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 like fat injections, understand a patient’s family history for blood disorders. Special tests can and should be ordered before any procedure to determine if there are any clotting disorders that would put a patient at a higher risk for a blood clot.
5. Smoking and Obesity are additional factors that predispose a patient to form a blood clot. The risk is higher when combined with the other factors listed above.
Our Fort Lauderdale surgery malpractice law firm advises anyone considering undergoing an elective cosmetic procedure to have a thorough physical exam performed by a Board Certified internal medicine doctor who has no relationship to the potential plastic surgeon or clinic to obtain medical clearance. In addition, we recommend that you carefully select your plastic surgeon and only use one who is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery. We hope no other family will lose a spouse, parent, child or partner due to a botched plastic surgery.