People travel to South Florida from across the country to have plastic surgery.
But the lure of a better body coupled with lower costs for the procedures has had a deadly side effect.
The NBC 6 Investigators have uncovered the deaths of at least ten women since 2010 who have died after undergoing a Brazilian Butt Lift procedure – at different clinics, with different doctors.
Now a proposed bill in the Florida Senate would allow the Department of Health to have more regulation over the industry and take action against doctors and clinics in the case of serious injury or death.
Over the past three years, the NBC 6 Investigators have reported on the deaths of women like Heather Meadows, Christina Thompson and Kizzy London. The three had the popular procedure where fat is removed, through liposuction, from unwanted places in a patient’s body and ingested back into their backside.
For years, family members and friends of the women have been talking to NBC 6 about their push to make the industry safer in Florida.
On Wednesday, Senator Anitere Flores, who represents the district where many of the surgery centers are located, filed the bill.
The proposed changes include requiring all surgery centers to be registered to a designated doctor. As it stands now, anyone can own a plastic surgery center in Florida. If passed, the changes would also include allowing the state’s board of medicine to revoke a center or doctor’s registration in the case of serious injury or death, and requiring a clean record for five years before anyone can open a surgery center.
The deaths uncovered by the NBC 6 Investigators led to a worldwide study in 2016 that caused doctors to issue new recommendations on how the Brazilian Butt Lift procedure should be performed.
Also, in 2017, the reporting done by the NBC 6 Investigators led a group of surgeons from around the country to travel to Miami to study cadavers to learn additional steps to make the industry safer. Their findings are expected to be released later this year.
As for the new legislation, no action has been taken yet by lawmakers.
The NBC 6 Investigators will continue to monitor the bill’s progress as it makes its way through the legislative process.