Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal denied a petition, Weds., August 10, that sought to block an Emergency Rule by the state’s Board of Medicine.
The emergency rule, issued June 3rd and effective June 14th, outlines safety measures for high-mortality gluteal fat grafting (BBL) surgeries.
It limits surgeons to performing no more than three such surgeries per day, and requires they be done using ultrasound guidance.
Surgeons aligned with the board’s emergency measures say these are “the most compelling” and important of 10 safety suggestions outlined in a recent practice advisory, on which the Emergency Rule relies heavily.
Surgeons who sought to challenge the rule filed a petition against it Monday, June 20.
An attorney for the petitioners said then that the rule “actually threatens” patient safety.
Petitioners included a new nonprofit group, “Surgeons for Safety, Inc.,” formed June 10th, whose officers include Drs. Constantino Mendieta and Sergio Alvarez, as well as seven Miami-Dade plastic surgeons.
Their petition was denied Wednesday, August 10, in a four-page opinion by a Florida appellate court.
The opinion reads in closing:
“The Petitioners question whether the number of mortalities constitute a sufficient emergency, where there has been no attempt to quantify the total number of procedures. We do not believe we are in a position to second guess the Board of Medicine’s judgment concerning the number of acceptable deaths involved in purely elective cosmetic surgeries. In addition, the rule contains plausible and rational statements for the requirement it imposes. Given the limited nature of our review, we are required to deny the petition.”
Gluteal fat grafting, popularly known as a Brazilian butt lift or BBL, is a high-mortality cosmetic surgical procedure.
Florida accounts for 7% of the US population, and 28% of its BBL deaths (2011-2016) according to one study.
NBC 6 South Florida discovered 19 Florida BBL deaths in five years.
The emergency rule notes 10 “verified deaths related to gluteal fat grafting in the 36 months [prior to the adoption of the emergency rule].”
The Florida Board of Medicine is drafting a permanent version of its rule, as the present expires 90 days after first issue.
Appellate court opinions are “not final until any timely filed motions for rehearing are considered and disposed of by the Court,” the court elsewhere notes.