What You NEED to Know about Plastic Surgery in Miami
Plastic surgery in Miami is all the rage at the present time. People travel from all over the world to get surgery there, but there is a dark side to this industry and there are things you need to know to stay safe.
Many (if not most) Plastic Surgery Centers
Operate Like a Mill
What is meant by this? Many surgery centers are like a production line – one person passing through right after the other. There is little (if any) personalization. Patients are a number, not a human being.
It is rare to receive any form of personalized care. You get only the most basic answers to questions and you feel like you are part of a machine – everything is impersonal. Surgery is cheap here because they operate like Walmart making money on volume of customers.
Most Post Op Massages Use Illegal Practices That Could Land You in the Hospital
This is no joke! There is an ILLEGAL practice called “incisional drainage” where fluid in the body is pushed out of incisions. If the incisions have closed, they are poked open with anything from q-tips to cuticle pushers to razor blades. Fluid that has accumulated after surgery (or was injected as part of the surgical process) is then forced out by hard squeezing of tissues that have just undergone a very aggressive surgery such as liposuction.
Screenshot of Instagram account showing Incisional Drainage being performed by "The Squeeze Lady"
This is wrong for several reasons. In Florida – as in other states – it is illegal for someone who does not possess a medical license to work on a wound. Even nurses who work on wounds often have special additional training in wound care before working on wounds. It is ALWAYS in EVERY CASE illegal for a massage therapist to do such work. Evidence of this is below. The Squeeze Lady got her license revoked for such actions.
The full article is available here at the Miami Herald website for a small fee.
Why is this important? Because when people (with no training and no medical license) work on an open wound – especially when they poke them open, it sets you up for potential infection. Infections like this can lead to sepsis (a potentially deadly condition).
Many “Massage Therapists” are
Working Without a License
Here’s another very real thing about the massage industry in Miami – there are tons of people who have never been trained in basic anatomy and physiology, sanitation, or technique. Licenses require basic training in order to ensure public safety. Florida has done a very poor job at enforcement and you can literally find post-op massage places on every corner in Miami – most of which have people who have no license who will work on you in a very fragile state.
DO YOUR RESEARCH AHEAD OF TIME! Go to the Florida Department of Health Licensure Verification Page and look up your therapist’s name to ensure that they are indeed licensed and in good standing.
Many Plastic Surgeons Refer to “Therapists” Who Perform Incisional Drainage Rather Than True Lymphatic Massage
As sad as this may sound, the way that most people end up getting incisional drainage instead of true lymphatic work is because surgeons actually refer their patients to these people. Believe it or not, doctors on the whole have a very poor understanding of the lymphatic system – only receiving about 30 minutes of training on lymphatics in ALL of med school. This is not an opinion. Here’s a research paper by Dr. Stanley Rockson who is a lymphatic specialist who is the one that is bringing this subject to light.
It is not possible to know if these doctors are intentionally sending people to have illegal work done, or if they simply don’t know any better – but mark my words – IT HAPPENS ALL OF THE TIME.
Patients are told to get “lymphatic massage” which is exactly what the “therapists” call it, but what they are doing is incisional drainage.
So, what is the difference between true lymphatic massage and incisional drainage? We’ve already established that incisional drainage pushes fluid outside of the body. True Lymphatic Massage uses the body’s lymphatic system to take up fluid from an area and transport it to the bloodstream where our kidneys then grab it and we pee it out. Here is a great video that explains true lymphatic work in a very simple way.
True Lymphatic Massage is (somewhat confusingly) properly called “Manual Lymphatic Drainage” – but the drainage they are referring to is all inside the body – not outside.
It Is Common to Only See Your Surgeon for a Few Minutes Before Surgery – and that’s it!
What happens to most people who fly to Miami for surgery is that they deal more with office staff and nurses than the doc. They get to see their doctor for about 5 minutes to get marked up before surgery – and that’s all she wrote.
After surgery all followup visits whether in person or virtual from back home are done with a nurse – even when serious complications result. There is very, very rarely another interaction with the person performing your procedure. And this brings me to another very important point…
Your Doctor May Not Be The Person
Who Performs Your Surgery
Now, this may seem extremely far-fetched if you aren’t familiar with the Miami surgery scene, but hear me out.
It is commonplace for someone to show up to a surgery center early in the morning only to find 40-50 other women (they are usually women) in the waiting area. There’s not much to do, so they start chatting.
“I’m having surgery with Doctor A,” the first person says.
It starts to sound like an echo chamber. Many of these people are there to get surgery by the same doctor on the same day. There are about 4 doctors’ names on the door to the surgery center. There are about 40-50 people waiting for surgery that day. Most plastic surgeries take 3-5 hours on average to complete. You do the math. Something does not add up here.
While it is a completely normal thing for surgeons to have a surgical assistant who is also part of the surgical process, the surgeon should be present throughout the entire operation. Clearly that can’t be happening. There are not enough hours in the day.
This phenomenon is called “Ghost Surgeons.” You can read about the phenomenon of Ghost Surgeons here.
Really, I’m Not Trying to Pick on
All Docs and Therapists in Miami
This may sound a little funny, but I am not trying to throw every last doctor and legitimate therapist in Miami under the bus. There are some perfectly good docs and therapists in Miami. I know a few.
I’m not saying don’t go to Miami for surgery either. We all know that Miami is where it is at for BBL’s that look a certain way.
What I am saying is that all of the things discussed in this post ARE REAL and ARE VERY COMMON. So, buyer beware. Watch out. Look up licenses, ASK QUESTIONS about your massage therapist’s training and technique they intend to use, and ask others on social media what their experience was like with the doc you are thinking of using – before you put down your money. It is for your own safety.
Also, don’t forget to check out the malpractice claims against the surgeon you want to use. They don’t post this stuff on their fancy Instagram accounts. See the current medical malpractice lawsuits against doctors in Miami here. But do you know that surgeons are not required to even carry malpractice insurance? You can read about Florida plastic surgeons “Going Bare” (choosing not to have malpractice insurance) here.