Popular cosmetic surgeries may be limited to N.J. medical facilities

    New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would prohibit doctors from performing some popular cosmetic surgeries at their offices.

    The bill would require that liposuction, tummy tucks, and breast implants be done only at accredited medical facilities.

    Dr. Robert Paull with the Dermatological Society of New Jersey opposes the measure. He says small liposuction procedures that are done with local anesthesia would require general anesthesia if they had to be done in a hospital.

    “You have the added risk of general anesthesia, which is not insignificant,” he said.

    There is the potential for significant harm when the procedures are performed in an unaccredited setting, arguedDr. Gary Smotrich, a plastic surgeon in Lawrenceville.

    “The only reason that local anesthesia is being used is that these practitioners are not qualified to perform these operations in a setting in which appropriate anesthesia can be delivered,” he said.

    Supporters of the legislation say patients would be safer if those procedures took place where additional personnel and equipment are available if something goes wrong.

    Dr. David Abramson , the president-elect of the New Jersey Society of Plastic Surgeons, put it bluntly.

    “Having the patient be alive or not have any major issue — due to unforeseen complications that could have been avoided by having the procedure done in an accredited or licensed facility — far outweighs the potential savings that could be achieved by having it performed in a cheaper, not-up-to-standard operating room,” Abramson said.

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