Dying for Liposuction

Something strange happened in Atlanta this past week. A woman having liposuction suddenly died during her procedure. What happened? Apparently she had a toxic level of local anesthetic. Did you know that too much local anesthetic can kill you? Most people don’t. They assume that, since they are awake with local anesthesia procedures, that they will “notice” if something isn’t right, long before it reaches the crisis stage.

Apparently, the doctor involved is neither a general surgeon nor a plastic surgeon. He’s an OB/GYN doctor who was previously the source of another Fox TV I-Team investigation which was followed by a Georgia Medical Board punishment of the physician. However, Dr. Johnson continued to practice medicine, reinventing himself as a cosmetic surgeon.

I am here to tell you that, when done correctly and by an experienced plastic surgeon and his surgical team, liposuction is a generally safe procedure. There are always risks with plastic surgery; after all, even though it’s elective, it’s still surgery. However, had this patient taken the time to investigate her doctor’s training and experience, to find out if he had had lawsuits and/or was brought up by the medical board, she might be alive today.

I know I’m “preaching to the choir” here, since most of my readers, fans and followers are former and current patients, but please, talk to your friends who are considering cosmetic procedures. Help them understand that buying cosmetic surgery isn’t the same as buying laundry detergent where price is the only difference—ie, a box of Tide at Target vs that same box at the grocery store. Tell them to buy cosmetic surgery based on reputation, skill and experience and not by price alone. It might just save someone’s life.

To your health & beauty,
Dr. Kent Hasen

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