New Florida Legislation Aims to Improve Patient Safety

K. Mathews on 6 Jun 2012 at 4:00pm

surgery facility safety

Florida government is aiming to make liposuction safer for their residents. Following new legislation recently signed by Governor Rick Scott, most liposuction will need to be performed in licensed hospitals or surgery centers. By licensing the surgery locations, the hope is to have state inspections ensure that life-saving medical equipment is readily accessible should something go wrong.

Liposuction was the most popular elective surgical procedure of 2011, and 71% of reviewers say that it's "Worth It." But it's probable the law is a response to over a dozen recent liposuction-related fatalities in the state. USA Today profiled three Floridian women who died after botched lipo procedures from un-certified doctors. “It’s all about people doing a job they’re not qualified to do,” said Florida state Senator Eleanor Sobel.

florida liposuction safetyThe new law, which will take effect at the beginning of 2013, comes without much opposition. The Florida Board of Medicine, the Florida Medical Association, and plastic surgeons have all expressed their support for the law, believing it will improve patient safety. On the downside, the cost of liposuction might increase somewhat, to pay for the necessary equipment and facilities.

Previously, determining whether a doctor is qualified or experienced at performing a cosmetic surgery like liposuction has been left up to the patients -- and it can get confusing. With this new legislation, the state is taking some accountability for protecting its citizens. We hope more states follow suit!


Photo credit: marcelo de la Torre/Deposit Photos; Vitezslav Valka/Deposit Photos