The Florida House has unanimously approved Senate Bill 732 that will change the way surgery centers in the state are operated and how doctors are disciplined.
The NBC 6 Investigators have reported on issues in plastic surgery centers in more than 40 investigations over the past four years – uncovering the deaths of more than ten women in South Florida in recent years who died after undergoing a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure.
"The reporting that has been done by NBC 6 and others has been really wonderful at finding these victims," said Sen. Anitere Flores, who sponsored the legislation.
The NBC 6 investigations have led to two worldwide studies and recommended changes to the way the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure is performed. But the new law is the first action that has been taken to protect patients in Florida.
The new law will allow the Board of Medicine to immediately revoke a doctor’s license in the case of injury or death, require all surgery centers to be owned by doctors and require a clean record for 5 years before a doctor can open a surgery center.
"It's certainly a step in the right direction," said Dr. Stephen Rosenberg, the Chair of the Florida Board of Medicine. "I think had it been in effect a few years ago we would have already seen some of the benefits."
Before lawmakers took action, the NBC 6 Investigations led to doctors taking action. NBC 6's reporting was mentioned in a worldwide study in 2016 where doctors found a person is up to 20 times more likely to die from a Brazilian Butt Lift than any other procedure. The study also issued recommendations on how to more safely perform the procedure.
The series of NBC 6 Investigations also led to a second study. Surgeons from across the country used cadavers to better learn which techniques not to use in the common procedure. Those results will be released this spring.
"Some of these places have just become butcher shops and we just can’t have that for Florida," said Sen. Flores.
The new law won’t just affect plastic surgery centers but any office where surgeries are performed.
The bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk for a signature.
This story is from our sister station, NBC Miami. Click here for more investigative stories from NBC stations across the county.