Cosmetic Laser Surgery Safety

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Story Updated: Oct 18, 2013

A new warning today about cosmetic laser surgery and the growing number of lawsuits being filed against operators who are not physicians.

Researchers scoured an online national database of public legal documents and found 175 cases related to skin laser surgery from 1999 to 2012. 75 of those cases involved non-physician operators or N-P-Os.

The percentage of cases involving non-physicians jumped from 36.3 percent in 2008 to 77.8 percent in 2011. Most of these cases were performed outside a traditional medical setting.

Laser hair removal was the most common procedure. While NPOs performed just one-third of these procdures, they accounted for more than 85 percent of the lawsuits filed between 2008 and 2012.

The researchers say their findings demonstrate a Òdramatic increaseÓ in litigation against nonphysician operators.

They are calling for further studies to examine what they call a troubling trend in laser surgery safety one that has important implications for patients.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news that matters to you.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com