Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN)– Nikki Ruston realized that she should have known the warning signs at the cosmetic clinic she went to in the American city of Miami, but it was too late.
Ruston said the office where she scheduled her Brazilian butt lift was closed, and her records had been moved to another office.
The quoted price, which she paid for in advance, increased on the day of the operation, and she added that she did not see her surgeon until she was put under general anesthesia.
“I was ready to leave, but I paid for everything,” said Ruston, 44.
A few days after the operation in July, Ruston was taken to hospital with an infection, blood loss and nausea, according to her medical records.
“I went for cheap. That’s what I did,” Ruston said. “I looked for the lowest price, and I found it on Instagram.”
People like Ruston are lured to office surgery centers in South Florida by social media marketing campaigns that make Brazilian butt lifts and other cosmetic surgeries misleadingly appear painless, safe, and affordable, the researchers said. Patient advocates and surgeon groups.
Unlike ambulatory surgical centers and hospitals, where the patient can stay overnight to be monitored after the operation, office surgery centers offer procedures that do not usually require patients to stay overnight, and are organized as an extension of the doctor’s private office.
But these surgical offices are often owned by companies that can offer lower prices by contracting with surgeons who are incentivized to work with as many patients as possible per day and in as little time as possible, say the organizers and clinicians who have criticized the facilities.
Raston said she now lives with constant pain, but for others, a Brazilian butt lift has taken their lives.
After a series of deaths, and the absence of national standards, Florida regulators were the first to issue rules aimed at making these operations safer in 2019.
More than 3 years later, the data shows that deaths are still occurring.
“We’re seeing entities with a strong presence in the low-cost plastic surgery scene in large numbers in South Florida starting to appear in other parts of the country,” said Dr.
When undergoing a Brazilian butt lift, fat is taken through suction from other areas of the body, such as the back or thighs, to be injected into the buttocks.
More than 61,000 buttock augmentation procedures were performed across the country in 2021, which is a 37% increase from the previous year, according to data from the Aesthetic Society, a trade group for plastic surgeons.
As with all surgeries, it can lead to complications.
The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner has documented nearly 30 deaths of surgical patients since 2009, 26 of which were caused by the Brazilian butt lift.
About 3% of surgeons worldwide have witnessed the death of one of their patients as a result of the procedure, according to a report released by the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation task force in 2017.
Medical experts said the problem is partly because medical professionals, such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, perform key parts of a buttock lift rather than the doctors themselves.
It is also fueled by a business model that seeks profits, not safety.
And in May, after a fifth person died in just as many months from complications in Miami-Dade County, Dr. Kevin Kearns, a physician and former member of the Florida Board of Medicine, proposed an emergency state law to limit the number of butt lifts a surgeon can perform per day.
But a group of doctors who perform these surgeries in South Florida disagreed and formed a group called Surgeons for Safety.
The group argued that the new requirements would make the situation worse, noting that qualified doctors would have to perform fewer operations, thus directing patients to dangerous medical professionals who did not follow the rules.
Individuals considering cosmetic surgery should be careful.
And just like Ruston, many people build their expectations through marketing photos and videos posted on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, which show the results of the operation.
“This is very dangerous,” said Basu of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, noting that “they get so excited about the low price, they forget to do the research.”
The average price of a buttock augmentation was $4,000 in 2021, according to data from the Aesthetic Society.
But this amount covers only the doctor’s fees without anesthesia fees, operating room fees, prescriptions, or any other expenses.
A “safe” Brazilian butt lift, performed at a certified facility that provides appropriate aftercare, typically costs between $12,000 and $18,000, according to a recent article on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.
A few days after Ruston returned home after the operation, she began to feel dizzy and weak, and called 911 for emergency services.
Medics took her to the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with anemia, blood infections, and abdominal infections, according to her medical records.
“If I could turn back time, I wouldn’t do it,” said Ruston.
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