January 27, 2022

A Florida internal medicine and cardiovascular disease doctor had his medical license suspended after a patient on whom he performed liposuction died as a result of complications she suffered from the procedure. The extent of the doctor’s training for performing liposuction procedures on patients was a two-day proctorship he attended less than one-and-a-half years earlier.

According to official state documents summarizing the subsequent Florida medical malpractice wrongful death claim that was filed and settled, the patient presented to the doctor for consideration of liposuction. On December 12, 2014, the doctor performed a tumescent liposuction procedure using local anesthetic. The patient was discharged following the procedure the same day with no noted complications. Ten days following the  surgery, the patient presented to Oak Hill Hospital and was diagnosed with bowel perforation. She underwent exploratory abdominal surgery to repair the perforation. The patient underwent numerous surgeries and hospitalization and eventually died from complications of stroke in May 2015.

The Florida medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuit was filed on January 11, 2016, and was settled within 90 days. On August 30, 2016, the doctor’s medical malpractice insurance company made the settlement payment in the amount of $142,500. The patient’s medical expenses had totaled $100,000. The medical malpractice insurance company stated: “insured physician was not formally trained in liposuction procedure. Insured was advised to seriously consider whether liposuction surgery, such as what was performed on this patient, needs to be part of his medical practice.”

In its Final Order filed on December 22, 2021, the State of Florida Board of Medicine (“Board”) suspended the doctor for 90 days, he was fined $15,000, and he was required to reimburse the Board costs in the amount of $4,781.83. The Board determined that the doctor “had accepted and performed the tumescent liposuction procedure on Patient C.N., despite knowing or having reason to know that he was not competent to perform the procedure.” The doctor was further restricted from performing plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery except for minor surgical procedures. He is required to complete five hours of continuing medical education in ethics and five hours in risk management within one year.

One may ask whether the delay from the patient’s death on May 28, 2015 and the date the Final Order was filed over six-and-a-half years later represents justice or satisfies the Board’s mission “to ensure that every physician practicing in this state meets minimum requirements for safe practice. The practice of medicine is a privilege granted by the state. The Florida Board of Medicine, through efficient and dedicated organization, will license, monitor, discipline, educate, and when appropriate, rehabilitate physicians and other practitioners to ensure their fitness and competence in the service of the people of Florida.”


If you or a family member were injured during or as a result of liposuction in Florida or in another U.S. state, you should promptly find a Florida medical malpractice lawyer, or a medical malpractice lawyer in your state, who may investigate your liposuction medical malpractice claim for you and represent you or your family member in a liposuction medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Visit our website or call us toll free in the United States at 800-295-3959 to find medical malpractice attorneys in Florida or in your state who may assist you.

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