Surgeons for Safety aims to boost ‘Brazilian butt lift’ safety in Florida
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Male surgeon tying mask at operating room
The group is appealing a recent emergency order introducing new regulations on the procedure.

A coalition of plastic surgeons launched an organization Wednesday to educate the public and push “commonsense measures” for gluteal fat grafting transfers — a procedure commonly known as a “Brazilian butt lift.”

Surgeons for Safety, comprised of board-certified plastic surgeons, was formed shortly after the Florida Board of Medicine approved an emergency order introducing new regulations on the procedure, which has become increasingly common in recent years.

The order, issued June 15, prohibits surgeons from performing more than three gluteal fat grafting procedures per day and requires them to use ultrasound during the procedure. Additionally, surgeons must keep the ultrasound recording on file.

On Monday, the group and seven plastic surgeons asked Florida’s 3rd District Court of Appeal to block the emergency order.

“This appeal was filed to ensure careful and thoughtful consideration of serious matters, such as health procedures. Emergency orders, such as the one we are challenging, should not be used in this manner or enacted with broad sweeping changes and little evaluation or consideration of the impacts,” attorney Bruce Rogow said on behalf of the appellants.

“The emergency rule does not promote safety; it actually threatens patient safety by imposing an unproven, radical departure from accepted techniques for performing gluteal fat transfers. The Board of Medicine has created an environment that is contrary to all that has been taught over the past 10 to 15 years,” he continued.

No evidence or medical data supports the promulgation of this Emergency Rule. To enact such a rule without a full opportunity to explore the consequences, the Board of Medicine has failed to abide by the Florida Statutes which require careful thought and opportunity for affected surgeons to be heard.”

Dr. Constantino Mendieta, President of the Surgeons for Safety Coalition, said the new organization has goals beyond blocking the emergency order.

“In addition to challenging the Board of Medicine’s Emergency Order based on its impacts on safety for patients, we intend to be a new voice in Florida’s health care industry that will seek to promote patient safety, and as the experts in this field, provide suggestions on how to meaningfully impact patient safety going forward,” he said. “In the coming weeks, Surgeons for Safety will release safety measures, such as recommended educational requirements for plastic surgeons performing these procedures and will seek to work alongside our regulatory partners to achieve true safety measures.”

He added, “The path chosen via the emergency order by the Board of Medicine on June 3 is not the correct path for the gluteal fat grafting industry, the plastic surgery industry, or the patients; however, our organization of board-certified plastic surgeons seeks to be a resource and an active partner as we chart this path together. We look forward to a science and fact-based approach, with patient safety as the top priority, in our collective effort to block this emergency order because it actually negatively impacts patient safety. It is our mission to have an active education and advocacy presence on any future decisions as it relates to these medical procedures, the gluteal fat grafting industry, and the plastic surgery industry.”

Last updated on June 22, 2022

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


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