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Florida bans liposuction in unregulated offices

Tallahassee, Fla. — Liposuction in Florida became safer recently with the adoption of new regulations and restrictions on where the procedure can be performed.

Gov. Rick Scott signed the new regulations into law in April; they are scheduled to take effect in January 2013. Supporters of the new restrictions include the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Board of Medicine.

According to the new rules, all liposuctions that remove more than about two pounds of fat must now take place in regulated offices equipped with lifesaving equipment and a doctor specially trained in lifesaving techniques. Offices will also have to be inspected by the state or undergo accreditation.

Some doctors foresee internists and nonsurgeons giving up the procedure, rather than attempting to meet the new, stricter regulations.

There is also concern that the new regulations will raise the costs of some procedures, but backers of the new law insist safety is the impetus for the law. There have been reports of cases in Florida in which unregulated doctors or medical spas performed liposuction using sedative pills or creams rather than appropriate anesthesia, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery notes that it requires its members to operate in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified facilities.

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