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Unlicensed homes target plastic surgery patients in need of safe place to recover

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Authorities are concerned about the proliferation of unlicensed “medical” homes listed on Airbnb and advertised as places to recover after plastic surgery.

Dr. Adam J. Rubinstein, a plastic surgeon in Miami-Dade County, said the unlicensed homes are offering a lot of services, but the danger is none of them are regulated.

“The concept of a recovery home is to try and provide everything someone would need while they are in that initial stage of recovery,” Rubinstein said. “There is no classification for a recovery home in any state legislation, or rules or regulations.”

A woman who asked to remain anonymous said her stay at one of those homes in Westchester could have been deadly. She said a nurse at New Life Plastic Surgery recommended the home. After plastic surgery, a man picked her up and took her to the home. She said she was throwing up and the workers at the home didn’t want her to call 911 right away.

“They actually called the owner and that’s when I found out who was the owner of the place,” she said, adding that it was Lisandra Perdomo, who also scheduled surgeries at the New Life Plastic Surgery clinic.

Instead of prioritizing her health, she said the workers at the home in Westchester coached her on what to say to Fire Rescue personnel when they arrived to take her to the hospital. She suffered severe internal bleeding.

“I was to tell them that I was at a friend’s house,” she said, adding she later had to undergo several surgeries and spend months hospitalized. “There (are) no laws for these places. You don’t even know they exist.”

The neighbors of these homes notice patients and workers are coming in and out of these homes. They report it, but it isn’t easy for code compliance officers to confirm the neighbors’ reports.

In August, Miami-Dade investigators arrested Perdomo’s partner on 23 counts of running an unlicensed assisted living facility.


About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.