Bill seeking to regulate cosmetic surgery centers clears Georgia Senate



A Cobb County senator said she wants Georgia to better regulate cosmetic surgery centers, where botched procedures taken a number of lives in recent years.

State Sen. Kay Kirkpatrick, a Marietta Republican, said "medispas" receive business licenses through the Secretary of State's office, but — since they are not categorized as health care facilities — don't have to adhere to state regulations.

“In other words, they’re licensed the same as a nail salon tanning booth, or sauna,” said Kirkpatrick, who is an orthopedic hand surgeon. “Therefore, they’re not regulated by (the Department of Public Health’s) health care facility regulation unit.”

Senate Bill 323 aims to make it so any medical professional sedating a patient to perform a procedure that is not in a hospital or or surgery center must adhere to standard rules and regulations that will be established by the Georgia Composite Medical Board.

The Senate unanimously approved the legislation Wednesday.

"This conversation started after looking at the deaths in my county of two young adults, which occurred at a medispa," she said. "The facility did not have appropriate personnel or equipment and they were doing procedures like liposuction. The details of the cases are horrific."

In 2013, two women died within months of each other after undergoing cosmetic medical procedures at a Kennesaw facility. While the doctor lost her medical license and she and an assistant initially were charged with murder, law enforcement eventually dropped the charges.

“I think this will help with some of the people who are not doing the right thing,” Kirkpatrick said. “I mean I'm a doctor. I'm not trying to make life worse for doctors doing the right thing.”