Plastic Surgeon’s Accused of Negligence After Patient Dies

Certain types of surgery carry the risk of death, even if everything goes according to plan. But cosmetic surgery rarely falls under that category. In a tragic case of medical malpractice, one cosmetic surgeon’s actions led to the serious injury of one patient and the wrongful death of another.

The California Medical Board has filed a petition requesting to have a plastic surgeon’s medical license revoked after an investigation found that his negligence led to the death of a patient. Earlier this week, a judge prohibited the doctor from performing surgeries and writing prescriptions for narcotic drugs until the medical malpractice case is resolved.

No legal actions can undo the harm done to the two patients cited in the petition. However, by revoking this doctor’s license, the Medical Board is hoping to protect other patients from suffering the same fate as a previous patient who died because of the doctor’s actions. The Board described that the doctor provided “grossly negligent care” and displayed “incompetence and lack of medical judgment.”

The doctor will appear in a medical malpractice hearing on January 10 to decide the ultimate fate of his medical license. Until then, he can no longer conduct surgeries that involve “piercing a patient’s skin.” That means that he is not allowed to perform liposuction or administer lidocaine to patients.

Surgical patients often understand that there is a risk associated with the treatment they are about to undergo. Patients and doctors discuss the risks and decide that the possible benefits outweigh them. But cosmetic surgery patients rarely expect those risks to include death. This doctor is currently facing the loss of his medical license, but he will likely face other legal challenges in the months to come.

Source: “Encino Physician Prevented From Carrying Out Cosmetic Surgeries,” 29 Dec 2010