Labrador.

The clinics saw eight patients die in six years, according to the report. Labrador changed the name of the centers three times to dodge bad publicity around the deaths, the report said.

Chris Nuland, a lobbyist for the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons, told the News Service of Florida he supports the bill in concept.

“I understand that the current legislative climate is to be wary of new regulations,” Flores added. “For this reason, we have crafted a bill that gives enforcement authority where none exists now so that no one else has to fear coming to Florida for what should be a beauty experience.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Jim

    March 11, 2019 at 11:50 am

    Several of my New England friends were on the verge of boarding a plane to fly down for their butt lifts, and now this! I thought Floriduh was supposed to be “tourist friendly.”

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