As a law firm with decades of experience pursuing justice in countless medical malpractice cases, our attorneys at Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen have seen many tragic accidents relating to cosmetic surgery.
With the holidays right around the corner, this issue becomes especially timely as people receive plastic surgery as a gift or treat themselves to a cosmetic procedure.
Due to its reputation as both a tourist destination and the home of countless skilled medical professionals, South Florida is a leading destination for these surgeries. Furthermore, many consider the winter months to be the best time for plastic surgery for a variety of reasons.
Now more than ever, it is important to be aware of the many serious incidents that have occurred following plastic surgery procedures.
If you’re considering plastic surgery in the Sunshine State during the holidays, here are five important questions to ask yourself when choosing a facility or doctor.
1. Is It an Authorized Medical Facility With Licensed Doctors and Anesthesiologists?
Often times, patients will unknowingly consent to a high-risk surgery by a doctor who is not licensed to perform that operation—or even licensed in the U.S. Having a facility, medical equipment, and staff does not necessarily mean the center and its personnel are a reputable medical institution, despite any claims they might make.
The credentials of the people supporting the surgeon, such as the anesthesiologist, are important as well. Most of the time, unauthorized centers offer a nurse anesthetist and not a licensed anesthesiologist, whose lack of experience can result in serious issues and even death.
2. Will My Surgery Be Performed by a Board-Certified Doctor?
Unethical doctors will say a degree or license obtained from another country is the only authorization they need to perform these delicate procedures.
Unless the doctor who would operate on you has been board-certified with the United States or the State of Florida, we recommend you find another facility for the surgery.
3. Who Is the Doctor That Will Be Handling My Post-Surgical Needs?
After plastic surgery, patients are typically assigned a doctor for their post-operative care. Unfortunately, many non-certified clinics will have your subsequent care handled by folks who do not have the same qualifications or credentials as the doctor that performed your procedure.
Following plastic surgery, patients can have major infections or post-operative issues that need expert supervision. Make sure the same doctor or someone equally qualified is tending to your follow-up needs. If not, you may risk infection or other serious, sometimes fatal, problems.
4. Does the Facility Have a History of Malpractice, Negligence or Fatalities?
You can, and should, check the legitimacy of any facility offering you a medical procedure. As someone placing your life in their hands, you owe it to yourself and your family to always double-check if the clinic or its doctors have any prior records of malpractice, negligence or fatalities. That information can be found at the Florida Department of Health website.
5. Do the Physicians in These Facilities Have Hospital Privileges?
Lastly, it’s important to know if the physicians at the facility have hospital privileges. Hospital privileges permit an individual to perform certain procedures and admit patients.
If a doctor is a licensed physician and does NOT have admitting privileges at reputable hospitals, you need to ask yourself some important questions about what would happen if you experienced serious side effects that required hospitalization.
Some questions you can ask are:
- What happens if I need to be hospitalized?
- Who will take care of me?
- Will you simply hand me over to some stranger who does not know my history or what you did that now requires me to be hospitalized?
If these professionals do not have hospital privileges, that should be a red flag about letting them operate on you.
While Florida is seen by many as a reputable location for plastic surgery, recent problems have emerged that are putting innocent people at risk. Illegitimate cosmetic surgery clinics, with predatory practices, are taking advantage of Florida’s loose medical laws to prey on unsuspecting patients. It’s important for you to do your due diligence and properly vet where you’re getting surgery.
If you are reading this because you or somebody you love is seeking representation and needs assistance, Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen can help. Call (866) 629-1061 for a free consultation.