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Regulator: plastic surgery malpractice is "out of control"

Yesterday we discussed the case of a 32-year-old mother of six who died of a painkiller overdose after her plastic surgery. This mother's death is shockingly common because most state regulations concerning plastic surgeons are very lax. This means that doctors who are trained in other medical areas such as obstetrics or vision are now performing plastic surgeries after training courses that can take as little as a weekend.

There are even dentists who are trained in oral surgery who do breast implants, OB/GYNs that also give tummy tucks and radiologists who offer liposuctions. This makes the field of cosmetic surgery ripe for malpractice and many patients unwitting victims of incompetent doctors.

The 32-year-old woman is not the only person who died after receiving plastic surgery that the Miami clinic according to USA Today. A 38-year-old woman also died of cardiac arrest after a fat-transfer and liposuction procedure at the clinic. Records show that the doctor who performed the surgery was not board certified in any area of medicine. There are also surgeons who see several patients every week to fix botched plastic surgery jobs from similar discount surgeons.

"It's out of control," said Florida state Senator Eleanor Sobel, who also serves as vice chair of the Senate health regulations committee. "It's all about people doing a job they're not qualified to do."

Sobel says that the rampant plastic surgery problem should be a priority because so many people are dying. She also plans on proposing legislation which requires a skilled anesthesiologist for procedures like liposuction.

"I don't think these general practitioners are skilled in anesthesia, which could be deadly," says Sobel. "The issue is not going away and needs to be resolved."

Source: USA Today, "Lack of training can be deadly in cosmetic surgery," Jayne O'Donnell, Sept. 16, 2011

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