Surgeons weigh in on new rules for BBL surgeries – NBC 6 South Florida
The Florida Board of Medicine is meeting later this week to discuss ways to make Brazilian buttock lift (BBL) surgeries safer.
This follows a reported increase in procedure-related deaths, prompting the council to mandate surgeons to make changes.
“The Florida Board of Medicine has realized that what is happening in South Florida is a medical emergency, that we have had more BBL deaths in the last year than ever before,” said Dr. Pat Pazmiño, surgeon. certified plastic surgeon.
The Florida Board of Medicine said one way to prevent procedure-related deaths is to use an ultrasound machine during these operations and issued an emergency order earlier this year requiring doctors to use one.
Over the years, studies have shown that surgeons unknowingly inject fat too deep into the patient’s glutes, penetrating the muscle, which could cause a fatal pulmonary embolism. NBC 6 investigators reported that more than a dozen deaths have been attributed to it following the procedure.
Dr. Alex Earle, a Miami board-certified surgeon, has been using the ultrasound for nearly three years during the operation.
“I saw ultrasound as a way to turn that blind procedure into a procedure where you can actually see and know exactly where you are…essentially turning that procedure into a much safer procedure,” did he declare.
The use of ultrasound will require training, which Dr. Earle’s office is willing to arrange.
“You need training. So it’s actually, now that these rules are in effect, we’re establishing here one of the first ultrasound-guided fat transfer training centers right here at Pure, and it’s sponsored by the World Association of Buttock Surgeons “said Earle.
But not all physicians agree with this mandate.
“First of all, ultrasound technology, we don’t know it. We do not know it. I’ve never even used an ultrasound in my life,” said board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Constantino Mendieta.
Dr Mendieta and several other surgeons appealed the council’s emergency order saying, in part, that it was passed “without giving all affected parties an opportunity to be fully heard”.
The order also limited the number of BBL surgeries doctors can perform to three per day, to prevent fatigue.
It is believed that fatigue may have contributed to the death of a 33-year-old woman following a BBL performed by Dr John Sampson last summer. She was his seventh patient for the day.
In a letter sent to the board, his attorney Monica Felder said “…he has reviewed the circumstances that may have affected his performance that day, and…he no longer plans to commence proceedings after 18 hours”.
“I don’t think it’s the limitation on the number of procedures that we really need to focus on. You never told an eye doctor they can only do five cataracts… that’s not the solution to that, the solution to that is going to be education,” Mendieta said.
The group of doctors who oppose the new rules, including Mendieta, say we’ve seen more deaths because more BBL surgeries are being done.
The emergency ordinance expires in September and council would then have to approve something more permanent. They are to meet this Thursday.