Florida's New BBL Safety Law Praised by Cosmetic Surgeons

woman evaluated for BBL
Florida's first plastic surgery bill, HB 1471, has been praised by cosmetic surgery groups.
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As previously reported in MedEsthetics, Florida's House and Senate passed the state's first plastic surgery bill, HB 1471, mandating the use of ultrasound guidance during gluteal fat grafting procedures to improve patient safety. The new guidelines went into effect on July 1, 2023, and have since been praised by industry experts, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) and the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS).

Related: Florida Passes BBL Safety Law Mandating Use of Ultrasound Guidance

New Guidelines & 90-day Emergency Rule

Florida physicians who perform gluteal fat grafting must use ultrasound guidance to ensure fat is only being injected into the subcutaneous space, and physicians do not accidentally inject deeper, resulting in fat being inserted into the muscle. In cases where fat grafts are inadvertently injected into the gluteal muscle, the fat can travel to the heart, lungs and brain, possibly resulting in fatality. 

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, gluteal fat grafts, more popularly known as Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBLs), are known to have one of the highest mortality rates of any cosmetic surgery. To ensure the improved safety of these procedures, the new Florida law also prohibits surgeons from meeting patients for the first time on the day of the surgery and forbids them from delegating the surgical procedure to a nurse or an assistant.

The new Florida State law was passed following the initial adoption of the 90-day Emergency Rule (64B8ER22-3) filed by the Board of Medicine and authorized by the Florida Department of State on June 14th, 2022. It also required physicians to use "ultrasound guidance when placing and navigating the cannula and injecting fat into the subcutaneous space," as well as "maintain the ultrasound video recording in the patient's medical record including the time and the date stamp."

Positive Reaction to Bill

The new law has been praised by organizations focused on plastic and cosmetic surgeries. To help spread awareness among surgeons and protect patients' safety, the ABCS will launch a Brazilian Buttock Lift Safety Exam this fall. The exam will be the first ever that is open to all surgeons interested in refining their skills and furthering their commitment to patient safety. Additionally, the ABCS will hold its second national Brazilian butt lift safety course in New Orleans next February.

"We commend Florida lawmakers for their measured response to protect BBL patients," said Dr. Mohammad Banki, President of the ABCS. "This new set of laws goes just far enough to protect patient safety, without limiting physicians' rights to practice."

Related: FDA Safety Update: Dermal Fillers & Risks of Delayed Inflammation

The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery (AACS) strongly commended the Florida legislature, Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Board of Medicine (BOM) for their ongoing commitment to promoting patient safety in Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) surgery. The organization applauds the recent legislative decision to allow licensed and properly trained Florida physicians who safely perform this popular procedure on a routine basis to continue without further additional restrictions.

The organization commented, "AACS leadership is proud to have had the opportunity to work with the Florida legislature and Board of Medicine, as well as the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery (ABCS), and a very strong and committed Florida constituency, to ensure that the citizens of Florida have access to safe cosmetic surgery—not only BBL surgery but any and all cosmetic procedures. The Legislature’s and Medical Boards’ actions serve as a referendum to the high regard that our associated organizations possess in Florida"

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