Florida passes cosmetic surgery regulation bill

MIAMI — Prompted by the deaths of several out-of-state women, Florida lawmakers have passed legislation designed to tighten regulations on the state's booming low-cost cosmetic surgery industry.

The bill was unanimously approved in the House on Wednesday after previously passing in the Senate. The bill heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis next for approval.

Proposed by Miami-area Sen. Anitere Flores and Rep. Anthony Rodriguez, the legislation would require facilities and doctors to demonstrate financial responsibility to pay out claims when they are deemed at fault for the serious injury or death of a patient. The bill also would permit officials to suspend or place five-year bans on bad actors who fail to comply with the rule changes.

Flores said the passage of the bill would stop patients from "becoming a statistic," in a statement released on Twitter shortly after the House's decision.

South Florida has become a destination for trendy-yet-dangerous cosmetic surgeries. Often found in Miami-area shopping plazas, clinics are known to market their services via social media to cash-strapped women across the U.S. seeking Brazilian butt lifts, breast augmentations and weight loss procedures.

Brazilian butt lifts, a fat transfer procedure in which doctors perform liposuction of the torso and then inject that fat into the buttocks, have been singled out as especially perilous. A task force led by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found they have a mortality rate of 1 in 3,000, compared with a rate of about 50,000 for office-based cosmetic procedures in general.

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