We’ve read the stories of people getting injections and even surgery from people pretending to be doctors and operating out of unlabeled shopfronts and homes. The sometimes deadly complications seem natural given the circumstances.

However, it seemed like people should be safe going to established clinics with doctors on staff. These professional practices promised good care, and claimed to be operating according to the highest safety standards. However, as investigations showed, some of these practices in Florida were run in a shoddy fashion, leading to dozens of patient deaths. Now a new law signed last week is trying to crack down on these poorly run clinics in the hopes of reducing the death toll from plastic surgery.

A closeup of a gavel in a courtroom. A recent law in Florida was passed to correct deadly conditions at plastic surgery clinics

Why Deadly Clinics Were Allowed to Operate

It is shocking to read that dozens of women have died at these clinics, when the tragedies could have been prevented. A USA Today investigation showed that eight women were killed at a single plastic surgery business owned by one doctor. More investigations showed that people were able to open plastic surgery clinics with no background screening by the state. At least 13 women died and nearly a dozen more were critically injured after procedures at clinics opened by felony offenders.

The problem was a loophole in Florida law that allowed anyone to open a surgery facility with no regulation. That person was able to be in charge of ensuring safety at the clinic, even though they may not have been competent to do so.

Holding Doctors and Clinics Responsible for Injuries

The new law says that the person in charge of safety at a clinic must be a doctor. Doctors are regulated in many ways, including the state and the state’s medical boards. They have records that follow them and can be easily researched by potential patients, which will also make it easier for potential patients to steer clear of dangerous doctors.

The law also requires the clinic–not just doctors–to carry at least $250,000 of malpractice insurance. In the past, when patients sought compensation for injuries, they found the clinic was run by a corporation that had few assets and could easily vanish, leaving the injured person to struggle with medical bills from their failed procedure.

The law was passed in May and signed by the governor last week. It will take effect in January.

However, one key provision was removed from the law. There are still no required background checks for people who open surgery clinics.

Inherent Risks in Plastic Surgery

This law (and the situation that inspired it) reminds us that it’s critical to be cautious when choosing a plastic surgery provider. You need to vet surgeons critically, because you are, literally, putting your life in their hands. You can’t trust the presence of a fancy facade or slick advertising to ensure a practice is set up to be safe.

However, it’s also important to remember that plastic surgery is never entirely safe. There are inherent risks in plastic surgery that can’t be avoided. If you opt for a surgical facelift, you put yourself at risk for very serious complications.

On the other hand, a nonsurgical facelift doesn’t involve surgery–it’s a dental procedure–so the risks are significantly less. If you want to learn how you can rejuvenate your appearance with dentistry, please call (912) 234-8282 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry from our office in Savannah.