Plastic surgery was once available only to the wealthy, but has become more common as costs have dropped, procedures have become less invasive, and outpatient facilities have made them affordable to the masses. For some, loans make the procedures even more attainable. Plastic surgeon’s websites often represent that patients may be pre-approved for financing with a low-interest monthly payment plan. Last year, 13.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States. According to the American Society for Plastic Surgeons, this represents a 77 percent increase since 2000. As Orlando medical malpractice lawyers, we are concerned that fewer people recognize the danger in cosmetic surgeries.
Yet, as Orlando injury lawyers, we know that patients must fully understand that plastic surgeries can result in horrible tragedies. In one case, a patient agreed to a two hour, outpatient surgical procedure on her breasts and buttocks. The patient remained in an anesthesia-induced sleep during the operation. The plastic surgeon carved five, half-inch “stab wounds” around the patient’s lower abdomen; and, two more incisions between her ribs. The surgeon then connected a vacuum to a thin tube and inserted it under her skin, suctioning more than 4,000 cubic centimeters of fat. The fat was purified and measured. The surgeon then made two more incisions above her tailbone and injected the fat into her buttocks to improve its shape.
Tragically, the injected fat entered the patient’s bloodstream and clogged her arteries. The surgeon had no idea what was happening. Rather, the anesthesiologist discovered the patient’s heart had stopped beating. Despite efforts to resuscitate her, she passed away.
Plastic surgery can result in serious injury and death. A 2008 study published in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found the mortality rate for surgeries performed in outpatient facilities was two deaths for every 100,000 procedures. Before anyone agrees to a cosmetic procedure, they should investigate the surgeon and the facility thoroughly.