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Fla. clinic under fire after deaths

Article-Fla. clinic under fire after deaths

Lauderhill, Fla. — Florida Board of Medicine records show that a Lauderhill medical practice, in the news recently following the death of a patient after liposuction, reported two other cosmetic surgery-related deaths since 2008, the online South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

The three deaths reported by Strax Rejuvenation & Aesthetics Institute — where 35-year-old Lidvian Zelaya died after a doctor performed liposuction in December — are two more than reported by any other physician office in Florida over the past three years. According to the Sun-Sentinel, doctors at only four other physician surgery offices reported deaths, and only one death each, in that time span.

State health officials have filed disciplinary charges against the doctor who performed the surgery in one of the deaths reported by Strax. In another, health officials took no action. At press time, an autopsy was still pending in the third death. In addition, the Sun-Sentinel reports, four malpractice suits have been filed against the clinic and its doctors.

The Sun-Sentinel also reports that the Strax attorney calls criticism of the facility “sour grapes” on the part of competitors who have lost patients to Strax, which claims to have performed the most cosmetic surgeries among all U.S. physician offices in 2010. The clinic reportedly has performed 29,000 operations over the past six years with its staff of up to 20 surgeons.

The attorney says Strax was not at fault in any of the deaths.

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