Each year, about 400,000 breast augmentation procedures are performed with the hopes of making patients feel more comfortable with their bodies. Though these procedures are thought to be relatively safe, several patients at an Australian breast implant clinic have had to be rushed to the ER.
According to ABC, incident reports show The Cosmetic Institute’s staff had to call an ambulance in August last year when a 32-year-old woman developed serious breathing problems.
“Once in recovery after breast augmentation, the patient became very short of breath and doctors questioned pneumothorax,” the presence of air or gas in the cavity between the lungs and the chest, which can cause a collapsed lung, the records show.
She was then taken to a hospital for treatment, but would not be the last. In January, 20-year-old Amy Rickhuss suffered cardiac arrest after breast surgery. New South Wales ambulance logs reveal that The Cosmetic Institute staff told the ambulance service “the patient is unconscious and not breathing,” referring to Rickhuss. The staff suggested to the ambulance service that the patient had either suffered a cardiac arrest, respiratory arrest, or died.
“The patient was having cosmetic surgery when they went into cardiac arrest and the defibrillator was used,” the records show.
Then, on April 23, a 26-year-old patient suffered a severe allergic reaction after undergoing breast surgery, and had to be rushed to Westmead Hospital.
With more young women being rushed to the hospital from The Cosmetic Institute in the proceeding months since the initial cases, concerns have naturally been raised over the clinic’s practices.
The New South Wales Health Care Complaints Commission is, in addition to investigating these matters, also looking into the types of anesthetic used on The Cosmetic Institute’s premises. The facility is only licensed to use conscious sedation, and insists that it’s both following procedures, and using only the sedation it’s licensed to.