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The "Donda West Law" is in Effect

On January 1st the State of California put into effect the “Donda West Law”.

For those of you who are not aware of the details behind this law, Donda West was the mother of the much controversial rapper, Kanye West (the one who went up on stage and made an a** of himself when Taylor Swift was receiving her award).

Cosmetic Surgery Times reports that in 2007, Donda West died a day after she underwent an 8 hour procedure for breast reduction, liposuction and a tummy tuck. The L.A. County Coroner stated that Donda died of "coronary artery disease and multiple post-operative factors due to or as a consequence of liposuction and mammoplasty." Apparently, the autopsy results showed Donda died of pre-existing coronary artery disease and “multiple post-operative factors” a day after the procedures. The surgeon who operated on Donda surrendered his medical license in April.

The Donda West Law prohibits doctors from performing elective cosmetic surgery without a physical examination and clearance from a medical professional. The law requires an “appropriate” physical exam within 30 days before a procedure and “written clearance” from a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant before cosmetic surgery is performed.

"Clearance of a medical professional" is the confusing part of the equation. Apparently, the plastic surgeon who performed her procedure wasn't declared a "medical professional" in the eyes of the lawmakers. For those practitioners who are currently performing invasive and minimally invasive procedures (such as laser liposuction) in other States, if you are not doing so already, you may want to re-evaluate your pre-operative procedure to include a physical examination, blood work and possibly a sign off from the patient's PCP or cardiologist.

In the infamous words of the sergeant on the 1981 episodes of "Hill Street Blues", "be careful, it's a jungle out there"!

Author: Paula D. Young RN runs internal operations and training at Young Medical Spa and is the author of the Medical Spa Aesthetics Course, Study Guide, and Advanced IPL & Laser Training course for medical estheticians and laser technicians.

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Reader Comments (1)

Hey Paula,

Good article. Of course the complication is much higher when the patient is put to sleep and/or is having multiple procedures performed at the same time. I believe the doctor was a medical professional who put the patient at risk and am a firm believer of having patients go to an accredited surgery center or hospital when put to sleep (instead of office location in a strip mall where this doctor performed Donda West's surgery). In a perfect world, it would also be good if the surgeon had priveleges at his/her local hospital(s) if there happens to be a complication.

01.21 | Unregistered Commenterwendyh
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