Something Fishy About Florida Cosmetic Surgery Death?

The cosmetic surgeon who performed a minor procedure on the sister of a Broward County commissioner said Wednesday he has “absolutely no idea” what went wrong during the operation before her death last week. Rony Wendrow, 61, was in good health, passed a pre-surgery medical screening and had been through plastic surgery before with the same anesthesia used during the procedure, Dr. Harold M. Bass said. “We had just started. The case was going so beautifully and all of a sudden she had a cardiac [emergency],” Bass said. “In all honesty, I have absolutely no idea what happened. We have no clue at all. … I truly believe it wasn’t anything we did or didn’t do in the surgery room.”

An attorney for Strax, Peter Mineo Jr., said it is “irresponsible” to have news coverage of Wendrow’s death when it’s unclear why she died. The center declines to comment, out of respect for the family’s privacy, he said.

Mineo said Strax has a lower death rate in cosmetic surgery than the national average.
Source: sun-sentinel.com/health/fl-hk-strax-lieberman-doctor-20110525,0,3885107.story

This is the second Strax related death I have seen reported. The Sentinel indicates there have been four Strax deaths over an unspecified period of time. The first one about which I blogged here involved a liposuction case. The way the Strax attorney discounts the deaths bothers me. I would love to know where he got the statistic he mentions in passing. To my knowledge, there is no accepted national average death rate from cosmetic surgery.

I have been in practice for nearly 15 years and have not had a cosmetic surgery-related death.

Mr Mineo is quoted as having said that it was “irresponsible” to have news coverage of the death in his case without knowing why she died. I would counter that the public should be informed when multiple deaths from cosmetic surgery tied to a particular group occur, so they can use this information to make decisions about where they might go for their cosmetic surgery. Any death related to a minor cosmetic surgical procedure warrants investigation and public scrutiny.

The news service should be focused on public safety not the image of his client’s firm. I think it is funny that he does not believe the event to be newsworthy.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD


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