Tightening up Florida liposuction requirements - it's about time!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
According to the Sun-Sentinel, there is a bill working its way through Tallahassee which will make some improvements to safety standards for office-based liposuction.  Honestly, it's about time!

The bill would require liposuction of more than 1000 cc of fat to be done in surgery suites inspected by the state, and would require doctors to have life-support training.  Currently, many low-cost providers perform liposuction in unregulated physician offices, and lack ACLS training.

I think this is definitely a step in the right direction!  All surgery, in my opinion, should be performed in an accredited setting, with appropriate anesthesia, monitoring, and emergency equipment.  For example, we are inspected and certified by AAAASF.  In addition to myself, an MD anesthesiologist, two registered nurses and a surgical tech are present for all surgeries.  Everyone has an up-to-date ACLS certification.  We have hospital-grade anesthesia monitors and a crash cart with an AED and emergency medications.  Thank goodness, we've never had to use all of this emergency equipment - but we sure are prepared, "just in case".

The bill last week cleared the Senate Health Regulation Committee and now goes to the Senate Budget Committee, where it is expected to pass. This would close the loophole in current Florida surgery regulations that permit physicians to do procedures in an unregulated, non-inspected office setting if they are only using local anesthesia, and the patient is not sedated.

And often, these same practices have the nerve - the sheer audacity - to claim that they are "safer", despite the fact that they have not passed a safety inspection, lack emergency equipment, don't have an ACLS-trained staff member, and don't have the benefit of a trained anesthesiologist present in case of an airway problem!  Talk about spin and marketing B.S!

While this bill is an improvement for Florida patient safety, it could certainly be a lot stricter.  There's still a lot of unregulated med-spa type offices out there that do other surgical procedures, and these are not covered by this bill.

Thomas Fiala, MD 12/28/2011

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