Florida Women Dies from Plastic Surgery

As a Broward plastic surgery malpractice lawyer, I was deeply saddened by the recent news of that Idell Frazer, a 50-year old Florida grandmother, lost her life during a liposuction and fat transfer at Strax Rejuvenation and Aesthetics Institute. Our law office is currently representing the family of Lidvian Zelaya who died during the same procedure last year. You can read the filed Stamped Complaint-8731.pdf Fat embolisms are one of the many known complications associated with fat re-injection procedures. Pulmonary embolisms occur when a blood clot forms and clogs an artery in a patient’s lung. Any plastic surgery patient can develop a pulmonary embolism or “PE” but certain factors increase the risk: 1. Surgery is the leading cause of blood clots. The risk of developing a blood clot increases with the duration of anesthesia. In other words the longer the procedure the higher the risk of developing a blood clot. This is one of the reasons that multiple cosmetic procedures are not recommended to be performed during one operation. 2. Prolonged immobility. Blood clots are more likely to form in the legs after patients are subjected to prolonged bed rest (recuperating from surgery) or from sitting in cramped positions during long car trips or flights. 3. Age. Older patients are at a higher risk for an embolism because the valves that move blood in the veins become increasingly inefficient with age. Older patients are more commonly dehydrated and have co-morbid medical conditions like cancer or heat disease which can increase the risk for a clot. 4. Family History. It is important that doctors, particularly those performing elective cosmetic procedures...

How To Pick Your Plastic Surgeon-My Advice on “The Doctors”

The selection of a surgeon can often mean the difference between having a fantastic result or of making a medical condition go from bad to worse. I recently had the privilege of appearing on “The Doctors” with Dr. Drew Orden during a segment on how to select a plastic surgeon. For over twenty years Dr. Orden has practiced aesthetic plastic and reconstructive surgery New York City, Beverly Hills and Rancho Mirage. Our South Florida medical malpractice law firm believes that before undergoing any elective procedure you should obtain a number of opinions from various surgeons. Selecting a surgeon based upon the lowest price is rarely the best decision. We also recommend that patients do research on their potential doctors. Florida Statutes section 458.320 is the law that regulates the financial responsibility of doctors. Unbeknownst to most people, Florida does not require that doctors carry medical malpractice insurance. Accordingly, you should go to the Florida Department of Health’s website (or the equivalent for the state in which you reside) to verify that your potential surgeon is in fact licensed and has staff privileges at a near by hospital. Many plastic surgeons will send you to a “friendly” doctor to clear you for an elective surgery. As a lawyer who has sued plastic and cosmetic surgeons for over 20 years I recommend that you go to your own primary care physician or find an independent internist to perform the preoperative clearance. Lastly, many states allow doctors to perform plastic and cosmetic surgeries that are not actually trained or board certified in Plastic Surgery by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS)....

Florida’s Judge and Juries Hate Plastic Surgery Medical Malpractice Cases

Judges and juries dislike medical malpractice cases in Florida especially if they deal with an elective cosmetic procedure or botched plastic surgery. One would want to believe that in Miami or Fort Lauderdale, places where just about everyone and their mothers have undergone either a breast augmentation or tummy tuck, South Florida jurors and judges would be empathetic. However, that is simply not the case. After representing injured victims of botched plastic surgery in Florida for over 20 years, I believe that most potential jurors fall into one of two categories in how they perceive individuals who are bringing a claim for a botched plastic surgery. First, there are those who have themselves successfully undergone some form of elective plastic surgery and they tend to want to assess fault upon the patient for not going to a better doctor. In the alternative, If the potential juror hasn’t had plastic surgery, they tend to believe that the injured patient is responsible for their own injury for not having been satisfied with their looks or being too lazy to go to a gym or diet. In other words, they blame the plaintiff for being “vain.” Faced with either type of juror mentality, makes winning a plastic surgery malpractice law suit in Florida extremely difficult. The typical doctor defense will spend hours going through the preoperative consent forms, that outline every possible complication from scarring, infection, bleeding or even death, to argue that the patient “assumed the risk.” I recommend that all patients take their own pre-op photographs to preserve the evidence of how they looked before to compare to their post-op...

