Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Liposuction procedures rife with medical mistakes

Patients fighting obesity are often tempted to take drastic steps to resolve the problem. This includes liposuction, which has become extremely popular in Pittsburgh and other cities.

Yet a study suggests that the practice of liposuction is no safer today than it was 25 years ago. In part, this is because local anesthesia often used in such procedures is injected in high doses. At least one such dosage led to a patient's permanent brain injury.

Like so many other medical procedures, there are benefits and risks to using anesthesia. However, such risks can be eliminated if anesthesiologists are properly trained in the administration of these substances.

The above study points to a number of deaths attributed to liposuction procedures. In studying nine deaths in one particular major metropolitan area, none occurred where the liposuction procedure was performed in a hospital. Two of the patients were discharged from the facility and subsequently died at home.

It is felt that unscrupulous physicians have been attracted to this particular area of medicine. It's considered a relatively easy procedure to perform, and there are very few controls over what type of physicians can perform the procedure.

Whatever the area of medicine, patients have a right to expect the same safety and medical protocol as practiced by physicians in a hospital setting. If a patient is injured because of a medical procedure and suspect substandard care, it would be a good idea for that individual to visit a medical malpractice attorney. These attorneys can hold doctors accountable for failing to practice medicine in a professional manner.

Source: Anesthesiology News, "As Liposuction Deaths Mount, Study Exposes Cracks in Safety," by Michael Vlessides, Oct. 2012

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