Florida – Plastic Surgery – Below-The-Knee Liposuction On Obese Patient Results In Post-Operative Complications

On 6/19/2013, a patient presented to a plastic surgeon for an initial consultation regarding liposuction.  During the consultation conducted, the plastic surgeon recommended a weight loss plan to the patient.

On 6/20/2013, the patient again presented to the plastic surgeon for another consultation to discuss liposuction.

On 7/1/2013, the patient presented to the plastic surgeon for a formal liposuction consultation.

In July 2013, the plastic surgeon agreed to perform multiple liposuction procedures on the patient.

On 7/20/2013, the plastic surgeon performed liposuction on portions of the patient’s lower body, including but not limited to the patient’s buttocks, thighs, knees, and lower legs.

On 9/18/2013, the patient presented to the plastic surgeon for a pre-operative consultation regarding liposuction to be performed on 9/26/2013.

On 9/25/2013, the patient presented to the plastic surgeon for an additional pre-operative consultation regarding liposuction to be performed on 9/26/2013.

On 9/26/2013, the plastic surgeon performed liposuction on portions of the patient’s lower body including but not limited to the patient’s legs.

In 2013, the plastic surgeon performed VASER and/or Smartlipo liposuction procedures on the patient.

At the time the plastic surgeon performed liposuction on the patient, the patient was a female standing at a height of 5’2”, she weighed 230 pounds, and her BMI was 42.

The patient suffered from and/or had a history of suffering from obesity.  Performing liposuction below-the-knee on a morbidly obese patient poses a higher risk of complications.  The patient was not a candidate for liposuction.  Prior to the plastic surgeon performing liposuction on the patient, the patient informed him that she had previously undergone liposuction and suffered complications.

The plastic surgeon failed to record an operative note for the liposuction procedure performed on the patient on 7/20/2013.  He also failed to document in his operative note, for the 9/26/2013 procedure, intraoperative settings for use of the laser-assisted liposuction device, including but not limited to time and/or infiltration amounts.

On at least nine different occasions between 9/27/2013 and 10/23/2013, the patient visited the plastic surgeon for post-surgery follow up appointments.

On October 2013, the family practitioner noticed dark spots on the patient’s legs.  The plastic surgeon believed the dark spots on the patient’s legs were from an infection or a VASER burn.

On 10/23/2013, the plastic surgeon examined the patient’s legs and transported the patient to a hospital for the purpose of having the wounds on the patient’s legs treated.

The patient was admitted to the hospital with skin necrosis, which required surgical debridement and wound care.

The Medical Board of Florida judged the plastic surgeon conduct to be below the minimal standard of competence given that he failed to use appropriate surgical judgement in determining whether a patient was a candidate for liposuction.  He also should not have performed liposuction on a patient who was not a candidate for such a procedure.

State: Florida


Date: February 2017


Specialty: Plastic Surgery


Symptom: N/A


Diagnosis: Post-operative/Operative Complication


Medical Error: Unnecessary or excessive treatment or surgery, Lack of proper documentation


Significant Outcome: N/A


Case Rating: 2


Link to Original Case File: Download PDF



← Back to the search results