Dr. Phil and Botched Plastic Surgery

Recently, I had the honor of being a guest on “Dr. Phil.” The host of the show, Dr. Phil McGraw is probably the world’s most famous mental health professional. He devoted an entire episode to botched plastic surgery. I had an opportunity to discuss some of the more unusual cases I have encountered as a lawyer that has sues Florida plastic surgeons, hospitals and clinics for over twenty years. Most importantly we discussed how to avoid being a victim of plastic surgery malpractice. ARVE Error: no video ID setbr /> In my opinion as a lawyer who represents patients injured by careless Florida surgeons the single most important factor in surviving plastic surgery is the selection of the doctor and making sure that the surgeon is Board Certified. After the tragic death of Kanye West’s mother, Donda West, there has been a national focus on the risks of plastic surgery. Patients need to understand that not all doctors are alike. The American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) certifies that its members are properly certified and trained. There are many “fake boards” that claim to have the ability to certify doctors. Do not be fooled and do your homework before agreeing to undergo a procedure. Is your Surgeon Certified? Check here. In order for a surgeon to be certified by the ABPS they must meet the following requirements: They have earned a degree from an accredited medical school; They have completed 3 years of general surgery; They have completed 2-3 years of supervised residency in plastic surgery; They have had at least 2 years of professional practice; and They have...

Suing Florida’s Doctors and Hospitals Just Got a Lot Harder-Thanks Governor Scott

I am a Miami lawyer who sues doctors and hospitals on behalf of injured Florida’s injured patients and their families for over twenty years. I have sadly watched the legal rights of injured patients get whittled away since I started practicing law in 1991. But nothing compares to the machete that Florida’s Governor Rick Scott has wielded in the short time since his election. Take his latest weapon: Florida’s brand new Statute §766.1065 “Authorization for release of protected health information” in claims for personal injury or wrongful death. ARVE Error: no video ID setbr /> Florida does not permit injured patients or their families to simply sue negligent doctors. Instead, the law requires families and their lawyers to engage in a burdensome, expensive, tricky and time consuming ordeal known as “Presuit.” It forces the injured to obtain medical records, expert opinions and comply with a complex and downright tricky legal maze before a law suit can even be filed. Generally, Presuit has to start within two years of the incident, giving doctors and hospitals the advantage of having a shorter statute of limitations than every other defendant in the State of Florida simply because they are “healthcare providers.” In the end, Florida’s malpractice law simply eliminates all but the most catastrophic medical mistakes from even getting filed as law suits. In the end, injuries that do not cause permanent and significant changes in the quality of a patient’s life nearly always go uncompensated. Florida’s Statute §766.1065 simply raises the bar by requiring that the Presuit procedure also include an authorization for the release of a patient’s protected health information...

How Much is My Medical Malpractice Case Worth?

As a Broward County medmal attorney, I do not agree with a recent report indicating that researchers from Harvard, University of Southern Californian and the Rand Corporation, finding that doctors who specialize in areas considered “low-risk” like pediatricians and psychiatrist are less likely to get sued in comparison with “high-risk” specialties like surgeons, particularly neurosurgeons. . According to the report, over 19% of neurosurgeons face medical negligence lawsuits yearly. The report outlines the following ten medical specialties as those most likely to be sued: 1. Neurosurgeons 2. Thoracic-cardiovascular surgeons 3. General surgeons 4. Orthopedic surgeons 5. Plastic surgeons 6. Gastroenterologist 7. Ob-Gyn 8. Urologolist 9. Pulmonologist 10. Oncologolist Dermatologists, pathologists, nephrologists, ophthalmologists, diagnostic radiologists, anesthesiologists and emergency medicine doctors were ranked the least likely to get sued. The study found that gynecologists, not obstetricians, were the most likely to settle out of court yet are only the 12th most likely to be sued by a patient in the first place. Conversely neurosurgeons, the most likely to be sued, are also most likely to have to pay a malpractice claim with an average payment of $344,811. The average claim paid by pediatricians is $520,924, and for pathologists, $383,509. Many injured patients imagine their claim to be worth over $1million dollars. Surprisingly, the study revealed only 66 cases where verdicts or payments exceeded that amount. What the study seems to not reflect is the reality of the cost in bringing a medical malpractice claim to court. The up-front cost of obtaining records, experts and preparing a case for trial can be in excess of $100,000. Most states, including Florida, have caps...
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