An Order of Emergency Restriction of License was issued by the State of Florida Department of Health on February 17, 2016, which immediately restricted a Florida physician who specialized in performing butt lifts and liposuction procedures on women at a Florida surgery center, from performing liposuction, liposuction with bilateral fat transfer to the buttocks, and/or any procedure using the tumescent technique in the State of Florida.
The Florida Department of Health determined that the physician repeatedly failed to meet the minimum standard of care in his treatment of four patients, resulting in significant medical emergencies requiring extensive hospitalization for each patient. In particular, the Florida Department of Health found that the physician violated Florida law (Section 458.331(1)(t)1, Florida Statutes (2014)), by failing to discharge the four patients to a medical facility in which they could receive appropriate postoperative monitoring; by failing to use the appropriately concentrated tumescent solution in the four patients’ liposuction procedures; by repeatedly perforating one patient’s liver; and, by repeatedly perforating another patient’s small bowel and/or injuring the patient’s sciatic nerve during fat transfer.
On or about May 15, 2015, a 31-year-old female underwent liposuction with bilateral fat transfer to the gluteal areas (a “butt lift”). She was discharged by the physician to a motel and had a follow-up scheduled for May 18, 2015. The morning following the procedure, the patient had significant pain and was seen by the physician who told her that she was dehydrated. She was given fluids and discharged back to the motel.
The next day, the patient had severe pain, was seen in the physician’s office, and advised that she was still dehydrated and was instructed to take more pain medications. Because she continued to have significant abdominal pain and fever, she went to a hospital emergency department on May 18, 2015, where she was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where she was diagnosed with severe anemia secondary to blood loss during the liposuction procedure, along with several perforations of her liver causing severe sepsis.
The patient was transferred to a hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan on May 27, 2015, where she continued to receive treatment for post-operative complications, including a necrotizing soft tissue infection requiring wound debridement, wound VAC therapy, and extensive skin grafting.
An expert who reviewed the patient’s medical record on behalf of the Florida Department of Health opined that the physician’s care fell below the standard of care by discharging the patient to a motel instead of a hospital or other medical facility in which she could receive appropriate medical assistance (and that the physician used an inappropriate concentration of tumescent solution during the patient’s liposuction procedure), by repeatedly perforating the patient’s liver during the procedure, and by injecting the patient with an excessive amount of fatty tissue that led to soft tissue necrosis of the patient’s buttocks.
On or about May 15, 2015, the 35-year-old female underwent liposuction with bilateral fat transfer to the gluteal areas. Immediately after the butt lift procedure, the patient experienced pain, weakness, and numbness in her left leg. Nonetheless, the physician discharged the patient to a “recovery house” and scheduled her follow-up for May 18, 2015. After arriving at the recovery house, the patient discovered that she could not move her left leg and continued to experience significant pain. The patient returned to the physician’s office the following day and informed the staff that she could not move her left leg and that she felt weak. The physician instructed that the patient receive fluids to address suspected dehydration. The patient’s condition did not change, leading the patient’s fiancé to bring her to a hospital emergency department, where she complained of weakness and numbness in her left leg and abdominal pain. She was found to be in septic shock and suffering from acute renal failure and rhabdomyolysis as well as having several perforations in her small bowel.
On or about May 18, 2015, the patient underwent an exploratory laparotomy that revealed multiple bowel perforations and peritonitis and required her to undergo small bowel resection. The patient was in ICU for weeks where she received multiple postoperative abdominal washouts, wound VAC therapy, was prescribed antibiotics for septic shock, and was placed on a ventilator due to respiratory failure. She developed acute renal failure, secondary to septic shock, which resulted in her being placed on hemodialysis three times a week. She also suffered from significant sciatic nerve injury, causing lower extremity numbness, weakness, and inability to walk.
On or about May 14, 2015, a 29-year-old female underwent liposuction of her stomach, planks, abdomen, and bilateral thighs. During the surgery in which the physician performed suction-assisted lipectomy using the tumescent liposuction technique, the physician placed two Jackson-Pratt drains in the patient’s abdomen but failed to record the placement of the drains in his operative report. The patient was discharged to a motel for post-surgery recovery and she had a follow-up appointment scheduled for the following morning.
Early the following morning, at approximately 3:00 a.m., the patient’s father found her bleeding profusely in her motel room. She was transported to the hospital where she was admitted with complaints of abdominal pain and shortness of breath. She was diagnosed with anemia and dehydration secondary to her liposuction surgery and was administered several blood transfusions over the course of two days.
On or about May 16, 2015, a 35-year-old female underwent liposuction with bilateral fat transfer to the gluteal areas. The physician discharged her to a “recovery house” and scheduled her for a follow-up appointment on May 19, 2015. While at the recovery house, the patient experienced significant bleeding from her incision sites. The staff member at the recovery house attempted to contact the physician several times but the physician did not return the calls. The patient was transported to the hospital, where she was administered one unit of pure red blood cells. The patient spent three days in the hospital.
If you or a loved one have suffered serious injury or other harm as a result of cosmetic surgery in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a Florida medical malpractice attorney (or a medical malpractice attorney in your state) who may investigate your cosmetic surgery medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a cosmetic surgery medical malpractice case, if appropriate.
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